Insider's Guide

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City Council Agenda items and other items of interest to the City Manager 

July 22, 2017 

A good Saturday to you.  The Guide is late and working on a Saturday because someone needs better time management skills.  Just sayin’. 

Here’s what’s in store for the Newport Beach City Council meeting planned for Tuesday, July 25, 2017. We’re probably back to a fairly long meeting again, after the luxury of an 8-ish end to the last one. It was still light out.

Remember that I don’t summarize every item on the agenda, so make sure you look at the City Clerk’s agenda page to read the whole agenda if you’d like.  

There are a couple of noteworthy items on study session, which begins at 4 p.m.:

  • Our annual visit from Visit Newport Beach and Newport Beach and Company, as they review the year past and look forward to the year ahead in Newport Beach tourism and destination marketing (among other things).  The VNB/NB & Co folks, led by Gary Sherwin, are always among the best in the business at what they do.
  • And then there is wastewater rates.  After a detailed study of our capital and operating needs, we’ll be asking the Council and the public to consider allowing the rates to be adjusted upward to cover sewer costs, as is typical of an “enterprise fund” within government. Our sewer operations consist of about 20 different pump stations (our geography makes moving wastewater more expensive and complex than a relatively flat inland city), many miles of a collection system, a bazillion sewer laterals to homes, and the staff to keep all of that running and from spilling into the Bay. In Newport, we don’t treat the sewage – that goes to the Orange County Sanitation District and you pay for that differently via your property tax bill. The wastewater rate appears on your municipal services statement. This study session item is but one chance for the Council and community to understand the system’s obligations and to weigh in on any concerns about a rate increase. However, at a later date (likely in September 2017), the public has a formal chance to support or protest the possible rate increase via a public hearing.

Following closed session items, the evening’s Regular Session will start at 7 p.m.   Here are the items that may be of interest to you:

  • A labor agreement with the association that represents our seasonal lifeguards.
  • A new contract that continues our relationship with our Huntington Beach neighbors, as they provide a PD helicopter to assist our PD in crime suppression.
  • The routine – but still very special and very appreciated – annual donation of a whopping $250,000 from the Friends of the Newport Beach Library. Each sale of a $1 or $2 book adds up, and the Friends are very gracious about putting that money back into more materials and programming at the NBPL. Thank you, Friends!!
  • A-Frame signs may be coming to the Lido Marina Village area, just as they have been allowed in Corona del Mar. A-Frame signs are not allowed on public spaces as marketing tools in other parts of town, generally.
  • Council will review an appraisal for and an update of rents that commercial pier permit holders pay in Newport Harbor. These include large and small marinas and more, when they are over public (and City-held) tidelands.
  • Council will be asked to consider sending the Coastal Commission a plan to allow residents along the oceanfront in Balboa Peninsula Point to keep (and pay fees upon) their use of about 15’ of City right-of-way that is coastward of their properties. The fate of the plan ultimately will rest with the Coastal Commission, as the Commission considers whether these encroachments are appropriate even with a fee.
  • State law has recently changed in regards to allowing accessory dwelling units in residential areas (aka Granny Units). The State has been trying to get more housing units built, recognizing a shortage in California of good housing. State law allows cities to make some modifications as we allow these units, and the Planning staff and the Planning Commission have developed a proposal for Council to consider. If you want to read more about this, please click here.

That’s a lot of stuff.  There are more items, but I don’t want to overwhelm you.  Again, please check out the agenda in full if you’d like.

Community Notes:

  • A heads-up to our Newport Heights neighbors. The removals of some of the eucalyptus along 15th Street (Heights, not 15th Street on the Peninsula) will be occurring early next week, maybe as early as Monday morning. These are being removed to accommodate the new sidewalk along the coastward side of 15th Street from about Newport Heights Elementary to Irvine Avenue.  
  • At long last, the Little Island Bridge (aka the Park Avenue Bridge) is about to open back up. After a long and tight-quartered construction project, this once-in-a-lifetime effort to replace (entirely) a very important accessway for traffic, peds, bikers, and utilities from Balboa Island to Little Balboa Island will be all done on Tuesday July 25. The detour bridge will then come down, likely over a short period of time. Big kudos to our Public Works team, led by Dave Webb and Mark Vukojevic, our contractor, and to the patience of the “four corners” residents (the residents who had to experience all of this on each side of the bridge for way too long) for getting us to this point. Someday they’ll write a book about it.   
  • The Aviation Committee – which has not met for a long time – will meet at 4 p.m. on Monday, July 24. There is a lot to talk about, especially in regards to the FAA’s NextGen efforts and new flight paths out of JWA. The Committee meets at City Hall in the Community Room. All are welcome to attend.
  • This coming week is the final working week for Community Development Director Kim Brandt. This is a week I’d hoped would never come, but retirement (and a new grandson) is beckoning for Kim. Kim was our first Community Development Director (in a very long time), as it was her assignment to combine the Building and Planning Departments into one department that provided for a more seamless customer service experience and better coordinated work. Her project accomplishments are many – from the management of the department to the LCP/IP to her assistance with Marina Park, Sunset Ridge Park, the Lido House Hotel, and many more. She leaves the department in great shape, with some of the best personnel that I have seen in this field. All the same, Kim’s are tough shoes to fill.  Kim has my deepest admiration and thanks – I am so honored that she spent the years she did with me, the CD Department, the management team, and the community of Newport Beach.    

That’s it for now. Enjoy your weekend, and thanks for reading. Please forward this Guide to family, friends and members of your HOA if you represent one. I always like hearing from you, too, so please don’t hesitate to ask a question or offer a comment. 



Dave Kiff
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 20-40 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: Please know that I get a copy of that e-mail, too, because in almost all cases it’s something that the City Manager follows-up on. It’s my head-start.   

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 behind City Hall. You are always welcome to attend in person, but you can also watch on TV Time Warner/Spectrum 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 Dave. I encourage you to read the full agenda if you wish.

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