city council district   v corona del mar & newport coast

Nancy Gardner 

councilwoman  v  newport beach, california



Why not? It’s an easy target, we need a scapegoat, and I don’t see us invading a neighboring city.

So this whole park/city hall debacle is The Irvine Company’s fault. If they had sold/leased those buildings in Newport Center to the city when approached, we’d be issuing building permits from there by now and not mired in the trenches of our current dispute.

And it’s not too late. Picture the chamber doors swinging open and Donald Bren striding down the aisle to the podium. In a sonorous voice he says that to quell the dissension, he has reconsidered. The buildings are ours. The chamber erupts in joy, and there is peace in the land.

While we wait with bated breath, I reiterate my support for the park. I think it will be a beautiful park, and with those views it will be used.

Just as people drive to Ocean Boulevard in Corona del Mar to watch the sunset, they will drive to Newport Center Park. Just as mothers drive all over town to different tot lots, they will drive here–particularly when they can zip down and pick up some new books for the kids.

That’s my perspective. I realize that there are others who believe just as fervently that the site should be used for city hall. I just hope that those who support the property as a city hall site do it because they believe it is the finest available site–not because they think it’s going to be a bargain. The concept that this is “free land” is erroneous. We would have to replace the open space taken, not an easy or an inexpensive challenge.

Meanwhile, Mr. Bren, it’s not too late.

The new community center is moving along on schedule. I got a tour of the unfinished building, and it is going to be very popular with a beautiful gym, a stage that can be used for both indoor and outdoor performances, sprung floors for dance classes, granite counters, catering facilities, plus it’s energy-conscious. There will be lots of city classes there but also opportunities for groups to rent space for meetings and events.

You will be seeing new entry monuments around town to replace the current ones which have become tattered with the years. The new design can now be seen in front of city hall.

Here’s a city program that helps you reduce runoff, save money, and have a better-looking yard.

The city, in cooperation with other agencies, is offering free WeatherTRAK smart controller systems to residents who live south of Marguerite and have 1,200 square feet of irrigated landscape with an irrigation system in good working condition. Smart controllers adjust to daily local weather which means you’re not sprinkling in the middle of a rain storm, and they also adjust to plant needs which means you’re delivering exactly the right amount of water. For more information, call 1 800 362-8774, ext. 121. Ask for Sharon Connelly.

Under the current Regional Housing Needs Assessment the city needs to provide 145 more affordable housing units. This a tough nut since we aren’t allowed to meet our required needs by shopping them to a depressed area in Shasta County, say.

In recognition of the difficulty, last year the city reduced the percentage of affordable units required in new development from 20% to 15%, but it is still a challenge for developers to find the requisite number of rental units with an owner willing to enter the long-term agreement required.

The Affordable Housing Task Force has the responsibility of reviewing developers’ proposed solution, and we will be passing on to the Council what we felt was a successful resolution by Lennar for its project on the Marriott tennis courts.

In response to a Request for Proposals for the concession stand at Big Corona, Rudy’s Pub and Grill–the only respondent-- presented a new concept for the stand: breakfast, lunch and dinner plus, potentially, alcohol. The alcohol got no place, particularly after the complaints the city has received about after-hours activity at the beach, but the idea of an upgraded menu has met with mixed reviews. Some people think we should stay with what we’ve had–burgers and snacks and beach toys. Others welcome something that they would be more inclined, as residents, to use. I welcome your thoughts.


Be sure to give us your feedback on the list of priorities that Council has identified for the coming year. 


Future Topic Suggestions


This is a two-way process, so please don’t hesitate to contact me with your ideas and opinions.



Councilwoman Nancy Gardner



City of Newport Beach - 3300 Newport Blvd - Newport Beach, CA  92663

Phone:  949.644.3004    -    EMAIL:

Copyright  2007   v  Nancy Gardner    v   All Rights Reserved

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