The permit will allow for a like-for-like replacement of the concrete public walkways at 2806 and 2804 Lafayette Avenue and construction of a public pier platform, gangway, and floating dock at 29th street.
NEWPORT BEACH— The California Coastal Commission has issued a coastal development permit to the city of Newport Beach to replace two stretches of a public walkway along the Rhine Channel that were deemed structurally unstable and to construct a new public pier platform, gangway, and floating dock at the end of 29th street in Newport Beach.
The approved project will remove and replace like-for-like portions of the public walkway on the waterside development at 2806 and 2804 Lafayette Avenue, which are currently blocked off. The Coastal Commission has issued public access violations to the property owners at these sites for fences blocking the walkways.
The project will also remove a gangway and floating dock at the end of 29th street that had primarily been utilized for commercial uses, and construct a new public pier platform, gangway, and floating dock.
The city’s Local Coastal Program requires a continuous lateral public walkway between the development portion and the public waters of the Rhine Channel in this area of Newport Harbor. In 2019, a pier platform and vertical segment of the public walkway at the 2806 Lafayette Ave. collapsed into the bay and the city put up a fence blocking the area. In June 2019, Commission enforcement staff sent a Notice of Violation to the property owner for the erection of the unpermitted fence. Commission staff noted that the city’s installation of a fence to prevent public access at this location was undertaken without a CDP, but upon request from Commission staff, the city provided a report from their structural engineer which proved that the pier platform was structurally compromised and unsafe for public use.
The city has proposed to reconstruct the lateral walkway that collapsed but is not proposing to reconstruct a vertical segment of the pier platform that used to extend into the bay. In lieu of rebuilding that segment, the city has proposed to remove a gangway and floating dock at the end of 29th street, which is approximately 215 feet east of the project site, and construct a new public pier platform, gangway, and floating dock. The new public facility would be operated and maintained by the city and consist of a 35 square-foot public pier platform with a 30-foot-long gangway leading to a 40-foot-long public floating dock. Both sides of the proposed public floating dock would be available for short-term tie-up for boats of all sizes. The public floating dock would provide visitor access to and from the shoreline and the public would also be able to utilize the pier platform as a viewing platform along the waterfront.
The approved CDP will also allow the city to replace the public walkway on the seaward side of the property at 2804 Lafayette Ave. due to concerns about deep cracks observed in the surface of the walkway. Commission enforcement staff also sent a Notice of Violation to the property owner of 2804 Lafayette for putting up a fence across the public walkway and placing “Private Property – No Trespassing” signs along and adjacent to the public walkway. Once the subject site is repaired, the chain-link fence will be removed and the walkway reopened to the public.