The Week in Review from Newport Beach City Manager Grace Leung

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City Manager Grace Leung

NOTE: This Week in Review is provided every Friday by Newport Beach City Manager Grace Leung

Community News

The 2020 Census is moving into the final stages as door-to-door census takers are being deployed through the end of September. Census takers will be visiting households (including live-aboard boaters in Newport Harbor) that have not yet responded online, by phone or by mail.

Community members can still respond via phone or internet until September 30 to avoid a knock on the door. Newport Beach is still behind Orange County and the nation in its census response. If you haven’t done so, I encourage you to respond at my2020census.gov or (844) 330-2020.

The City continues to work to contain the potential impacts of John Wayne Airport’s General Aviation Improvement Program (GAIP).

On August 11, the Orange County Board of Supervisors selected the private companies that will build out and operate the airport’s new general aviation facilities. Known as Fixed Base Operators (FBOs), the companies will enter into 35-year leases with the County.

As Newport Beach’s long-term neighbors, we strongly believe their leases must contain certain provisions to balance FBO operations with protections for the surrounding communities. We communicated the City’s desired lease terms prior to the Board meeting and expected a resolution on our recommendations that day. However, after the Board selected the FBOs, Supervisor Steel raised Newport Beach’s requested lease terms, but other Supervisors felt it was not appropriate to discuss them at that time, citing potential legal and regulatory issues.

Supervisor Steel has informed us that the Board’s Airport Ad Hoc Committee, which is comprised of Supervisors Steel and Bartlett, will discuss and finalize the lease terms and then provide direction to the Airport Director. The full Board is expected to approve the final, negotiated leases in the fourth quarter of this year.

The Board’s August 11 action did include lease language that preserves more than 34 acres for the smaller and quieter GA aircraft and sets aside the remaining 25+ acres for storing the larger GA aircraft, such as private jets.

We are very appreciative of the Board’s commitment to this important provision. In addition, the City continues to communicate and advocate the inclusion of lease terms that will:

  • Prohibit the operation of a General Aviation Facility (the space used for processing international passengers).
  • Prohibit commercial airlines, such as JetSuiteX, from operating out of an FBO.
  • Restrict the operational hours of the FBOs to match the hours of the commercial curfew.

Further, the City is asking for a requirement that any future lease amendments pertaining to these provisions be approved by the Board of Supervisors. You can find more information about the City’s efforts at www.newportbeachca.gov/gaip.

COVID-19 Cases in Newport Beach

The number of COVID-19 cases in Newport Beach as of August 13 was 930 and the total cases in Orange County was 42,171. The number of recovered COVID-19 patients countywide as of August 13 was 32,984.

These figures are provided to Orange County by the California Department of Public Health. The State reports that recent issues with the California Department of Public Health’s electronic laboratory reporting system have been resolved, and that the case counts are now up to date.

COVID-19 News and Resources

The State’s “COVID-19 Employer Playbook” includes guidance for workplace safety, best practices for an outbreak, testing information for employees, and more. The document, available at https://files.covid19.ca.gov/pdf/employer-playbook-for-safe-reopening–en.pdf, provides useful information for business and industry to slow the transmission of COVID-19 and prepare for cases among employees.

The County of Orange continues to add new COVID-19 data and information to its website at https://occovid19.ochealthinfo.com/coronavirus-in-oc.

The County of Orange Healthcare Agency’s COVID-19 Hotline can be reached at (714) 834-2000, or by email at [email protected] County staff monitors the hotline and email box and answers questions about industry reopening and activity resumption, current guidance and more.

The County also maintains a growing list of FDA-approved testing sites for County residents who are showing symptoms of COVID-19. If you are showing symptoms, please contact your healthcare provider for testing information first. If you do not have a healthcare provider, visit https://occovid19.ochealthinfo.com/covid-19-testing-and-screening for testing information. The SOS Health Center in Newport Beach is an approved community testing site. Call (949) 270-2100 for an appointment.

Please visit newportbeachca.gov/covid19 for the latest City news and useful web resources, including information about the federal, state, and county resources available to help small businesses and workers that have been financially impacted. We also have a page of free resources available through the Newport Beach Public Library and local organizations like SCORE, including online learning and business databases. You can also follow the City on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and look for alerts from our City staff on Nextdoor.

