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City Council Talks a New Hotel, Military Flyovers and Paddleboards

A roundup of news from Tuesday night's Newport Beach City Council meeting.

The Newport Beach City Council met Tuesday night. Here are some of the highlights from the city council session.

  • The current Newport Beach City Hall will be vacated in either January of February when the city moves to its new home at the new civic center. The council voiced their desire to have staff look into the possibility of a hotel being built at the old City Hall location. In addition, council members said as a back-up they will also look into a 99-unit residential development that could include a mixture of retail and residential components. According to a city study, a 120-room hotel could generate $362 million in 10 years, while the residential development would contribute about $30 million in retail spending. Councilman Ed Selich said having more than one option is a smart move saying, "to compare them and allow us to make a better decision."
  • Council members denied a recommendation for the Harbor Commission to pursue regulations and education efforts on stand-up paddleboarding in the Newport Harbor. Councilwoman Leslie Daigle stated at the meeting she has received various comments regarding crowding in the harbor and safety concerns on both sides of the argument to pursue regulations and education efforts. "Perhaps more concern was raised than necessary," Mayor Nancy Gardner said. "I think the focus should be education rather than regulations." Councilman Steve Rosansky added, "It's a valid concern but I don't think that it's something that we need to get into right now."
  • Council members also denied a recommendation to pursue an amendment to municipal codes to request the military to provide the city with notice of any non-emergency flyovers.
  • The Balboa Village Master Plan was approved by the city council, on the condition that recreational vehicle parking in the Balboa Pier parking lot during the off-season not be in the plans. The plan identifies actions required to revitalize the village which include transforming Balboa Village into a "unique destination between the bay and sea where history meets the excitement of the future,” according to the vision statement. The plan also proposes renaming the village to the  “Balboa Village Fun Zone.”  Additional recommendations for the plan include removing time limits for all parking meter spaces and establishing an overnight residential parking permit program between 7th and Adam streets.

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