Newport Beach City Manager Update: Passing of Evelyn Hart, New Animal Shelter

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Grace Leung

By Grace Leung, Newport Beach City Manager

This week I would like to pay tribute to a Newport Beach legend who recently passed away at the age of 91, the Honorable Evelyn Hart.

Evelyn was a 71-year resident of Newport Beach who was deeply involved in civic life and community service for many decades. She served for 16 years on the City Council, including two terms as Mayor.

She has said that her proudest accomplishments on the Council were protecting open space and view corridors, such as the Back Bay view from PCH and Jamboree.

She was the lead negotiator on behalf of the City in the 1985 settlement agreement regarding John Wayne Airport, which has helped protect neighborhoods from airport impacts to this day. In later years, Evelyn stayed active in the ongoing effort to limit airport growth.

In the mid-2000s, she was instrumental in raising critical funds for the construction of the OASIS Senior Center, and today the Evelyn Hart Events Center bears her name in honor of that accomplishment.

She was named the Newport Beach Citizen of the Year in 2007.

Evelyn Hart. Photo by Sara Hall

In recent years, Evelyn was involved with a number of charitable groups and served as a governor’s appointee to two state boards. She worked as a volunteer with the Newport Beach Police Department and was a founding member of Friends of the Newport Beach Animal Shelter, and helped raise funds for the construction of the new shelter that was formally donated to the City this week.

She leaves a lasting legacy in Newport Beach and will be remembered fondly. You can read more about Evelyn Hart’s extraordinary life in her online obituary:

Council Accepts Donation of New City Animal Shelter

For the first time in Newport Beach’s history, the City has a permanent municipal animal shelter.

The City Council on Tuesday, Nov. 29, formally accepted the donation of a newly constructed animal shelter from Friends of Newport Beach Animal Shelter (FONBAS), a local nonprofit organization.

Over the past several years, FONBAS has raised about $3 million in private donations to purchase property at 20282 Riverside Dr. and construct a new animal care and shelter facility. Under the donation agreement, the City of Newport Beach will now manage, operate and maintain the shelter.

At the Newport Beach Animal Shelter “Topping Off” ceremony are (left to right) FONBAS board member Sharon Esterley, FONBAS board member Sandy Meadows, Newport Beach Councilmember Joy Brenner, Newport Beach Fire Chief Jeff Boyles, NBPD Lt. Joe Cartwright, Newport Beach Chief of Police Jon Lewis, NBPD Animal Control Supervisor Valerie Schomburg (holding Officer Bubbles), FONBAS board member Tom Fischbacher, Newport Beach Councilmember Diane Dixon, FONBAS board member Robyn Grant, FONBAS board president Jon Langford. Photo by Chris Trela

For decades, the City contracted with private companies to provide veterinary care and shelter services for stray and abandoned animals. In 2015, the Police Department began managing operations at a temporary shelter, and in 2017, FONBAS became the officially recognized nonprofit to assist with shelter activities and raise funds for capital projects.

For more information on shelter operations, please visit the NBPD website at

Permit Fee Waivers Extended for Construction of Accessory Dwelling Units

The City will continue an incentive program that waives some permit fees for the construction of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) and Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit (JADUs). On average, property owners save about $2,000 per unit.

At its November 29 meeting, the City Council voted to extend a temporary program that waives City plan check review fees, building construction permit review fees, and other City permit fees directly related to a project creating an accessory dwelling unit. To be eligible for a fee waiver, building permits for a new ADU or JADU must be secured prior to January 1, 2025.

The fee waiver complements other City programs intended to promote and facilitate ADU development to meet City housing goals.

Please visit for more information.

NBPD Offers Tips for Safer Holiday Shopping

The holiday season is upon us, and the busiest shopping days of the year are here. Whether you are out and about hunting for gifts or grocery shopping for your holiday recipes, remember to keep safety in mind.

Here are some tips from the Newport Beach Police Department:

  • Never leave your valuables unattended (phone, purse, wallet, etc.).
  • Wait until asked before taking out your credit card or checkbook. An enterprising thief would love to shoulder surf to get your account information.
  • Tell a security guard or store employee if you see an unattended bag or package. The same applies if you are using mass transit.
  • Carry a purse with a zipper. Deter pickpockets by carrying your purse in front of your body and keeping it zipped closed.
  • If you carry a wallet, keep it in an inner coat pocket or front pants pocket.
  • Pickpockets use distraction to create an opportunity to snatch your property, so be aware when someone gets into your personal space. Always try to keep your property in your line of sight whenever you are out and about.
  • Do not buy more than you can carry. If you know you will be getting more that you can manage on your own, plan to take a family member with you or ask a store employee to help you carry your packages to the car.
  • Have your keys in hand when approaching your vehicle. Check the back seat and around the car before getting in.
  • Do not leave anything in your car. If you must leave property in your car, place it in the trunk.
  • Once you get home, do not park your car outside your home with shopping bags left inside.

Trash, Recycling Collection to Stay on Regular Schedule for 2022 Holiday Season

Because Christmas Day and New Year’s Day fall on Sundays this year, there will be no changes or interruptions to trash and recycling collection services during these two holiday weeks.

All collection routes will be running on normal schedules, Monday through Friday.  Please place your containers out for collection on your regular service day.

As a reminder, free tree pickup will begin after Christmas. Please place Christmas trees at the curbside on your collection day. If possible, please place them inside your green carts for collection. Be sure to remove all lights, tinsel, ornaments and stands. Large trees over six feet tall should be cut in half.

For more information, please visit

Be Well Mobile Crisis Response Update

The Be Well mobile crisis response team operates in Newport Beach 12 hours a day, seven 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:

  • Responded to three instances in which housed, older adults were experiencing mental health crises. The team assisted and provided resources for ongoing care.
  • Attended the Newport Pier Farmer’s Market and educated community members on the services and resources Be Well provides.
  • Transported nine 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:

  • Housed an older adult who experienced homelessness for six years. The Costa Mesa Bridge Shelter staff provided housing services to locate a new apartment for him.
  • Reunified an older adult with his family. The Costa Mesa Bridge Shelter staff contacted his family to facilitate.
  • Reunified a man with his family in Colorado. The man experienced homelessness in Newport Beach for several months after suffering a mental health crisis.
  • Continued to shelter people. Eighteen people who had been experiencing homelessness in Newport Beach are now sheltered in the Costa Mesa Bridge Shelter.
  • Enrolled a new client into services and prepared a housing plan.

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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