Council to consider next phase of Civic Center Park sculptures, residential projects in Airport Area

By SARA HALL

There are several notable items on the agenda tonight for the Newport Beach City Council.

At tonight’s meeting (Tuesday, April 9), council will consider selections for Phase IX of the Sculpture Exhibition in Civic Center Park, and two separate residential projects in the Airport Area.

Last on the agenda, during current business, council will consider selections for Phase IX of the sculpture exhibition in Civic Center Park.

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Photos courtesy of City of Newport Beach

The top choices – Top row, (L-R): “Gecko” by Doug Snider; “Interplay” by Peter Ambrosio; “Growing Wings” by Hilde DeBruyne; “Heavy Landing” by Vojtech Blazejovsky and “Natural Wonders” by Michele Moushey Dale. Bottom row, (L-R): “Glee” by Cindy Debold; “Trillium Bus Stop Bench” by Matt Cartwright; “Duality” by Giuseppe Palumbo; “Reaching Man” by Ron Whitacre and “Millefolium” by Catherine Daley.

The Arts Commission approved 10 sculptures and four alternates at their March 14 meeting. The pieces are planned to be displayed for a two-year period.

For this phase of the rotating sculpture exhibition, the commission and local arts professionals reviewed the submissions for artistic merit, durability, practicality and site appropriateness, and approved 28 pieces to be included in an online public survey. A total of 1,873 validated votes were cast.

The top choices (after two were excluded due to durability concerns) are: Gecko by Doug Snider; Interplay by Peter Ambrosio; Growing Wings by Hilde DeBruyne; Heavy Landing by Vojtech Blazejovsky; Natural Wonders by Michele Moushey Dale; Glee by Cindy Debold; Trillium Bus Stop Bench by Matt Cartwright; Duality by Giuseppe Palumbo; Reaching Man by Ron Whitacre and Millefolium by Catherine Daley. The alternates are Cycles 3: Frogs, Bees, Birds by Peter Hassen and Time and Awareness by D. Yoshikawa Wright.

As in previous phases, private funds in the form of a $10,000 donation from the Newport Beach Arts Foundation will be used to augment the total cost of Phase IX.

At the council planning session in February, there was discussion about funding, the rotation timeframe and potential changes to the program. At the budget review last year, there was some disagreement, but council ultimately agreed to fill a funding gap for the next phase of the rotating art pieces.

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Rendering by Robert Hidey Architects/Courtesy of Intracorp and City of Newport Beach

A rendering of the motorcourt and the Residences at 1401 Quail Street

During public hearings, councilmembers will consider two residential projects in the Airport Area, the Residences at 1400 Bristol Street, and, during a separate item, the Residences at 1401 Quail Street. For both, the council will also consider overriding the Orange County Airport Land Use Commission’s determination of inconsistency.

The Planning Commission unanimously approved on December 7 plans for Bristol Street and then on December 21, they also supported the nearby Quail Street project.

For the Bristol Street project, the applicant, the Picerne Group, is planning to develop a 229-unit apartment building atop a 422-space parking structure and a pedestrian bridge that connects over the Spruce Street right-of-way to the previously approved residential project at 1300 Bristol Street.

The project would require demolition of two office buildings totaling 38,764 square feet and a surface parking lot within the 2.38-acre site, located at the northwest corner of Bristol Street and Spruce Street.

Of the 229 units, 23 units would be affordable and restricted to very low-income households. The remaining 203 units would be market-rate, for-rent apartment units. There will be an overall mix of studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units (almost all the affordable units will be one-bedroom or studio units).

The project includes a steel truss pedestrian bridge that extends over the Spruce Street right-of-way to the previously approved residential apartment project at 1300 Bristol Street. Both properties are owned and will be operated by the same entity. The second-story bridge is intended to provide connectivity between the two and allow sharing of amenities. The applicant will be required to enter into a lease agreement (or other form of agreement) with Newport Beach subject to the payment of fees for the use of air space over the city’s right-of-way.

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The Quail Street project includes 67 for-sale condominium units and a 146-space parking structure from a different applicant, Intracorp Homes.

Plans for this project call for the demolition of the existing 22,956-square-foot office building and surface parking within the 1.71-acre site, located at the northwest corner of Quail Street and Spruce Street in the Airport Area.

The building height would be approximately 81 feet, including architectural elements, parapet, rooftop mechanical equipment and roof access. The parking structure is located on the podium level as well as a subterranean, gated level underneath.

The 67 condominium units include 27 two-bedroom units and 40 three-bedroom units. Of those for-sale units, eight would be affordable units (six for very low-income households and two for low-income households). The remaining 59 units would be for-sale at market rate.

For both projects, councilmembers will consider adopting two resolutions each approving a General Plan amendment, site development review, affordable housing implementation plan and accepting the environmental document. The resolution for the Bristol project will also include a traffic study, while the Quail project includes a tentative vesting tract map.

Council will also consider a resolution overriding ALUC’s determinations that found the projects inconsistent with the John Wayne Airport Environs Land Use Plan.

According to the airport’s AELUP and state code, the city of Newport Beach is required to submit both projects to ALUC to determine whether or not they are consistent with the plan.

The commission conducted hearings on January 18 and found both projects to be inconsistent. In the determination letters sent to the city, ALUC Executive Officer Lea Choum notes that they found issues related to aircraft noise and safety compatibility zones.

On February 13, council adopted a resolution that notified the commission and the California Department of Transportation’s Aeronautics Program about the city’s intent to override the commission’s finding of inconsistency. The city received responses from both agencies, which highlight concerns primarily about noise and safety.

According to the agenda report for both council items, staff believes that the noise and safety concerns have been adequately addressed.

Prior to the regular meeting, during the study session, council will have a discussion regarding the Balboa Yacht Basin. Staff will provide an update on the results of the request for proposals for the redevelopment of the Balboa Yacht Basin buildings.

The council agenda is available online here. The study session starts at 4 p.m., followed by regular meeting at 5:15 p.m.

The meeting can be watched live on the local NBTV channel (Spectrum 3 or Cox 852) or on the city’s website here.

Members of the public may speak in person in council chambers (there is not a remote or online option to participate).

Questions and comments can be submitted in writing for City Council consideration by sending them to the city clerk at cityclerk@newportbeachca.gov. To give the council adequate time to review comments, written comments were submitted by 5 p.m. on April 8 (the day before the City Council meeting). Correspondence received by this deadline were uploaded to the agenda packet by April 8 at 5:30 p.m. and can be viewed here.

Material received after the deadline and prior to 2 p.m. today (the day of the meeting) will be provided to the council in hard copy and will be available to the public at the meeting.

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


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