Council OKs converting portion of parking garage to medical office, local community center improvements, public pier replacement

By SARA HALL

Although the meeting was short and had very little discussion on the various issues up for consideration, there were several interesting items on the consent calendar and the regular agenda for the Newport Beach City Council this week.

At the Tuesday (Jan. 23) regular meeting, council approved: Plans to convert a portion of an underground parking garage into a medical office at 20 Corporate Plaza; a $489,860 construction contract for Bonita Creek Community Center improvements; $244,890 construction contract for the 29th Street public pier replacement project, and establishing the Technology Implementation and Integration Ad Hoc Committee.

During the only item on the agenda as regular business, council unanimously approved the Baldwin & Sons Medical Office at 20 Corporate Plaza.

Plans call to convert a portion of a private, underground 28-space parking garage at 20 Corporate Plaza into a 5,081-square-foot medical office, explained Associate Planner Joselyn Perez. Work will reconfigure the site to accommodate both ground level and parking garage entrances, widening the driveway access ramp and re-striping the parking garage. In total, 12 parking spaces will be lost to accommodate the new office with 16 parking spaces remaining.

Tuesday’s approval also included increasing the project site’s development intensity by 2,711 square feet, with a maximum limit of 471,591 square feet, and allowing medical office as a permitted use. Council also approved a resolution for a conditional use permit to waive four required parking spaces for the medical office.

Perez explained that the property is located within the approximately 48-acre Corporate Plaza Planned Community, which is bordered by Civic Center Drive, Avocado Avenue, East Coast Highway and Newport Center Drive. The planned community is developed office park with shared common parking areas and provides areas appropriate for the development of professional, business and medical offices with limited supporting commercial.

The project site is located near the center of the larger office park and is currently developed as a single-story, 8,411-square-foot office building with the parking garage.

The initial building design included the garage to provide sufficient onsite parking to facilitate a future building expansion, Perez explained.

“While the building was constructed within the last 10 years, the building owners always anticipated doing a future addition,” she said. “They designed the building with this extra parking garage in anticipation of providing the required parking when a project did come forward.”

The Irvine Company previously initiated a transfer of development rights, which was approved in 2015, and transferred 15,468 square feet of office intensity out of the Corporate Plaza PC and into the North Newport Center Planned Community. Staff note in the report that the transfer action left only 2,379 square feet of unbuilt intensity, which is not enough for the proposed 5,081-square-foot medical office, therefore a general plan amendment is required.

Corporate Plaza Planned Community does not currently allow medical offices in that building site, which is why council is also being asked to amend the allowed uses.

The conditional use permit is required because the applicant is requesting to waive a portion of the required off-street parking.

The Planning Commission approved the project on December 21.

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File photo/Courtesy of City of Newport Beach

Council approved a construction contract this week for improvements to the Bonita Creek Community Center

Earlier in the meeting, councilmembers voted 7-0 on Tuesday and approved the entire consent calendar (items considered routine and usually voted in one motion without discussion unless a councilmember pulls the item – nothing was pulled from the calendar on Tuesday).

Part of the action included approval of a $489,860 construction contract with R Dependable Construction, Inc., of San Bernardino, for Bonita Creek Community Center improvements.

The item also included establishing a contingency of $75,000 (approximately 15% of total bid) to cover the cost of unforeseen work not included in the original contract.

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Plans call for concrete work, IT installations, adding automatic locks to the restroom doors, replacing floor and ceiling tiles, painting, upgrading to new light emitting diodes (LED) light fixtures and controls, and replacing the existing built-up roof and fascias.

As part of the annual facilities maintenance master plan program, staff identified the 35-year-old community center, located in Bonita Creek Park, as needing repairs. The facility is deteriorating due to age, according to city staff.

The city received 16 bids and R Dependable Construction Inc. submitted a bid that was 22% lower than the engineer’s estimate of $629,000 (which was based on recently priced bids for similar work). The highest bid was from Klassic Engineering & Construction Inc. for $804,850.

Staff found that R Dependable Construction has the appropriate license and has satisfactorily completed similar projects for other local agencies and school districts.

The company has 75 consecutive working days to complete the work, which is scheduled to start in spring.

Also on the consent calendar, council approved a $244,890 construction contract for the 29th Street public pier replacement project.

The action included project plans and specifications as well as the agreement with Swift Slip Dock & Pier Builders, Inc., of Westminster.

A contingency of $24,500 (approximately 10% of total bid) was also established to cover the cost of unforeseen work not included in the original contract.

Plans call for the demolition of the existing and non-operational city float at 29th Street and Lafayette on the Balboa Peninsula and replacing it with a new public pier platform, 30-foot gangway, and a 40-foot single-finger float centered at the street end. The new pier will enhance public access from the Cannery Village area to and from the water and will accommodate up to four, smaller-sized vessels.

The city received three bids and Swift submitted a bid that was 37% below the engineer’s estimate of $388,500. The difference was primarily attributed to local sourcing for barge services and minimizing the mobilization expenses, staff note in the report.

Staff found that Swift has the appropriate license classification as required by the project specifications and has satisfactorily completed similar contracts for the city and other municipalities. Swift is also currently one of Newport Beach’s on-call contractors for repair and maintenance of the city’s public docks.

The company has 100 consecutive working days to complete the work. Although the actual dock construction will likely take a minimal amount of time, the lead time for the piles and gangway could be significant. It is anticipated the project would be completed before the summer season for maximum boater utilization.

During another item on the consent calendar, council voted to establish the Technology Implementation and Integration Ad Hoc Committee.

The action also confirmed Mayor Will O’Neill’s appointments of himself, Mayor Pro Tem Joe Stapleton and Councilmember Lauren Kleiman to serve on the committee.

The aim of the group is to work with staff to develop recommendations regarding modern technology options that would enhance and improve public safety in Newport Beach, according to the staff report.

At the January 9 council meeting, during matters which councilmembers have asked to be placed on a future agenda, O’Neill asked the council to consider forming the committee. The council agreed 7-0 in a straw vote.

Following up on a public comment this week, O’Neill modified the action so that the group is set to sunset after it makes a recommendation to council or at the end of October.

Earlier in the meeting, O’Neill had another item he asked the council to place on a future study session agenda: “Consider conducting a study session to discuss whether the benefits of membership in the League of California Cities (Cal Cities) outweighs the downside of Cal Cities’ consistent policy positions that contradict resolutions and priorities articulated by this City Council.”

The item was unanimously approved. It was a non-discussion item.

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Sara Hall covers City Hall and is a regular contributor to Stu News Newport.

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