NEWPORT BEACH — After sustaining years of sea flooding and collapsing floors, Newport Harbor Yacht Club is finally ready for a new club house.
It’s been nearly a decade since Jeff Gordon, chairman of Newport Harbor YC’s Long Range Facilities Planning Committee, and likeminded club members decided that they should build a new club house. But slow planning and the varying voices of its 1,000 club members kept the plans at a standstill.
“We’ve been working on this thing off and on,” Gordon said. “We determined a long time ago that we have some issues with this club house; although we maintain it really well there’s just some things you can’t change.”
Things that cannot change largely involve infrastructural issues below ground including flooding – which occurs frequently at high tide, and the 100- year- old hand carved pilings situated below the club house, he explained.
The floor frequently collapses because the pilings are eroding.
“We went about it many years ago about how we should replace this club house; we determined the best way to proceed with this would be to get some preliminary approval from the city and California Coastal Commission and bring it back to the club to decide,” Gordon said.
The club received initial project approvals from the Newport Beach City Planning Commission, and is scheduled to go before City Council in February. Once approved, the project can go before the California Coastal Commission by this summer. Project plans include converting the current quasi two story building to a complete two story structure complete with additional storage areas, new offices and larger restrooms that will meet ADA requirements. The new clubhouse will add 3,700 square feet to the original floor plan
The existing seawall will be reinforced by the installation of a secant piled wall during construction, supported by both a dewatering system and debris collection/protection barrier bayside of the seawall.
Club members will ultimately have the final decision on whether or not to move forward with the new clubhouse.
“If they don’t want to do it I have no idea what will happen, my job is just to get it there,” Gordon said. “We all love this club. No one wants to do this in reality but if it falls down around our ears one day then what are we going to do?”
As for temporary club operations during construction, Newport Harbor YC members will most likely use temporary landside offices as club meeting rooms. A kitchen and offices for staff members will be provided in one of the club’s boatyards, he noted.
“It is our intent to be able to continue the majority of our water based activities as we do now,” he said. “We are not doing any construction/reconstruction of our docks that would otherwise limit those activities.”