Guest Column

Charles Klobe


Still Protecting Our Newport (SPON)

Important item on tonight’s Council agenda – should Council decide or should it go to a vote of the people

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Courtesy of SPON

Charles Klobe

On the agenda for the City Council Study Session for today, July 9 at 4 p.m., is the question of whether or not to put the Land Use Element (which supports the Certified Housing Element) on the November ballot. This discussion will only be about whether or not the Land Use Element needs to go to a vote of the residents per Greenlight, our City Charter Section 423.

Here is the text from the Agenda:

“SS3. Implementation of the Housing Element and Charter Section 423 Discuss requirements for a vote of the electorate pursuant to Charter Section 423 associated with the required adoption of a General Plan Land Use Element amendment needed to support the housing production in the focus areas identified in the adopted and certified 6th Cycle Housing Element (2021-2029).”

Charter 423 (Greenlight) mandates that voter approval is required for any major amendment to the Newport Beach General Plan. The actual language can be viewed here:

Greenlight – Charter 423

There has been noise about keeping the Land Use Element off the ballot and letting the City Council decide to approve, or not approve, the Land Use Element.

The larger discussion regarding what the Land Use Element means to Newport Beach as a community, and the 4,845 residential units (plus bonus density units and the above market units needed to make a project pencil out for a developer), will not be had if this measure doesn’t even make it to a vote.

I, for one, would like to have my opinions be taken into account by a vote, rather than have that decision be made by, as few as, four of seven City Councilmembers. This kind of sidestepping of the voices of the community is reminiscent of the recent decision by the California Supreme Court who ruled that the Taxpayer Protection and Government Accountability Act could not be included in the November ballot. I don’t think the majority of Newport Beach residents want to forego their right to weigh in on this matter.

If you have anything to say on this matter, please plan to attend today’s (Tuesday) Study Session and let the Council know how you feel.

We need to pack the Council Chambers in order to get the councilmembers’ attention.

Today (Tuesday), July 9 at 4 p.m., in the City Council Chambers.

Thank you for participating in planning the future of our extraordinary city.


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