My Neighbors and I Saw a Need to Form the Coalition to Preserve Mariner’s Mile

Daily Pilot - April 10, 2018

I feel fortunate to have been able to live in Newport Beach for the last 40-plus years and particularly enjoy the small community of Newport Heights that I call home.

When I retired I was able to devote more time to helping my fellow residents maintain the quality of life we enjoy in Newport Beach at large and, in my neighborhood specifically, that reflects the charm of a historical beach community.

Recently my neighbors in the Heights and Cliffhaven have formed the Coalition to Preserve Mariner's Mile in order to give residents and surrounding businesses a say in what happens to this last vestige of space around our "small boat" bay.

A developer has bought up a significant piece of Mariner's Mile and has proposed his own plan for the area, even though we were told a year ago that no new plan would be processed until residents and the city had the opportunity to work together on a new General Plan.

Additionally, we learned most recently that the new General Plan will be postponed until we work on trying to make Newport a designated "port city," a concept no one seems to understand and one that would remove the city out from under the yoke of the California Coastal Commission, which acts as a protector for residents and the public.

And to complicate matters even more for residents who want to maintain the beauty and unique style of Newport Beach, another developer has proposed his concept of a Koll Center high-rise residence plan for the airport area. This development is in conflict with the expectations of inhabitants of the airport area, who also have been waiting for a new General Plan to fulfill the promises made regarding that area in 2006.

It is clear to me, after my involvement in community affairs, that the only way to maintain the quality of life in Newport Beach, which we can no longer take for granted, is for residents and small business owners to work together to prevent unbridled developers and their allies, some of which are elected officials, from over-developing our city.

LYNN LORENZ lives in Newport Heights.