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Newport Beach

Volume 5, Issue 14  |  February 18, 2020


City Manager’s Updates

From the desk of Grace Leung

Grace Leung

Courtesy of City of Newport Beach

Newport Beach City Manager Grace Leung

Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) Update – On February 3, the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) staff held a workshop to preview the Draft RHNA Appeal Procedures. SCAG accepted comments on their draft appeal procedures until February 10. SCAG staff will present the final appeals procedures for review and approval by the RHNA Subcommittee on February 24, and the Regional Council on March 5. 

The deadline for filing an RHNA appeal is tentatively scheduled for May 25 at 5 p.m. Appeals will be accepted by any affected jurisdiction, other jurisdictions in the SCAG region, or by the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD). After the submission deadline, SCAG will notify affected jurisdictions and make all appeals available for a 45-day review and comment period. SCAG will then hold public hearings on each appeal. Any housing units resulting from successful appeals will then be reallocated back to other jurisdictions in the SCAG region based on a formula. For additional information regarding the Draft RHNA Appeals Procedure, please click here

Map of Development Constraints – Staff developed a map of development constraints to assist with identifying locations in the City to allow for housing in compliance with the latest RHNA numbers. The purpose of the map is to identify locations in the City that are not affected by flood hazards, very high fire severity zones, seismic hazards, or environmentally protected lands. The map can be found on the City’s 2020 Housing Action website at www.newportbeachca.gov/housingactionplan.

Political Signs – With the upcoming election, there has been an increase in political signs throughout the City. There is no limit on the number of signs posted in the City by a candidate; however, they must be located on private property. Political signs are not allowed on City public property. Public property may include sidewalks, parkways, medians, and light poles. Code Enforcement and Public Works will remove all signs that are on public property. If you would like to report a political sign on public property, please contact the Code Enforcement Division at 949.644.3215. 

For frequently asked questions on political signs and other code violations, click here.

CDD Fourth Quarter Report (October – December 2019) – The Community Development Department Fourth Quarter Activity Report is now available at www.newportbeachca.gov/cdd. The report compiles operational statistics to illustrate the volume of business activity that the Department handles on a quarterly basis. The last quarter of 2019 was extremely busy! The Building Division took in 10 times the number of new construction/major remodel project plan submittals during the last three working days of 2019 in comparison to a typical workweek. The significant increase in submittals is attributable to new California Building Codes that became effective January 1, 2020. Code Enforcement experienced a 10 percent increase of new cases and 22 percent increase in inspections while maintaining their response time service levels. Both the Planning Division and the System and Administration Division were busy processing nearly 70 percent more cases than third quarter. Most of the cases are for Zoning Compliance and Coastal Development Permits. 

Community Meeting for CDBG Consolidated Plan 2020-24, Tuesday, February 18 – In advance of preparing the Consolidated Plan for 2020-24, the City of Newport Beach and the Community Development Department will be hosting a Community Meeting to solicit feedback from interested citizens, local public service organizations and other stakeholders as to the needs of the community. The meeting is being held on Tuesday, Feb. 18 at 6:30 p.m. in the Bay Island room at Marina Park Community Center, located at 1600 W. Balboa Blvd., Newport Beach. Free parking is available during the event, in the public lot at Marina Park. 

The Consolidated Plan is a five-year strategy developed to guide the City in its annual administration of the federal U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, which programs and projects benefit low- and moderate-income people in Newport Beach. Even if you cannot attend the meeting, the City encourages residents to complete the online Resident Survey http://bit.ly/NewportBeachResident. More information about the CDBG program can be found on the City’s website

AT&T Small Cell Use Permit Update – Six minor use permit applications for small cell telecommunications facilities, submitted by AT&T, have been deemed complete and are being scheduled for a public hearing with the Zoning Administrator. The first application is on the Zoning Administrator agenda for Thursday, Feb. 13 at 3 p.m.; the meeting will be held in the Corona del Mar Conference Room in Bay 1E at City Hall, 100 Civic Center Dr., Newport Beach. These small cell applications are for facilities located on City-owned streetlight poles in the public right-of-way, pursuant to a Master License Agreement between AT&T and the City. Property owners within 300 feet of the sites will receive written notice in advance of the public hearing. Additional information regarding small cell telecommunications facilities is available on the City’s website.

