Council to consider terminating franchise solid waste contracts, housing element progress report, Superior Ave project services time extension

By SARA HALL

Newport Beach City Council’s agenda tonight is short, but varied.

During regular business and on the consent calendar at tonight’s meeting (Tuesday, March 26), council will consider and/or hear: Terminating two non-exclusive franchise agreements for commercial solid waste; 2023 annual general plan and housing element progress report; additional funds for the general plan update; environmental services for the Superior Avenue pedestrian and bicycle bridge and parking lot project, and rejecting all bids for a contract for the 38th Street and Lake Avenue landscape improvement project.

During the only item of regular business, council will consider terminating two non-exclusive franchise agreements for commercial solid waste.

The city issued notices of intention to terminate to Haul-Away Rubbish Service Co. and Key Disposal & Recycling, Inc., on March 8.

According to the staff report for tonight’s item, Newport Beach utilizes a non-exclusive commercial franchise waste hauling system for the collection of municipal solid waste, recyclables, organic waste and construction and demolition debris. Council previously approved a model agreement amending the 2020 franchise agreement to include explicit state diversion compliance requirements and revised insurance requirements for franchisees.

There are currently 22 commercial waste haulers authorized to operate within Newport Beach under the agreement.

“Prospective hauling firms undergo a rigorous review and approval process to become franchise haulers. Once approved, franchise haulers can provide fixed route and/or temporary waste collection and diversion services to clients within the city,” the staff report reads.

City staff also regularly reviews franchise haulers to ensure compliance to the 2020 agreement.

Staff also noted in the report that CalRecycle, the state agency responsible for managing statewide recycling and waste management programs, has placed Newport Beach under a corrective action plan due to the city failing to meet waste diversion requirements established by state laws that set statewide waste diversion targets for organics, green waste and food scraps, and recyclable waste. Under the CAP, the city is required to demonstrate “significant progress” in meeting the waste diversion requirements established by the legislation.

Both Haul-Away Rubbish Service Co. and Key Disposal & Recycling, Inc. failed to comply with multiple terms in the 2020 franchise agreement, according to the staff report, which prompted the request for termination.

On tonight’s consent calendar (items considered routine and usually voted in one motion without discussion unless a councilmember pulls the item), council will review the 2023 annual General Plan and housing element progress report.

In 2022, the city adopted the 6th cycle housing element. The update examines current housing needs, estimates future housing needs, and establishes goals, policies, and programs pertaining to those needs while demonstrating capacity to accommodate the Regional Housing Needs Assessment allocation of 4,845 new housing units in Newport Beach.

State code mandates that the city prepare and submit an annual report on the status of the city’s General Plan and progress in its implementation. The Planning Commission reviewed the report on March 7.

After the council accepts the report, it will be forwarded to the office of planning and research and the department of housing and community development.

“Staff believes the city has achieved substantial progress in the implementation of the general plan,” the staff report reads.

Some progress is evident in completed tasks like the comprehensive zoning code update in 2010, staff notes, however, most progress is illustrated through ongoing tasks and long-term coordination efforts, with updates highlighted for 2023. The report also summarizes identified priorities for land use decisions made in 2023.

The report provides a status update on the various programs identified in the general plan and includes a summary list of the number units in the housing development applications that have been submitted.

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The consent calendar also includes a budget amendment for council to consider allocating an additional $750,000 for the general plan update.

Council initiated the comprehensive review and update of the plan in 2019 with an approximate $2.24 million budget. Most of the funds have been put toward community engagement and outreach, as well as work on the housing, circulation, land use elements of the GP and the appropriate EIRs.

Staff is working with Dudek, Inc., for consulting services on the effort, which is expected to be completed in late 2025.

Following some previous amendments required for consulting services, an additional $882,681 is needed to complete the general plan update. In addition to the requested $750,000 budget amendment, the remainder of funds needed will be addressed next year through the regular budget process.

According to the staff report, this budget amendment will ensure that there is adequate funding to offset future expenses incurred prior to fiscal year 2024-25.

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Courtesy of City of Newport Beach

Council will consider an agreement amendment for environmental services related to the Superior Avenue bridge project tonight

Also on the consent calendar, council will consider an amendment to the professional services agreement with Chambers Group, Inc., for environmental services for the Superior Avenue pedestrian and bicycle bridge and parking lot project.

The change is requested in order to extend the term of the agreement an additional four years in order to complete the scope of services.

According to the staff report, the Superior Avenue pedestrian and bicycle bridge and parking lot project is 70% complete. Plans also include expanding the passive recreational area at Sunset View Park.

The city entered into an agreement in 2019 with Chambers Group for environmental services including field monitoring and reporting of potential biological and cultural resources that may be discovered during construction. The current term of the agreement is set to expire on April 30.

“The extended time is needed to complete the monitoring and reporting efforts,” the staff report explains. “The time extension is also needed to complete the environmental analysis for the West Coast Highway intersection improvements and pedestrian bridge project.”

This action is for a time extension only, no additional funding is required.

Also on the consent calendar, council will consider rejecting all bids for a contract for the 38th Street and Lake Avenue landscape improvement project.

According to the staff report, the city recently solicited six potential proposers for informal bids for the project and received two responses. Both bids ($163,816 and $174,981) were significantly higher than the engineer’s estimate of $112,000. The engineer’s estimate was developed by an on-call landscape architect.

Staff is recommending council reject all bids and re-advertise the bid to allow for a more competitive bidding environment. The relatively small size of the project may have also been a contributing factor to the higher bids, staff note in the report.

Residents in the area, located immediately west of the entrance to Newport Island, expressed an interest in improving the appearance of the beach area and providing better beach access, according to the report.

Staff began a design that included adding a cladding system to the existing retaining wall to improve the appearance, new stairs for better beach access, a new, higher planter wall and fence, a new foot-wash station, new landscaping and new irrigation lines.

Also on the consent calendar, council will consider the second reading of an ordinance amending city code related to the use of public property for commercial purposes (primarily related to beach vendors) and an underground utilities assessment district for McFadden alleys and Court Street.

Earlier in the meeting, the council will present proclamations recognizing community organizations Speak Up Newport and Leadership Tomorrow.

The council agenda is available online here. The closed session starts at 4 p.m., followed by regular meeting at 5 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 March 25 (the day before the City Council meeting). Correspondence received by this deadline were uploaded to the agenda packet by March 25 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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