By Grace Leung, Newport Beach City Manager
As the number of new COVID-19 cases begins to decline throughout Orange County, Newport Beach’s permit counter, revenue operations and community centers will reopen to the public beginning Monday, January 31.
These services had been limited to virtual and drop-off only on January 3 in response to the recent COVID surge. However, because community transmission remains high, the public is encouraged to conduct business remotely whenever possible. The State’s mask mandate remains in effect for the City’s public facilities.
With the City Council approval this week of a General Plan Update Steering Committee, we are inviting residents to apply. This three-member committee is critical to the success of the City’s comprehensive General Plan update, which was last conducted in 2006.
The Steering Committee will lead the overall General Plan update effort and make recommendations to the City Council, provide oversight of a larger policy advisory committee and provide periodic reports to the City Council. Any Newport Beach resident who is a registered voter may apply at this link. The deadline is February 16.
Organic Waste Recycling Rollout to Begin Next Week
Beginning in the first week of February, Newport Beach residents will begin to receive green-top carts for state-mandated organic waste recycling, which includes yard waste and food scraps. To find out when your organic cart will be delivered, visit www.newportbeachca.gov/recycle and enter your address in the search function at the top of the page.
The new program will utilize three separate carts: one for solid waste, one for mixed recyclables, and a third for organic waste recycling, which includes food waste and landscaping waste items.
Between February 1 and March 31, residents will begin receiving new, green-top recycling containers for organic waste, an optional two-gallon bucket for kitchen scraps, and educational materials on how to recycle properly.
Organic waste recycling is now mandatory under state law, to reduce the impact on landfills and reduce greenhouse gases produced by the decomposition of organic waste. For more information on the new program visit www.newportbeachca.gov/recycle. To find out if your collection day has changed, visit www.newportbeachca.gov/findmycollectionday.
Street Sweeping Changes Start Next Week in Some Neighborhoods
Starting February 1, the City’s street sweeping program will switch days of the week on portions of Balboa Peninsula (21st street to G street) and Corona del Mar (north of Coast Hwy). Also, the neighborhoods of Irvine Terrance, the Port Streets and the north tip of Newport Heights are being changed.
This will accommodate the changes in the new trash and recycling collection days. These changes will avoid conflicts, address parking conditions, and maintain street sweeping effectiveness. Updated signage was installed this week and there will be a two-week parking enforcement transitional grace period.
For more information on the changes to street sweeping, visit www.newportbeachca.gov/2022sweeping or call the City’s Utilities Department regarding any Street Sweeping inquiries at (949) 644-3011.
COVID-19 Cases in Newport Beach
As of January 27, the total cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Newport Beach was 8,883, an increase of 409 cases since January 20. The total number of cases in Orange County as of January 27 was 503,292, an increase of 37,185 cases since January 20. The number of recovered COVID-19 patients countywide as of January 20 was 357,191. These figures are provided to Orange County by the California Department of Public Health.
Testing and Vaccination Resources
Self-collection, at-home COVID-19 Test Kits are available at no cost to people who work or live in Orange County, and can be ordered online at www.ochealthinfo.com/covidtest. In addition, free tests are now available from the federal government through www.COVIDtests.gov or by calling (800) 232-0233. You can order up to four rapid tests to be sent to your home address, which will be mailed at no cost through the U.S. Postal Service within 7 to 12 days.
Vaccines continue to be widely available throughout Orange County for walk-in, same day and future appointments. Individuals who are not yet vaccinated or boosted against COVID-19, or are eligible for a third dose (due to immunocompromise conditions) are encouraged to visit a local pharmacy or healthcare provider, or go online to www.Vaccines.gov, www.MyTurn.ca.gov or www.Othena.com, to schedule a vaccination appointment. For more information on COVID-19 information and resources, including case counts, vaccination and testing in Orange County, visit ochealthinfo.com/covid.
CDBG Notice of Funding Availability
The Notice of Funding Availability for fiscal year 2022-2023 was published on January 15 for the federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program.
The City receives funding each year from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development to benefit persons of low- and moderate- income (households earning less than 80 percent of the median income in Orange County).
The Community Development Department will be accepting applications from nonprofit organizations seeking to provide CDBG eligible programs and public services, including fair housing services. Additional information can be found on the City’s website at https://www.newportbeachca.gov/government/departments/community-development-/community-development-block-grant-cdbg/cdbg-notice-of-funding-availability. Completed applications will be accepted until 2 p.m. on Friday, February 18.
West Balboa Island Utility Undergrounding Nearly Complete
Utility undergrounding work on West Balboa Island continues to progress. The contractor is currently busy wrapping up work on Agate Avenue. Last week, the contractor was able to set a vault adjacent to the Carol Beek Center and finish all conduit installation on Agate Avenue.
Pavement restoration is being addressed this week as the contractor is preparing to have Agate Avenue open to all traffic by end of the day Friday, January 28.
Jamboree Construction to Begin February 6 with Nighttime Closures
Beginning on Sunday, February 6, construction work will require nightly closures of northbound Jamboree Road between Bayside Drive and East Coast Highway for about eight weeks. Southbound lanes will remain open, and northbound traffic will be directed to Bayside Drive as an alternate route.
The northbound lanes in this area will be closed from 8:30 p.m. to 6 a.m. Sundays through Thursdays. The project, to replace a large, nearly 100-year-old water main that serves the entire city, is being done at night to minimize traffic disruption during the day.
Volunteers Needed for Homeless Point in Time Count
Sign up to help shape homeless services in Orange County for the next several years as part of the Point in Time Count, February 22 through February 24.
Point in Time is a biennial count of people experiencing homelessness on a given night. The count provides vital information that helps the County better understand homelessness in the community and guides the way the County and its partners respond to homelessness in Orange County.
Volunteer opportunities are available leading up to the event and during the Point in Time Count event. Sign up at https://www.everyonecountsoc.org/.
- City Net, Newport Beach’s contract social services agency, processed an application and security deposit for a senior apartment for a woman who was awarded an Emergency Housing Voucher. Emergency Housing Vouchers are funded by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and allow people to pay affordable rent based on their fixed incomes. Nine people experiencing homelessness in Newport Beach have been awarded vouchers. The voucher program is administered by the Orange County Housing Authority. City Net is assisting Newport Beach clients with completing the necessary paperwork, obtaining bank statements, touring potential rental apartments, and more.
- 17 people who had been experiencing homelessness in Newport Beach are now sheltered in the Costa Mesa Bridge Shelter.
- City Net referred a man to a sober living program.
- City Net enrolled one person into their services and completed a Vulnerability Index Assessment. City Net utilizes the Vulnerability Index Assessment to screen clients on a number of factors to determine proper placement in the County’s Continuum of Care system. Some factors include age, health issues, and length of time being unsheltered.
- City Net enrolled a man into Telehealth mental health counseling.
To donate to those experiencing homelessness in Newport Beach, please visit our Good Giving Program web page at https://newportbeachca.gov/trending/community-issues/homelessness/how-you-can-help.