Coastal Commission approves application for seawall replacement

Bayfront property at 1601 East Bay Avenue in Newport Beach will get updated protection from harbor waters.

NEWPORT BEACH—The California Coastal Commission approved an application to remove an existing 60-foot long wood bulkhead and seawall from a property in Newport Beach and replace it with a new concrete structure, Sept. 11.

The applicant, Argent LLC, will be allowed to move forward with its plans to replace the old bulkhead and seawall with a 60-foot long and 22-foot tall precast concrete panel seawall. The updated structure would be in the same alignment as the seawall Argent plans to remove. Six feet of the seawall would be visible above the dredge/mudline. The new seawall would be able to handle an elevation of +9.75 MLLW (Mean Lower Low Water).

“Due to its bay-front location, the project site may be exposed to the hazards of waves, storm conditions, sea level rise or other natural hazards,” Coastal Commission staff stated in a report to commissioners. “However, the project is consistent with previous Commission approvals in the area and conditions have been imposed in order to minimize potential adverse impacts from the development.

“The proposed development is located on private lands and State tidelands located within the Coastal Commission’s retained permit jurisdiction,” Coastal Commission staff continued.

Argus, as one of the conditions attached to the project approval, agreed it would not pursue future expansion of the existing shoreline protective device.

Sitting on the property is a single-unit residence.

“The project site is located in a residential area where the homes fronting Newport Bay are located on lots with bulkheads. Site conditions on the bayward side of the site include an existing wood bulkhead parallel to the bay and a return wall bulkhead along the side street (H Street); a pier and dock are located seaward of bulkhead facing the bay,” Coastal Commission staff stated in a report to commissioners.

“The applicant proposes to demolish the old wood seawall and construct a new 60-ft. long wood bulkhead/seawall and construct new 22-ft. tall (6-ft. of seawall visible above dredge/mudline) precast concrete panel seawall with concrete coping at elevation +9.75 MLLW in same alignment as existing seawall,” the Coastal Commission staff report continued.

Plans to replace the current seawall with a new protective barrier were already approved by Newport Beach’s Harbor Resources Department, according to Coastal Commission staff.

“A 42-inch tall glass panel guardrail is proposed atop the concrete coping,” Coastal Commission staff stated in a report to commissioners. “No tie-backs and deadmen or anchors are proposed for the new seawall as only 6-feet of the seawall be above the mudline the lateral loads on the wall will be minimal and thus will not require tie-backs or anchors on the land side of the seawall.”

Argus claims the current seawall is compromised and failing, according to Coastal Commission staff.

The Coastal Commission met in Newport Beach for its September meetings; the meetings were held Sept. 11-13 at Newport Beach City Hall.

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