Highlights from Tuesday night's Newport Beach City Council meeting:
- Planning Commissioner Robert Hawkins announced his resignation and told the City Council he filed two ethics complaints with the Fair Political Practices Commission in connection with Councilmen Mike Henn and Rush Hill's alleged conflict of interest that stems from their service on the Neighborhood Revitalization Committee. Hawkins also said he was not happy about other city planning issues. "I cannot serve on the planning commission with the direction of the city and with these conflicts so I hereby resign," Hawkins said. Later in the meeting, Henn responded to the claims and said he recused himself last month from the proceedings related to the Lido Village revitalization project. Hill also said he recently recused himself from agendas related to the West Newport and Mariner's Mile, saying, "I own property that is at one end of that project area." The City Council later approved general design and landscaping plans for the West Newport and Lido Village revitalization projects.
- Corona del Mar resident Michael Resk briefly addressed the council on behalf of his six hens -- dubbed The Goldenrod 6 -- which were thrust into the after a neighbor filed a noise complaint with the city. Resk thanked the council for reviewing a city ordinance that violated a city law that bans livestock or poultry. "I have become affectionately known as the "chicken man" and I want to thank the council and the mayor for reviewing this ordinance," Resk said. Mayor Nancy Gardner recommended the City Council hold a discussion about the ordinance and the chickens at next month's meeting. "Right now you are not allowed to have them, but I think it might be good to look at it and have that conversation," Gardner said.
- High School student Michael Connor told the City Council he is concerned about the safety of pedestrians using the crosswalk near Irvine Avenue and Margaret Drive near Newport Harbor High School. Connor said his sister was struck by a car there in 2007 and still suffers from neck and back pain and also has trouble sleeping. Most recently, was hit by an alleged intoxicated driver in December while she was in the crosswalk and remains in serious condition. "Is it possible for a stoplight to be placed there or can some other safety measure be installed?" Connor asked. "I hope you can act on this as soon as possible before another person is injured or killed." Councilman Rush Hill addressed Connor's concerns. "There is a plan in place that is in the process of being implemented," Hill said. "In a few weeks a flashing sign will be appearing there." Studies of speed control devices are also underway, an ongoing educational program among students is in the works, bus parking will be relocated and parking along the east side of Irvine Avenue during school hours may be eliminated, Hill reported.