Homeless Update – City Net, the City’s contracted social services provider, continues to assist people with accessing and navigating resources in the community. Their outreach efforts, coordinated with the City and County’s resources, continue to provide housing opportunities for people experiencing homelessness in the community. 

Last week, City Net case managers connected several people experiencing homelessness to appropriate social services agencies in Orange County, including: Helping one client obtain medical services through the County’s Comprehensive Health Assessment Team; Referring another to the Hospitality House men’s shelter in Santa Ana. Hospitality House, operated by The Salvation Army in Santa Ana since 1964, provides sobriety treatment programs and shelter in a supportive setting; and, a third client received an OCTA bus pass to travel to the DMV to obtain a new valid photo ID, which will allow him to access County resources. 

In addition to the City Net team, Newport Beach’s Rapid Response Team (comprised of staff from several City departments such as the Fire Department, OASIS Senior Center, and the Police Department) conducted outreach with the City’s Homeless Liaison Officer. The team engages with homeless individuals in the field to help connect them with resources. Last week the team: Reconnected with a Veteran at the Balboa Pier who has applied to The Cove and the new Veterans’ Village opening this Spring. The Cove will provide 12 units of supportive housing to military Veterans in Newport Beach. The Veterans’ Village in Santa Ana provides 75 units of supportive housing to Veterans and their families; Engaged with people at the Newport Pier. Staff motivated one man to keep an appointment that day with Share Our Selves (SOS), a social services outreach provider in Costa Mesa, and ensured the man boarded the correct bus to the SOS office. Staff provided another man with a document needed to receive medical care and scheduled a doctor’s visit for him; and, spoke with several people at the Newport Transportation Center. Staff encouraged one man to visit SOS and helped connect him to free library resources that will assist in his job search. An elderly woman was referred to two senior housing opportunities in the area and was offered medical assistance for a foot injury. 

February 27 Program to Focus on Youth Homelessness – On Thursday, Feb. 27 at 6 p.m., the City will host a program to address youth homelessness, featuring staff from Project Hope Alliance. Project Hope Alliance works to end homelessness among elementary to high-school age youth in our community. The free program will be in the Friends Meeting Room at the Central Library, 1000 Avocado Ave. 

City Arts Commission to select works for Sculpture Exhibition in Civic Center Park, Phase V – At the February 13 meeting, the City Arts Commission will recommend ten of the submitted works for inclusion in the Sculpture Exhibition, as well as three alternates. The public is encouraged to attend to offer their input on the submitted works. In preparation for the selection of works, the City Arts Commission conducted an online survey that invited the public to select individual works for inclusion in Phase V. The February 13 regular City Arts Commission meeting includes a curatorial selection panel where the public can express their preferences. In addition to the City Arts Commissioners, the panel will include David Michael Lee and Tyler Stalling. 

Mr. Lee is Director and Curator of the Coastline Art Gallery at Coastline College in Newport Beach, where he also teaches art. Previously, he oversaw the Phyllis & Ross Escalette Permanent Collection of Art at Chapman University. He holds a BA in photo/studio arts from Columbia College Chicago, and an MFA in drawing, painting and printmaking from California State University Fullerton. He has curated or organized nearly 100 exhibitions at university, community and private art galleries in the region. As an artist, his work has been seen in seven solo exhibitions and nearly 100 group exhibitions. He studied painting with the celebrated late artist Tony DeLap. 

