Insider's Guide

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Insider's Guide for the Newport Beach City Council Meeting of September 24, 2019


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Happy Friday!  Our next City Council meeting is Tuesday, September 24.  The following are items that may be of interest.  As always, this is not a summary of the entire agenda, which can be viewed here.

Study Session starts at 4 p.m. and includes three items: 1) a discussion on nonconforming signs to address commercial signs that have not been brought up to new design standards set by the City Council ten years ago.  Staff will discuss a recent survey conducted of existing signs and recommendations on addressing nonconforming signs.  2) through the success of the Balboa Peninsula Trolley and growth of on-demand micro-transit options, there is community interest in additional neighborhood circulators, particularly for Balboa Island and Corona del Mar.  With an opportunity for potential grant funding, staff will discuss possible options and potential funding sources.  3)  representatives from SCE will make a presentation on SCE’s Wildfire Mitigation Plan and Public Safety Power Shutoff program as it related to wildfire prevention. 

The Regular Session begins at 7 p.m. and the following are items of note:  

  • On the consent calendar is an agreement with Psomas for environmental consulting services for the proposed Newport Village Mixed-Use Project, located in the Mariners’ Mile corridor.  The applicant, MX3 Ventures – MSM Global, has submitted a project proposal, which requires an environmental impact report.  Through a request for proposal process, staff has selected environmental consulting firm Psomas to prepare the EIR. 

  • For public hearing are next steps in the development of a temporary homeless shelter at the City Corporation Yard.  As directed by Council, staff is pursuing multiple strategies to obtain shelter beds: exploring regional partnerships with neighboring cities, lease negotiations with private property and develop of a temporary shelter on City property, specifically at the Corporation Yard at 592 Superior Avenue.  We are exploring a fully secured, reservation only facility with up to 40 beds.  Although shelter beds are just one part of the short-term strategy in addressing homelessness, it is a necessary part and staff is placing the highest priority on this item.  Council will also be considering a sign and messaging program to discourage panhandling.

  • As directed by Council, the formation of a Marine Avenue Preservation Committee will be considered.  As proposed, the committee, composed of representatives from three Balboa Island associations, will review City projects on Marine Avenue and provide a recommendation to the City Council regarding any project that would have a negative impact on the aesthetics of the streetscape.    

  • Following public outreach, general consensus for the design of Lido Fire Station No. 2 has been reached.  Council will be asked to approve the recommended floor plan and  ‘Lido’ exterior architectural style concept for this building.  Once approved, design work begins and then construction is estimated to start around Summer of 2021.

  • As you may recall, City Council and staff have been discussing water rates this past year and have completed a Water Rate Study, which does a deep dive into the water system financials.  It’s been 10-years since the last water rate study and 5-years since the last water rate increase.  The cost of buying and pumping water have gone up, along with maintenance and operational costs.  Also, to maintain our water system infrastructure, the City Council approved a new Water System Master Plan and the Capital Improvement program that will implement the Master Plan is in need of additional funding.  It’s important to remember that water is a 24/7 service to the community and vitally important to public health and the environment. The Finance Committee has reviewed the information and recommends that City Council consider the rate study and proposed rate adjustments.  The proposed rate adjustments equate to an increase of about $3.38 per month for the average household for the first year.  If approved, mailed notices be sent to the community for a Public Hearing on November 19, 2019.

As a reminder, public comment is welcome at the City Council meeting.  The public can comment on any item on the agenda.  If you cannot attend the meeting and/or want to communicate with the City Council directly on an item, the following e-mail address gets to all of them: City Council

The Week in Review is also provided this weekIt is posted on the City’s website; the latest edition can be found here

Thank you for reading.  Feedback is appreciated so please don’t hesitate to ask a question or offer a comment. 

Grace K. Leung

City Manager,

City Council Meeting Information

The Newport Beach City Council meets on the second and fourth Tuesdays of most months (the exceptions are August and December). Typically, there is a Study Session that starts at 4 p.m. Study sessions are times for the Council to take a deeper look at a specific issue, or hear a presentation, that might eventually lead to a specific and more formal action. A closed session often follows the Study Session. Closed sessions are typically to address legal, personnel, and other matters where additional confidentiality is important. The Regular (evening) Session typically starts at 7 p.m., and often has a specific listing of different items ready for formal votes. Items on the “Consent Calendar” are heard all at once, unless a Council member has removed (aka “pulled”) an item from the Consent Calendar for specific discussion and separate vote. If an item on the agenda is recommended to be “continued”, it means that the item won’t be heard nor voted on that evening, but will be pushed forward to another noticed meeting.    

Public Comment is welcomed at both the Study Session and the Regular Session. The public can comment on any item on the agenda. If you want to comment on a Consent Calendar item that was not pulled from the Consent Calendar by a Council Member, you will want to do so at the time listed on the agenda – right before the Council votes on the entire Consent Calendar (it’s Roman Numeral XIII on the posted agenda). If an item is pulled, the Mayor will offer that members of the public can comment as that specific item is heard separately. Additionally, there is a specific section of Public Comment for items not on the agenda, but on a subject of some relationship to the city government. If you cannot attend a meeting and/or want to communicate with the City Council directly, this e-mail gets to all of them: The City Manager also get's a copy of the email, because in almost all cases it’s something that the City Manager follows-up on.  

The Council meets in the Council Chambers at 100 Civic Center Drive, off of Avocado between San Miguel and East Coast Highway. There is plenty of parking in the parking structure. You are always welcome to attend in person, but you can also watch on TV, Spectrum channel 30 and Cox channel 852 or stream it on your computer.

This Insider’s Guide is not an attempt to summarize every item on the Agenda – just the ones that seem of specific interest to the City Manager. You are encouraged to read the full agenda if you wish.

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