Insider's Guide

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Insider's Guide for the Newport Beach City Council Meeting of January 28, 2020


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Our next City Council meeting is Tuesday, January 28.  Items that may be of interest are highlighted below.  The entire agenda, and all reports, can be viewed here.

Study session begins at 4 p.m. for a discussion on pedestrian and bicycle access within the Newport Heights area.  This area has been the focus of safety and access for pedestrians and bicyclists, particularly for the students traveling to and from schools.  Staff will discuss current conditions and additional improvements that may be considered for the neighborhood. 

The regular session begins at 7 p.m. and the following are items of note:

  • On the consent calendar is the introduction of an ordinance establishing lobbyist registration, reporting and disclosure requirements.This item was heard by City Council in November 2019 and it was determined to seek additional public input.Following the additional input, the proposed ordinance now includes revisions, such as registration with the City Clerk rather than the Orange County Campaign Finance and Ethics Commission and increased penalties for violations.
  • Also on the consent calendar is acceptance of a $175,000 grant from the State for the Surrendered and Abandoned Vessel (SAVE) Program.The City has received grant funds for the last several years and with an increase in dollar amount this year, we will be able to continue our efforts to clean up the harbor.
  • As directed by Council, a resolution opposing the modified RHNA allocation methodology, which allocates 4,832 housing units that Newport Beach must plan for, is on the consent calendar.As noted earlier, the methodology has been approved by the state, and per our housing action plan, we will be appealing our number.
  • For public hearing is the introduction of a Cottage Preservation Ordinance. This amendment was initiated by City Council in May 2019, in response to the growing community concerns related to the loss of small residential cottages and the mass associated with new single and two-unit dwelling developments in the City.Following community outreach and Planning Commission review, the proposed ordinance is now before Council.The amendments would allow larger additions without providing the minimum code-required parking when the project would result in the preservation of the cottage character and building envelope that is representative of traditional development patterns in the City.
  • On current business is the update of Title 17 – Harbor Code.The City Council requested the Harbor Commission review Title 17 in February 2018.This significant and comprehensive effort, led by a subcommittee of the Harbor Commission, included extensive public outreach and a detailed review of the code.The proposed changes reflect all chapters of the Harbor Code with the exception of the section on Marine Activity Permits, which will be provided to City Council at a future date.The update of Title 17 is a important and noteworthy milestone in the development of the City’s Harbor Department and ensuring the safe and effective operation of activities in the harbor.
  • The second item on current business is award of contract for the maintenance and refurbishment of the wooden benches and trash cans on Balboa Island.After two unsuccessful bidding advertisements, we have received one proposal.Due to the high cost to maintain these items, staff is seeking direction on the long-term maintenance level and refurbishment plan for the wooden benches and trash cans.

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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