Wednesday is Deadline to Comment on Bicycle Master Plan Draft

posted: July 29th, 2014 04:46 pm | 0No Comments

The City of Newport Beach’s Bicycle Master Plan draft is available online, and the public is welcome to comment on the draft through 5 p.m. Wednesday.

The Bicycle Master Plan Oversight Committee worked with a private consultant since June 2013 on the plan.

For more information or to review the plan, click here.

The committee’s next meeting is scheduled for 5 p.m. Sept. 2. Previous meetings have been held in the Civic Center’s Community Room.

Demolition of CdM Building Begins; Plans For Space Uncertain

posted: July 29th, 2014 07:46 am | 0No Comments

Demolition has begun of a building at 3500 East Coast Highway, the former location of Newport Floor Coverings. But plans for a replacement building remain uncertain.

According to online city records, a demolition permit was approved on July 17 for the existing 7,480 square foot, two-story building. Online records also indicate that an application was submitted for the shell only of a new commercial building in April. The new building would be 8,027 feet, online records show.

Plans for tenant improvements for the new building have not yet been submitted, said Brenda Wisneski, the city’s deputy community development director.

“Based on conversations with the property owner, the upper floor will be for their office, Hanley Investment Group,” Wisneski said in an email. “A tenant for the ground level has not been identified. The demolition permit has been issued, but the building permit has not.”

The city’s General Plan allows redevelopment while maintaining pre-existing parking conditions, she said. There is no parking on site, she said, so any new use that generates more than one parking space per 250 square feet would need off-site parking or a parking waiver, she said. Office or retail space would not require additional parking but a restaurant would.

Newport Floor Covering relocated to Costa Mesa in April after more than 50 years in business in Corona del Mar; read our story here.

Sherman Library & Gardens to Host Afternoon Tea

posted: July 29th, 2014 05:47 am | 0No Comments

Sherman Library & Gardens will host an an afternoon tea in the gardens on Wednesday afternoon.

The tea costs $29 per person, no including tax and tip, and includes a pot of tea, currant and chocolate scones, a selection of tea sandwiches and desserts. Seatings are available at 2:30, 2:45 and 3 p.m.

Reservation are required and may be made by calling (949) 673-2261.

From the Police Log: Thefts From Cars in CdM

posted: July 28th, 2014 04:48 pm | 0No Comments

Police are investigating four thefts from motor vehicles in Corona del Mar, all from unlocked vehicles, police said.

Online logs show that burglaries were reported between 6:47 and 9:44 a.m. today in the 300 block of Poppy Avenue, the 300 block of Marigold Avenue, the 4700 block of Hampden Road and the 4700 block of Surrey Drive.

“The majority of the property loss was from property left in plain sight inside the vehicle,” said Sgt. William Depweg. “We are encouraging the community to lock their vehicles and not leave property inside their vehicles.” Depweg said “miscellaneous items” were taken in the thefts.

Police also took two reports of burglaries from motor vehicles iN Newport Coast on Friday. One incident, with a loss of $1,800, occurred on Sea View Lane, and the other occurred on Tidal Surf, but no loss was available.

In other police news, a 63-year-old Pacific Palisades woman was arrested at 3:08 p.m.. Sunday in the 6900 block of East Coast Highway on suspicion of DUI with a prior, a report said. Her bail was $10,000.

Police arrested two 20-year-old Irvine women Sunday evening in the 400 block of Newport Center Drive, reports say. One woman was arrested at 6:55 p.m. and booked on suspicion of commercial burglary and shoplifting; her bail was $20,000. The other woman was arrested at 6:58 p.m. and booked on commercial burglary and shoplifting and possession of a controlled substance; her bail also was $20,000.

Officers arrested a 54-year-old Del Mar man at 11:04 p.m. Saturday at Poppy Avenue and East Coast Highway on suspicion of several crimes including DUI with a prior, driving with a revoked license and having an open container while driving. His bail was $50,000.

Police arrested a 37-year-old Rancho Santa Margarita woman at 12:33 a.m. Friday in the 600 block of Newport Center Drive on suspicion of disorderly conduct while intoxicated; her bail was $500, a report said. Officers took a report of a petty theft or pickpocket on Sunday. The incident, with a $60 loss, occurred at 5 p.m. Saturday in the 600 block of Newport Center Drive. Officers responded to a DUI report at 2:20 p.m. Sunday at East Coast Highway and Los Trancos, and officers took a report of a residential burglary with forced entrance in the 400 block of Fernleaf Avenue on Saturday. The burglary occurred between 5:30 p.m. Friday and 1:45 a.m. Saturday, and the loss was $5,000.

Officers took a report of a grand theft from a building with a loss of $1,048 on Saturday in the 1100 block of Newport Center Drive. The theft occurred at 10 a.m. Friday, the report said. Officers also took a report of identity theft at 2:44 p.m. Saturday in the 300 block of Poinsettia Avenue.

Boat Fire Off Crystal Cove

posted: July 28th, 2014 02:00 pm | 0No Comments

A boat’s engine caught fire about a half mile off Crystal Cove early this morning, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department’s online blotter.

The fire was reported at 1:38 a.m. when the fire occurred in the boat’s engine, but the fire was completely out by the time Harbor Patrol deputies arrived at the scene.

“It wasn’t even smoking by the time our fireboat got there,” said Sgt. John Hollenbeck. “Lifeguards saw everything happening from the beach, and swam out to take the people on board ashore. We towed it back to Newport Harbor without further incident.”

