Newport Beach City Manager Update: High Fire Severity Zone, Storm Response

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Grace Leung, Newport Beach City Manager

By Grace Leung, Newport Beach City Manager

On Tuesday, November 15, the City Council approved the 2022 California building standards codes and California fire codes, which regulate the design and construction of structures to protect life and property.

The state adopts new codes every three years, and cities are required to adopt the same codes with specific amendments as deemed necessary by local communities.

While much of the building and fire code updates apply to new construction, there are requirements for existing structures located in Newport Beach’s established Very High Fire Severity Zone:

The 2022 codes will become part of the City’s municipal code effective January 1, 2023.

The new requirements for property owners in Newport Beach’s Very High Fire Severity Zone include:

  • Installation of 1/8” mesh screening to protect ventilation openings from ember intrusion in the event of a wildfire. This helps protect homes and other structures from flying, hot embers during a wind-driven wildfire.
  • Trim existing trees from hanging over or touching structures to reduce burning vegetation from igniting structures. The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety, in cooperation with the National Fire Protection Association, recommends the clearance of all trees within 5 feet of structures to reduce the spread of burning vegetation.
  • Create and maintain a 1-foot wide, noncombustible zone at the base of new and existing structures to prevent falling embers from igniting structures.

For more information on the 2022 codes, please see the City Council’s November 15 archived agenda at  Those who own property in urban-wildlife interface areas can visit this page for more information:

All residents are encouraged to become familiar with basic fire prevention recommendations and fire safety tips from the Newport Beach Fire Department:

For questions or assistance, please contact Fire Marshall Kevin Bass by email at [email protected] or call (949) 644-3106.

City Manager, Grace K. Leung

Dog Park Renovations Now Complete

The dog park was closed for major maintenance work for the first time since it opened in May 2014. The City’s contractor replaced the synthetic turf, drinking water fountains, and fence screens. Work also included repainting the fencing and signage, repairing uplifted sidewalk, and installing two new shade structures in the Small Dog Park Area. The City appreciates the community’s patience during this maintenance closure.

Shredding / E-Waste Event Helped Divert 12 Tons of Materials from Landfills

On October 22, 2022, the Public Works Department held a paper shredding/e-waste recycling event at the Big Canyon Reservoir parking lot, located near Harbor Day School. The event was open to all residents and supported recycling and waste diversion efforts, resulting in the diversion of over two tons of e-waste and 10 tons of shredded material. The City partnered with volunteers from Sage Hill High School on the e-waste diversion efforts, as well as CR&R to provide residents complimentary organics kitchen pails. The City hosts paper shredding /e-waste recycling events twice each year. The next event will be held in spring 2023.

Also, residents that are customers of CR&R can schedule doorstep collection for the following items at any time, year-round, at no charge:

  • E-waste – examples: computers, televisions, printers, cell phones
  • Bulky items – examples: couches, chairs, beds, dressers (Up to 5 items, 5 times per year)
  • Household hazardous waste – examples: batteries, car care products, paints and paint thinners, cleaning supplies, pesticides, lightbulbs
  • Sharps – examples: syringes, needles, autoinjectors– (All Newport Beach residents can receive one free sharps container with pre-paid postage and return box every three months)

To schedule collection for the proper recycling of any of these items, please call CR&R at (949) 667-4158.

If residents have questions about source separation, recent, recycling-related legislation, or event information, please visit the City of Newport Beach website at or contact Refuse Manager Charles Springer at (949) 718-3466 or [email protected].

City Storm Response Efforts

Last week’s stormy weather kept the City’s staff and contractors busy with tree and beach-related clean-up efforts. A total of 11 tree incidents were reported, with eight of those being City trees that failed and were removed. No property damage was reported as a result of the tree failures. Throughout the storm, staff routinely patrolled city streets, on the lookout for excess debris and downed palm fronds, both public and private.

The storm brought high winds along the coast and beaches, reaching speeds of 35 to 40 miles per hour. This caused high volumes of sand to accumulate in the Newport Pier parking lot, as well as along the boardwalk and streets ends from 24th Street to Orange Street.

The City’s sand clean-up efforts involved two bobcats with sweeper attachments, as well as a two-person crew on the ground to shovel and sweep areas inaccessible to the larger equipment. The collected sand is placed back on the beach and the final step involves placing clean sand over the deposited sand. Typically, these efforts take two weeks to complete.

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 EMTs, and works closely with the City’s police and fire departments.

This week the Be Well team:

  • Transported one person to the Be Well sobering station for treatment.
  • Transported one person to a crisis stabilization unit for treatment.
  • Reunited a lost child with the parents in a park.
  • Transported six people to services, shelter intakes, and appointments.

Homelessness Update

The City of Newport Beach provides a comprehensive response to address homelessness through a coordinated effort by City staff, contractors, partner agencies, and nonprofit groups.

This week, the City’s homeless outreach and response teams:

  • Sheltered an older adult in a motel to prepare for her housing placement appointment. The OASIS Senior Center staff loaned her a walker to ease her mobility issues. Be Well provided transportation after the appointment.
  • Continued to shelter people. Twenty people who had been experiencing homelessness in Newport Beach are now sheltered in the Costa Mesa Bridge Shelter.
  • Enrolled an older adult and her daughter into the County’s Coordinated Entry System for housing, and assisted the mother with applying for Social Security Survivor’s Benefits.
  • Completed two enrollment applications for people waiting to enter the Yale Navigation Center.
  • Enrolled a new client into services.
  • Referred a man to the Veteran’s Administration for services and completed a housing voucher application with another older veteran.

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




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