Mr. Stallings is director of Orange Coast College’s Frank M. Doyle Arts Pavilion. He was Artistic Director at UCR ARTSblock’s – encompassing the California Museum of Photography and the Barbara & Art Culver Center of the Arts, from 2007-2017, and was Chief Curator at Laguna Art Museum from 1999-2006. He co-edited the anthology, Uncontrollable Bodies: Testimonies of Identity and Culture (Seattle: Bay Press, 1994) and is the author of an essay collection, Aridtopia: Essays on Art & Culture from Deserts in the Southwest United States (Blue West Books, 2014). 

The curatorial panel assessment will include the following: All top-scoring artworks in the online public survey will be considered and discussed. Additional images of the highest scoring works will be reviewed. Additional information provided in application such as a statement of interest and resume may be used to help narrow down submissions; Works will be considered in light of the following criteria: Artistic Merit – Artwork is of high quality and demonstrative of originality and artistic excellence, and artist has strong professional qualifications; Durability: The artwork is made of high-quality materials, which can withstand the natural outdoor elements of coastal Southern California and artwork requires minimal to no maintenance; Practicality: Artwork is of appropriate subject matter for audiences of all ages and artwork is safe and shall not exhibit unsafe conditions or factors that may bear on public liability; and, Site appropriateness: Artwork is suitable in scale to be seen in environment and artwork is suitable for viewing from all angles.

Ten artworks and three alternates of various sizes, mediums, and subject matter will be recommended; Based on scale and impact of work, the committee will assign artworks to site locations; Based on artwork value and preliminary budget provided by artists, the committee will assign honorarium amounts to each artwork; and, the public will be provided with an opportunity to review the submitted works and offer input on the panel’s selections. 

The City Arts Commission will approve the Committee recommendations at the February 13, 2020, meeting. The City Arts Commission will make a final recommendation to City Council at the March 10, 2020 regular meeting. 

Newport Pier Area Water Main Replacement – Construction for the Newport Pier Area Water Main Replacement project is well underway. Since breaking ground on January 6, 2020, the contractor has completed replacement of three deteriorated water valves, installation of the new water main on 23rd Street and is currently working in the alleys that are bounded by Balboa Boulevard, West Oceanfront, 23rd Street and 24th Street. The contractor will be working their way up towards 31st Street before they mobilize and address water main replacement in the West Newport Community. 

Insider’s Guide for the Newport Beach City Council Meeting tonight, February 11 – Our next City Council meeting is tonight, Tuesday, Feb. 11. Items that may be of interest are highlighted below. The entire agenda, and all reports, can be viewed here

Study Session begins at 5 p.m. for this meeting to discuss prohibiting motorized uses on the Oceanfront Boardwalk. Shared use of this amenity has been talked about for decades. Yes, we found a staff report from 1980 on the subject of bicycles on the Boardwalk! Over the last several years, technology has changed at a rapid pace and the types of motorized vehicles on the Boardwalk has increased significantly. Council asked for a study session on this item to see if prohibiting this type of activity is something the community and the City Council would like to consider. 

The Regular Meeting begins at 7 p.m. and the following are items of note: On the Consent Calendar is an agreement with Newport Bay Conservancy to designate funds for Phase 2A of the Restoration Work in Big Canyon. The Newport Beach Conservancy has been awarded two grants in the amount of $1,688,731 which will provide funding to restore nine acres of coastal sage, upland, riparian and freshwater marsh habitats, remove invasive or diseased trees in an additional two acres and replanted with a native plant palette. The project is expected to be completed in 2023. The City enjoys a great partnership with the Newport Bay Conservancy, and we are thrilled to get this grant. 

Current Business includes an Ordinance to Amend the Newport Beach Municipal Code as it relates to Short-Term Lodging. The City Council and staff have worked extensively with the community on this issue over the past year. With the advent of home sharing websites and the prevalence of short-term rentals, many concerns were raised by residents living next to the short-term rental properties. The proposed changes will set a new standard for short-term rentals and provide the City with additional tools to enforce residential standards. Several changes include providing adequate parking for guests, limiting the number of guests in a rental unit, providing exterior signage and an answering service to respond to complaints 24/7 and limiting the total number of permits that can be issued citywide.

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