The fire occurred less than a week after another boat off Crystal Cove caught fire and sank; read our story here. No updates on that incident were available, Hollenbeck said.

Homeowners Agree to Remove Boulders from Little Corona Beach

posted: July 28th, 2014 11:52 am | 1Comment

A Corona del Mar couple has agreed to remove rocks from their property on Little Corona Beach — at an expense of about $100,000 — as they prepare to build a new home in Shore Cliffs.

The rock removal was part of an agreement with the California Coastal Commission, which granted a coastal development permit for the new home at its July meeting. The project involves demolition of a 3,530 square-foot existing single-family home and replacing it with a 12,364 square-foot, two-level single-family home with a semi-subterranean basement and a 2,621 square-foot subterranean garage. There also will be a 501 square-foot detached guest house on the lot, which is on a coastal bluff above Little Corona Beach.

“In addition, the project consists of grading consisting of 3,260 cubic yards of cut, 190 cubic yards of fill and 3,070 cubic yards of export, and also removal of boulders located at the base of the coastal bluff,” a staff report states.

Homeowner Jerrod Blandino said the boulders were placed at the beach in 1982.

“We agreed to remove the rocks as it is a request/requirement from the Coastal Commission,” he said in an email. “There’s no structural reason, just someone’s opinion of what’s pretty or not.”

Removal of the rocks, which are located by the beach’s tidepools, will cost about $100,000, he said. They will be working with the City of Newport Beach for an encroachment permit necessary for the rocks’ removal, he said, and they agreed not to conduct the removal during the peak beach season, or between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

The lot extends to the beach area below the bluff to the mean high tide line, the Coastal Commission staff report said, but the private beach area “has historically been used by the public to access the ocean and beach.”

“The part of the beach seaward of the mean high tide line, which would change depending on the tide, is public,” the staff report states. Removing the stacks of boulders from the private side of the mean high tide line would enhance public beach access, the report states.

Brenda Wisneski, Newport Beach deputy community development director, said the city has not been involved with the Coastal Commission staff’s analysis or conditions of approval for the property, and the building permit process would involve review of encroachment permits related to the boulder removal.

UPDATED: CdM Wakes To Rainy Weather

posted: July 28th, 2014 07:08 am | 0No Comments


Rain soaked Corona del Mar early this morning, and residents woke to cloudy skies, 89 percent humidity and a chance for more rain before lunchtime.

The National Weather Service website’s forecast for Corona del Mar says there is a 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms before 11 a.m. today, along with patchy fog.

“Otherwise, partly sunny, with a high near 77,” the website states. “Light and variable wind becoming southwest 5 to 10 mph in the afternoon.”

The forecast for the rest of the week is for patchy fog, clouds and temperatures in the mid to high 70s.

The stormy weather, and reports of lightning strikes in Venice Beach that killed a man, caused concern for Newport Beach Junior Guards organizers.

“We did have a plan,” said Brian O’Rourke, a city lifeguard captain who oversees the guards program. “I was up in the middle of the night thinking about it.”

The Junior Guards team met at 7 a.m. today, he said, and discussed plans in case the stormy weather continued throughout the day.

“We had a Wedge run scheduled and cancelled in order to keep the kids close to the trailer in case we needed to seek shelter,” he said. “We are also keeping a close watch on the weather today. We actually discuss plans for natural disaster and other incidents including lighting at the beginning of the summer and are always taking steps to make sure we do our best to keep the kids safe.”

No parents called with concerns, he said.

“I was surprised,” he said.

CdM Today Poll of the Week

posted: July 28th, 2014 05:35 am | 0No Comments

Natural Lecture Series Event Planned for Aug. 6

posted: July 27th, 2014 05:43 am | 0No Comments

The next Orange County Natural History Lecture Series event will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday Aug. 6, according to an email announcement.

Southern California Coastal Water Research Project researcher Karen McLaughlin will present “Ocean Acidification: Causes and Implications of Changing Ocean Chemistry,” the announcement said.

“This often underrepresented facet of global climate change has far-reaching consequences for ocean health and the shellfish industry,” the announcement said.

McLaughlin, a biogeochemist specializing in nutrient cycling and source tracking in streams, estuaries, and coastal waters, is currently researching factors and processes controlling ecosystem response to nutrient loading, development of indicators of eutrophication in estuaries and streams and determination of “natural background” sources and cycling of nutrients via atmospheric deposition, groundwater inputs, assimilation, nitrogen fixation, and denitrification, the announcement said.

The event will be held at Back Bay Science Center, located at 600 Shellmaker Road. Gates will open at 6:30 p.m.

Parking and lecture are free, but organizers request you R.S.V.P by emailing marine education at

CdM Today’s Top Stories This Week

posted: July 26th, 2014 02:22 pm | 0No Comments

1. The Wells Fargo Bank branch at 3600 East Coast Highway was robbed this week; read our story here.

2. Voters will decide on whether to approve an amendment to the city’s land-use element of its General Plan — which could include a Corona del Mar bypass plan to try to reduce traffic through town; read our stories here, here and here.

3. A former Harbor View Elementary School fifth-grade teacher was killed this week in a solo vehicle crash on Newport Coast Drive; read our story here.

4. The city has submitted a plan for a coastal development permit for charcoal-only beach fire rings; read our story here.

5. A boat sank about 3 miles off Crystal Cove after catching fire, but two occupants and a dog were rescued; read our story here.