Our municipal election season will start in earnest shortly after the State/Federal primaries on June 5. We encourage you to study all the candidates (and there are quite a few) and make informed choices at the ballot box on June 5.
After June 5, our municipal city council election will swing into full gear. You’ll see candidates at many events and meetings throughout the city. They will be working hard to raise awareness of their candidacy and raise funds for a successful campaign. And if we are lucky, maybe just a few will even take to heart the concerns you have about our city’s future, finances and overall vision, all of which directly impact that character and charm of our town and its neighborhoods.
There are also be important development projects that we need to monitor. Koll Center Residences, a high-rise complex spanning across three towers in the Airport Area near Jamboree and Birch, will be coming back again for its Planning Commission Study Session redo. The initial study session was abruptly halted mid-meeting as several commissioners identified their financial conflicts of interest in this project.
Many of you drive by Shopoff’s Uptown Newport project, growing by leaps and bounds, in that very same Jamboree corridor. Residences, retail shops more are being jammed in between several high-rise commercial centers. And just a block or two away, our neighbors in Irvine keep building more and more high-density projects from our shared boundary line to its northernmost city limits.
You can count on more traffic clogging our arterial roads as these residential and commercial projects come on line.
There is talk of a Newport Beach General Plan Update, but none of our city leaders are anxious to tackle that in the midst of our election cycle. And why is that?
City Manager Transition
Meanwhile, we are all gearing up for an unexpected change in our city manager who is leaving at least six months ahead of his employment contract expiration. To say the circumstances surrounding his departure are “murky” is an understatement at the very least. We have an opportunity to provide input on what we think are important skills and attributes for someone who manages a roughly $300,000,000 operating budget each year. But given the lack of transparency that pervades our local government, it is unlikely our input will find its way into the transition process in any meaningful fashion.
Line in the Sand has been publicly quiet for the early part of this year for a variety of reasons, including using the time to study issues, development projects and candidates. But we won’t be quiet for the rest of the year. You can count on hearing from us on a regular basis on a variety of topics we feel are important for the long-term health of our home town.
Stay informed, visit our website, follow us on social media, and encourage your like-minded friends and neighbors to subscribe to our E-News updates. Your engagement in these issues is vitally important now and through the balance of this year. We thank you for your past support and willingness to talk about and tackle the big, important issues.
We are all in this together, and together we can effect positive change.
The beautiful heritage of Newport Beach is at risk again this year. Recruiting a new city manager, electing new or incumbent city council members, and approvals of ever-expanding development projects – all will remain on Line in the Sand’s radar and we hope yours as well.
Engage with your neighbors on these issues, schedule time with your council members and key city staff for meaningful conversations about your vision for our city’s future. And when you can, donate to candidates and organizations who will help us achieve our common vision of preserving the character and charm of our Home Town.
We need to draw that line in the sand that says “this far and no farther”?
Disregard for the Public
Why are our City officials chipping away at the very things that are important to those who chose them to lead? Why is this happening?
Ignoring Policies & Guidelines
Why do our City officials allow never‐ending exceptions and modifications to our planning policies and guidelines, effectively allowing developers to dictate height and density allowances?
Become an E-News Subscriber
We’ll keep you in the know about upcoming plans and activities on the topic of high-rise and high-density solutions for Our Town.
This is especially important as the City is preparing to embark on its General Plan Update process which will formalize the vision of Our Town for years to come. We cannot afford to overlook or underestimate this opportunity. We must work together to find common ground on the vision of Our Town.
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