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City Hall Complex Re-use - Background

 City Hall Reuse-Aerial

In January 2011, City Council approved “Conceptual Plan 5B” for the Lido Village area. The 5B Plan was only a concept plan that provided a future vision for Lido Village including the City Hall complex. The plan suggested the complete redevelopment of the 4-acre City Hall complex with a public plaza, a community services building, fire station, and an apartment community. The City then embarked upon the Neighborhood Revitalization process for several key areas of the City including Lido Village. The Neighborhood Revitalization process culminated in the City’s adoption of the Lido Village Design Guidelines in January of 2012. The Guidelines do not address future land uses but they describe the overall design theme for future development within Lido Village.

Planning for the site continued within a broader context taking into account other community facility needs within the entire West Newport area. On September 13, 2011, the City Council considered the West Newport Facilities Conceptual Plan. Additionally, with the relocation of Pavilions to the newly renovated Landing shopping center, improvements to Via Lido Plaza and surrounding streets were explored. In consideration of these possibilities, an alternative site plan for Lido Village was developed and considered by the City Council on March 27, 2012. A key assumption of that alternative site plan was to create a public plaza and pedestrian promenade linking the City’s property with Via Lido Plaza. The alternative plan included a large public plaza and promenade, 92 market-rate apartments, 6,000 square feet of retail use, and a 512-space parking structure. It also provided a vision for possible public improvements to area streets and potential changes to the Via Lido shopping center site. The alternative plan did not include the existing fire station.

On April 24, 2012, the City Council directed staff to prepare necessary amendments of the General Plan, Coastal Land Use Plan, and Zoning Code to support re-use of the site for a variety of potential land uses. Anticipated uses would include commercial, visitor accommodations (hotel), residential, and/or civic uses that could include a community center, public plazas, a fire station and/or public parking. Staff returned to the City Council on June 26, 2012, with an outline of what the amendments would provide and the City Council requested additional information regarding the possibility of using the site for a boutique hotel.

The City then engaged the hospitality consulting firm of PKF Consulting USA to assist in determining whether a hotel would be feasible. On September 11, 2012, the City Council discussed the preliminary findings of a feasibility study looking at a possible hotel development. The City Council also discussed the framework of a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) process to select a qualified partner to assist the City in developing the site.

On September 25, 2012, the staff presented to the City Council a summary of the hotel market analysis and economic analysis of both a hotel development and an apartment community. The City Council provided direction to staff to include both development scenarios in the pending land use amendments and within the RFQ process described previously. A complete discussion both land use and the RFQ process is provided in the staff report.

On October 10, 2012, the City issued a Request for Qualifications (“RFQ”) No. 13-16 for the future development of the City Hall property. In response to the RFQ, the City received a total of 15 Statements of Qualifications for the development of either a boutique hotel or residential and commercial mixed-use project. The Ad Hoc Revitalization Committee and staff reviewed the statements of qualifications and recommended the selection of a 6 teams to be invited to participate in the next phase of the process. On January 8, 2013, the City Council reviewed and approved the recommendation:

On January 17, 2013, the Planning Commission considered proposed amendments of the General Plan, Coastal Land Use Plan, and Zoning Code to change the land use and zoning designations of the property from “Public Facilities” to “Mixed Use” to facilitate either a mixed-use project consisting of retail uses and a luxury apartment community or an upscale boutique hotel. The Planning Commission took action recommending approval of the amendments.

  • January 17, 2013, Planning Commission

The land use plan and zoning amendments were presented to the City Council in March of 2013; however, the City Council took no action on the amendments due to the impending submission of development proposals and a decision to combine the review of the amendments with the selected development proposal.

On April 18, 2013, the City received 3 development proposals from the teams listed below.

  • RD Olson Development for a 130-room hotel
  • Sonnenblick Development for a 148-room hotel
  • The Shopoff Group for a 99-unit mixed use project

The development proposals are available at: Proposals

Portions of the proposals that include economic and financial analysis that are not proprietary are available at:

On April 23, 2013, each team presented their development proposals to the City Council at an afternoon Study Session. Each team had approximately 20 minutes to present their conceptual development plan that was followed by City Council questions and comments. After all the teams presented and Council’s questions were addressed, public comments were received.