CDBG Economic Development Grant Program

The City is inviting qualified small business owners to apply for a second round of COVID-19 relief grants. Applications will be accepted between August 14, 2020, at 9 a.m. and August 28, 2020, at 5 p.m. The latest round of funding, about $470,000, is from the City’s allocation of federal Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) as well as CARES Act funds received through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

To be eligible to apply for the grants, a business will need to demonstrate the need for financial support that is directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic (for example, being forced to shut down and/or had to lay off employees). Under CDBG requirements, the business must also meet certain low-income criteria for the owner or employees. For more information or to watch one of the informational webinars on the grant program please visit www.newportbeachca.gov/cdbgedgrant.

CDD Second Quarter Report (April – June 2020)

The Community Development Department Second Quarter Activity Report is now available at www.newportbeachca.gov/cdd. The report compiles operational statistics to illustrate the volume of business activity that the department handles on a quarterly basis. This past quarter, CDD faced operational challenges due to the COVID-19 crisis. Staff worked out logistics on how to safely maintain development services for the community during the closure and for a brief reopening in May, which limited customer access into the Permit Center. Staff continued to improve the Project Submittal Instructional website to provide alternatives to the public with submitting projects online, or through a “bin” drop-off and pick-up system for applications and plans.

Circulation Element Update

At its regular meeting on August 20, 2020, the Planning Commission will review and discuss its newly assigned task of discussing and guiding policy changes related to transportation and circulation within a public forum for the Circulation Element update. The meetings will serve as one of several ways the public can participate in the discussion of community transportation and circulation issues. As a note, the Planning Commission meetings will not serve as the primary means of community outreach, rather these meetings will supplement the work of the Housing Element Update Advisory Committee (HEUAC) and will serve as an additional opportunity for public participation.

The Planning Commission is scheduled to review this item and provide any necessary direction to staff at a regular meeting to be held at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, August 20, 2020, at the City of Newport Beach Council Chambers, 100 Civic Center Drive. The staff report and agenda can be found at https://www.newportbeachca.gov/PLN/planning_commission/current_agenda.pdf.

For questions regarding this item, please contact Ben Zdeba, AICP, Senior Planner at (949) 644-3253 or [email protected] or Jim Campbell, Deputy Community Development Director at (949) 644-3210 or [email protected] Homelessness Update

Addressing homelessness continues to be a priority in the City’s ongoing COVID-19 response, working closely with contractor City Net and regional partners throughout the county and state. Recently, people in Newport Beach experiencing homelessness have been placed in motels through Project Roomkey, a state initiative to provide shelter during COVID-19. Newport Beach staff and City Net staff are collaborating with the Illumination Foundation, a local non-profit agency working with the state to facilitate Project Roomkey.

Success Stories:

  • A longtime Newport Beach resident who has experienced homelessness for many years was enrolled into a sober living home. He completed a medical detoxification program to qualify. With his new sobriety, the man accepted a job offer with his former employer and is working again. His ongoing case management is a collaborative effort between the Newport Beach Police Department’s Homeless Liaison Officer, the City’s Homeless Coordinator, City Net case managers, and staff from Share Our Selves.
  • Staff placed a man into Project Roomkey and coordinated transportation to the motel. Staff continues to provide them with housing assistance and case management.
  • City Net staff completed five Vulnerability Index Intake Assessments, used to screen clients to determine proper placement in the County’s Continuum of Care system. Some assessment factors include age, health issues, and length of time being unsheltered. Case managers will follow up with the clients to provide housing assessments and prepare documentation for housing.
  • City Net staff continues to provide support and case management to several elderly people sheltering in motels while they await placement into permanent, supportive housing.

The City Net hotline number is (714) 451-6198. Those who call the hotline may leave a detailed voicemail message for themselves or others in need and City Net staff will respond within 48 hours. For immediate assistance call the County’s Crisis Prevention Hotline at (877) 7-CRISIS or (877) 727-4747. To enroll in Project Roomkey, call (714) 834-3000.

OASIS Senior Center Activities & Assistance

Although OASIS remains closed to “in person” activities, staff is very much available to assist the senior community in a variety of ways. Services such as transportation, meals-on-wheels, information and referral, senior assessments, medical Insurance counseling, legal information, medical equipment loan program, sharps container distribution, and friendly phone calls are just a few services that are being offered. Staff has also developed an array of virtual programs that one can Zoom into and join. A few examples are a “Coffee Talk with staff”, “Best Vacation I’ve Ever Had” discussion, and “DIY Flower Arranging” and health lectures. Additionally, on demand programs have been posted on the OASIS webpage to include “Cooking with Staff” demos, “Car Care Tips”, and “Weekly Brain Teasers”. It’s our ongoing goal to help our older adult population stay connected while “staying at home”. For more information and assistance please call the center Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 949-644-3244 or online at www.newportbeachca.gov/OASIS so we can assist you.

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