By Amy Senk | Corona del Mar Today
The Newport Beach City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to establish off-street parking meter zones at Big Corona State Beach and at the Balboa parking lot, paving the way toward the installation of pay kiosks at those beach parking lots.
In February, the Council voted to spend $215,000 for 12 pay stations at Big Corona and 11 stations at the Balboa Pier. The total cost, including signs and counting loops to track vehicles, would be $440,000. The kiosks have been ordered, and city officials have said they hoped to have them installed by Memorial Day.
City Council member Nancy Gardner asked why the current fee structure described on the staff report remained at $15 per day, and $25 for holidays. The hope, she said, was to offer Big Corona visitors an hourly parking fee, which could bring the city revenue during winter months when parking typically is free because the parking booth is not staffed.
“We’re taking baby steps,” City Manager Dave Kiff said. “We are going to move in that direction, yes.”
Newport Beach resident Jim Mosher told the Council that the pay kiosks likely would need a California Coastal Commission permit.
“I don’t think it’s happening by Memorial Day, not legally,” he said.
Dan Matusiewicz, the city’s deputy finance director, has said that a Coastal Commission permit is not needed. Coastal Commission staff members could not immediately be reached to respond to questions seeking clarification.
The Council also voted to award a $124,800 contract to improve traffic lights along East Coast Highway and to award a $241,691 contract for water quality projects, including a Shorecliff Road catch basin modification, a Reef Point biofiltration system and Los Trancos Creek maintenance project.
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