On July 9, 2013, staff presented the results of its analysis of the three proposals to the City Council during the evening regular agenda. After extensive public comment, the City Council selected R.D. Olson as the development team to conduct further negotiations. The City Council also approved an Exclusive Negotiating Agreement with R.D. Olson and established an ad-hoc negotiating committee consisting of Council Members Hill and Selich. After that meeting, the ad-hoc committee, staff, and R.D. Olson conducted negotiations related to the terms of a long-term lease. R.D. Olson was responsible for the preparation of the necessary development applications consistent with their proposal. The City decided to prepare an Environmental Impact Report for the proposed project including the necessary General Plan, Coastal Land Use Plan, and Zoning Code amendments. It was anticipated that public hearings on the project would occur in the summer of 2014. Any final project approved by the City will require California Coastal Commission consideration, which would occur after local consideration by the City Council.

On October 8, 2013, after a Request for Proposals process, the City Council selected RBF Consulting to prepare a project-level Environmental Impact Report (EIR).

On November 6, 2013, the City issued a Notice of Preparation (NOP) of the EIR inviting comments from interested Agencies, persons, and organizations regarding the preparation of the EIR. Pursuant to CEQA §21080.4. Agencies or other interested parties were provided an opportunity to submit written comments in response to the NOP by December 5, 2013. Copies of the NOP are available for review at the City of Newport Beach Planning Division, 100 Civic Center Drive, Newport Beach, CA 92660 and at all of the City’s library branches. The NOP can also be accessed online at: http://www.newportbeachca.gov/ceqadocuments.

On November 20, 2013, at 6:00 P.M. at the old City Council Chambers, 3300 Newport Boulevard, Newport Beach, California 92660, the City conducted a public scoping meeting in conjunction with the NOP in order to present the project and the EIR process, and to receive public comments and suggestions regarding the scope and content of the EIR. 

On April 29, 2014, the City published the Draft EIR for public review and comment. The DEIR is available for a 45-day public review period beginning on Tuesday, April 29, 2014. All interested parties are invited to submit written comments on the DEIR. Due to the time limits mandated by state law, comments on the DEIR must be received from April 29, 2014 through June 13, 2014. Agencies or individuals should provide the name of a contact person with their response.

Copies of the DEIR were available during the 45-day public review period at the following locations:

1. City of Newport Beach Planning Division, 100 Civic Center Drive, Newport Beach, CA 92660;
2. City of Newport Beach website: http://www.newportbeachca.gov/ceqadocuments;
3. Newport Beach Public Library, Central Library, 1000 Avocado Avenue, Newport Beach, CA 92660;
4. Newport Beach Public Library, Balboa Branch, 100 East Balboa Boulevard, Newport Beach, CA 92660;
5. Newport Beach Public Library, Corona Del Mar Branch, 420 Marigold Avenue, Corona Del Mar, CA 92625;
6. Newport Beach Public Library, Mariners Branch, 1300 Irvine Avenue, Newport Beach, CA 92660.

The Planning Commission conducted a study session on the project on June 5, 2014. The staff report and presentations are located here: http://novusagendapublic.newportbeachca.gov/CoverSheet.aspx?ItemID=3042&MeetingID=407

The Planning Commission held a noticed public hearing on the project on July 17, 2014, and August 11, 2014.The staff report and presentations are located here: http://novusagendapublic.newportbeachca.gov/CoverSheet.aspx?ItemID=3411&MeetingID=551, http://novusagendapublic.newportbeachca.gov/CoverSheet.aspx?ItemID=3593&MeetingID=568.

At the conclusion of the hearing, the Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend certification of the EIR and project approval.

On September 9, 2014, the City Council approved the Lido House Hotel and associated land use plan and zoning amendments. The project has been submitted to the California Coastal Commission for review. On September 15, 2014, several members of the City Council including Mayor Hill and representatives of RD Olson gathered at the former City Hall site to sign the lease.

Questions?

The City is very interested in receiving feedback from the public. Future meetings of the Planning Commission and City Council will be noticed and information will be added to this web page from time to time. If you have suggestions for the site or if you need further information, please contact:

James Campbell, Principal Planner
Community Development Department
949-644-3210 or jcampbell@newportbeachca.gov

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