Newport Beach City Manager Update: Fractional Ownership, Santa Ana River Dredging

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Grace Leung

By Grace Leung, Newport Beach City Manager

On Thursday, October 12, the California Coastal Commission upheld the Newport Beach City Council’s decision to prohibit fractional homeownership in residential zoning districts. The Coastal Commission’s vote supports local control over an important housing issue that threatened to impact our community.

Fractional ownership is where multiple property buyers, generally organized under an umbrella corporation, purchase percentages of homes for the right to use the home part-time. Many residents have expressed concerns about noise, parking, high turnover, and other adverse neighborhood impacts that may arise with short-term stays.

In March, after months of effort by the City’s Planning Commission and extensive public input, the City Council voted unanimously to uphold a recommendation from the Planning Commission to broaden the definition of timeshare to include fractional homeownership. Since timeshare properties are not permitted in residential zones, the Council decision made them illegal in residential neighborhoods.

While the new ordinance applied to most of Newport Beach, neighborhoods in the coastal zone were subject to approval by the Coastal Commission to amend our Local Coastal Program (Title 21).

Fortunately, the Coastal Commission recognized the negative impacts that arise from fractional ownership and sided with the residents of Newport Beach to help preserve quality of life and neighborhood character in our coastal residential areas.

Arroyo Park Fields to Close for Artificial Turf Installation

Arroyo Park soccer and softball fields will be closed beginning Monday, Oct. 16 for a turf replacement project.

Crews will remove existing turf, regrade the fields, add additional drainage, and then install artificial sports turf, new landscaping and new irrigation.

The change in surfacing will provide many additional days for use of the fields at 1141 Bayswater Dr. and reduce maintenance and water usage. The project is expected to be completed by summer 2024.

County to Begin Annual Santa Ana River Outlet Dredging

This week, the County of Orange will begin its annual maintenance dredging of the Santa Ana River flood control channel outlet in coordination with Newport Beach’s Public Works Department and the State Lands Commission.

County crews will use heavy equipment at the Santa Ana River outlet to remove about 40,000 cubic yards of sand that naturally accumulates in the flood control channel outlet area. The dredged sand will be used to replenish beaches from the Santa Ana River to approximately 56th Street. Debris will be removed from the sand prior to placement on beach areas.

This routine maintenance is performed annually prior to the winter storm season to prevent water blockages and to minimize potential flood risks.

The work will take place Mondays through Fridays from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day through November 17.

Crews Finish Large Concrete Pour in Superior Ave. Bridge Construction

Last week, crews completed a major concrete pour for the new bridge under construction at Superior Avenue and Pacific Coast Highway. About 210 cubic yards of concrete — 21 trucks worth — was used to construct the bottom and sides of the bridge.

This critical operation (shown in the photo below) involved a team of 20 crew members using two large concrete pumps and 21 concrete trucks. The contractor, Reyes Construction, had to complete the work swiftly, as high strength concrete cures quickly in warmer weather. The work was completed while maintaining vehicular traffic under the bridge falsework (the wood and metal temporary framework).

In addition to the bridge concrete work, the contractor is making progress on the retaining wall that will be located along the back side of the parking lot facing Hoag Hospital. Crews excavated about 30 feet of soil to reach the below-ground elevation where the wall footing will be constructed. The excavated material, which will be used as backfill material for the retaining walls, is being stored on site as a large, temporary mound of soil.

The City appreciates the community’s continued patience throughout construction.

Public Input Sought on Proposed Newport Village Mixed-Use Development

The City is inviting public comment on a notice of preparation (NOP) for a proposed Newport Village Mixed-Use Project in the Mariners’ Mile area, on two parcels of land at 2000-2244 W. Coast Highway and 2001-2241 W. Coast Highway. The NOP helps determine what should be evaluated in the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the project.

The applicant proposes to construct a mixed-use development with 181 apartments and 17 condominiums, about 63,000 square feet of retail, restaurant and office space, and parking. Two existing structures at 2241 W. Coast Highway (Amaree’s building) and 2244 W. Coast Highway (office building) would remain, while other buildings would be demolished. A more detailed project description is available in the NOP.

Public input regarding what should be evaluated in the EIR will be accepted through November 13. The City will conduct a public scoping meeting where attendees can learn more about the EIR and provide comments on the scope of the information and analysis to be included in the EIR. The meeting will be at 6 p.m. on October 25, at the Friends Room in the Newport Beach Public Library, 1000 Avocado Ave.

An electronic copy of the notice of preparation is available online at Hard copies are available to view at City Hall and the City’s libraries.

Comments or other responses can be submitted by email or mail to Liz Westmoreland, Senior Planner, City of Newport Beach Community Development Department, 100 Civic Center Dr., Newport Beach, CA, 92660.

Be Well Mobile Crisis Response Update

The Be Well mobile crisis response team operates in Newport Beach 12 hours a day, 7 days a week to respond to mental and behavioral health crises. The mobile unit is staffed with mental health specialists and works closely with the City’s police and fire departments.

Last week, the Be Well team:

  • Collaborated with a family to house a person in a room available for rent.
  • Transported a person to the Costa Mesa Bridge Shelter.
  • Transported two people to a crisis stabilization facility to resolve a mental health crisis.
  • Transported a person to a hospital for treatment after resolving a mental health crisis.
  • Transported a person to their homeless services provider for assistance.

To reach Be Well: The mobile crisis team is dispatched through the Newport Beach Police Department. To request service, dial 911 or call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at (949) 644-3717.

Homelessness Update

Last week the City’s homeless outreach and response teams:

  • Continued to shelter people. Twenty-two people who had been experiencing homelessness in Newport Beach are sheltered in the Costa Mesa Bridge Shelter.
  • Collaborated with the Orange County Housing Authority to secure an apartment unit for a client.
  • Enrolled two clients into City Net’s social services and completed a referral to the Yale Navigation Center.
  • Transported a client to the Social Services office for an appointment.

Click here to view the latest homeless dashboard, which includes key monthly and yearly data on the City’s homeless response:

Click here for information on the City’s Good Giving program:


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