Byline: Taylor Hill
NEWPORT BEACH — The city of Newport Beach’s long-awaited plans to create a waterfront park and marina on Balboa Peninsula can now move forward, as Newport Beach City Council members approved an agreement with the State Lands Commission on the newly created boundaries for the park.
Located on Balboa Peninsula between 20th Street and 16th Street, Marina Park currently houses 57 mobile homes, which will be demolished to make way for the planned waterfront park, community center, sailing center, 23-slip marina basin and dinghy storage area.
A boundary dispute between the State Lands Commission and the city led to further delays of the Marina Park plan that has been in the works for many years, but a compromise was reached earlier this month on the tidelands boundary. That will allow the project to move forward and have its plans reviewed by the California Coastal Commission.
The new boundary agreement moved some of the current buildings out of the tidelands trust — including the community center, the historic Girl Scout house and the tennis courts — while moving several other areas into the tidelands trust, Deputy Public Works director Dave Webb said. The remaining land will continue to be state property — including the beachfront area, a few parking spaces and the planned sailing center and marina. Newport Beach will control the land, and any revenue created from the property must be used for water-related activities.
“This was really a terrific outcome — and it was a real struggle,” said Newport Beach Mayor Mike Henn. “Now, it’s on to the Coastal Commission.”
Residents of the mobile home park who are scheduled for removal from the property have been living on borrowed time since Marina Park plans were first approved by city council members three years ago. With an agreement now reached between state officials and the city, many residents are expecting to receive 90-day eviction notices soon.
The residents of Marina Park entered into a settlement agreement with the city in 2007, in which the city agreed to purchase their mobile homes and lower the rents slightly for the remainder of the residents’ stay.
City officials are estimating that the Coastal Commission review process for Marina Park plans could be completed within six months. Once the project gets Coastal Commission approval, city officials must determine what portion of the project will be constructed first.
The marina portion of the project, supervised by the Army Corps of Engineers, would include the creation of a .9-acre open water area, with the dredging and excavation footprint to total approximately 2.71 acres.
The proposed marina facility would be developed next to the current American Legion Yacht Club marina, and would include floating docks anchored by pilings to provide 23 slips (21 for boats up to 40 feet, and two for boats up to 57 feet), a floating dinghy storage dock, dockside utility hookups, a 200-foot-long dock on the bayfront that could accommodate additional vessels and boating events, and security fencing and lighting.
Docks constructed would provide power, water and sewage hookups at each slip — with credit card or coin-operated power centers — with all other services being provided free of charge.
Approximately 68,000 cubic yards of sediment is expected to be dredged from the bay during the project, and it would be disposed of in various locations.
According to the Corps of Engineers’ application, 15,000 cubic yards of sand would be reused on the site. About 48,000 cubic yards would be used for beach replenishment at nearby city beaches or taken to the approved offshore disposal site LA-3, about 4.5 miles from the Newport Harbor entrance.
Around 5,000 cubic yards of dredged sediment is expected to be unsuitable for beach replenishment sites, and it would be transported to an upland containment disposal site.