Letters/Online Comments

Opinion: Back Bay Landing project should move forward

After several years of hearing about the Back Bay Landing Project, it was not surprising to learn that an advocacy group was making a last minute attempt to stall the multimillion dollar project. But with so much support from stakeholders and the local Newport Beach community, it was not a shock that the attempt failed.

Bert Ohlig, the treasurer of Stop the Dunes Hotel, a community-based political action committee, confirmed the case was dropped due to mounting legal costs.

In March, Ohlig, and group member Susan Skinner, claimed in court documents that “the project is only part of the full project, which the Environmental Impact Report did not analyze at all.” City Council was served the lawsuit March 27 by Orange County Superior Court.

“Our office did a comprehensive analysis of the allegations made by Stop the Dunes Hotel before the City Council approved the project,” said Aaron Harp, Newport Beach city attorney. “We determined that each of the allegations was without merit and that there was no legal reason for the City Council to not approve the project.”

Despite the small setback, the project has received the support of boaters and water users alike who have been awaiting more boater server amenities and access to the water. The project, once completed, will feature a waterfront village close to upper Newport Bay. A restaurant, retail and office space, boat storage and more are proposed for the 31.4 acre parcel. The project is scheduled to begin in 2016.

It’s about time that boaters received some of their wants from a city that boasts of its beloved harbor.

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