By Grace Leung, Newport Beach City Manager
The next City Council meeting is Tuesday, July 25. Items of interest are highlighted below. The entire agenda and reports can be viewed here: https://newportbeachca.gov/Home/Components/Calendar/Event/71685/72.
The regular meeting will begin at 4:30 p.m. Agenda items include:
- Consideration of an appeal to a June 22 Planning Commission decision related to a soil gas remediation project at the former Ford Aeronutronic facility. The former facility, which operated for about three decades on about 200 acres bound by Bison Avenue to the north, MacArthur Boulevard to the east, Ford Road to the south, and Jamboree Road to the west, was used for aerospace and electronic research, development and production by the Ford Motor Co. Under the oversight of the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board, cleanup and remediation efforts were made to address environmental impacts of past facility operations before the site was redeveloped with residential housing in the 1990s. However, in 2016, levels of volatile organic compounds were determined to be above screening levels, warranting action. The proposed solution is a soil vapor extraction and treatment system consisting of a small building, an underground pipe network, and 13 extraction wells, which would operate for about 12 months. The City granted a limited term permit to allow construction of the remediation system, which has been appealed by several area residents. In June, the Planning Commission voted to uphold the permit.
- A proposed amendment to the Newport Place Planned Community and introduction of an ordinance to change the minimum affordable housing inclusionary requirement from 30 percent to 15 percent. Newport Place, about 145 acres of land near John Wayne Airport, has been identified as a possible location for future residential housing development opportunities. In 2022, a study from a City consultant concluded that inclusionary housing percentages higher than 15 percent would likely render most residential projects financially infeasible.
- A resolution to allow collection of certain sewer and recycling fees and charges through the property tax roll. About 5,300 Newport Beach households are sewer and/or recycling only customers and do not receive a City utility bill. This is the second year these charges would be placed on the property tax roll. Adding sewer and recycling charges on property tax rolls is a common practice in California local agencies for customers who do not receive electric and/or water service from the billing agency.
City Council Meeting Information
The Newport Beach City Council meets on the second and fourth Tuesdays of most months (the exceptions are August and December). Typically, there is a Study Session that starts at 4 p.m. Study sessions are times for the Council to take a deeper look at a specific issue, or hear a presentation, that might eventually lead to a specific and more formal action. A closed session often follows the Study Session. Closed sessions are typically to address legal, personnel, and other matters where additional confidentiality is important.
The Regular (evening) Session typically starts at 6 p.m., and often has a specific listing of different items ready for formal votes. Items on the “Consent Calendar” are heard all at once, unless a Council member has removed (aka “pulled”) an item from the Consent Calendar for specific discussion and separate vote. If an item on the agenda is recommended to be “continued,” it means that the item won’t be heard nor voted on that evening, but will be pushed forward to another noticed meeting.
Public Comment is welcomed at both the Study Session and the Regular Session. The public can comment on any item on the agenda. If you want to comment on a Consent Calendar item that was not pulled from the Consent Calendar by a Council Member, you will want to do so at the time listed on the agenda – right before the Council votes on the entire Consent Calendar (it’s Roman Numeral XIII on the posted agenda). If an item is pulled, the Mayor will offer that members of the public can comment as that specific item is heard separately.
Additionally, there is a specific section of Public Comment for items not on the agenda, but on a subject of some relationship to the city government. If you cannot attend a meeting and/or want to communicate with the City Council directly, this e-mail gets to all of them: [email protected]. The City Manager also gets a copy of the email, because in almost all cases it’s something that the City Manager follows-up on.
The Council meets in the Council Chambers at 100 Civic Center Drive, off of Avocado between San Miguel and East Coast Highway. There is plenty of parking in the parking structure. You are always welcome to attend in person, but you can also watch on TV, Spectrum channel 30 and Cox channel 852 or stream it on your computer.
This Insider’s Guide is not an attempt to summarize every item on the Agenda – just the ones that seem of specific interest to the City Manager. You are encouraged to read the full agenda if you wish.