The Newport Beach City Council will hold a hearing at tonight’s meeting that could decide whether two Ocean Boulevard lots may be merged — a question that has been batted back and forth among city officials since September.
The city’s Zoning Administrator in September approved merging the lots at 2808 and 2812 Ocean Blvd., but neighbors appealed that decision, saying the home that would be built there would be too large for the neighborhood and also violate a 1951 private agreement that limits the height of the homes on those lots.
The city’s Planning Commission in October reversed the decision, denying the lot merger. The owners appealed to the City Council, but the Council asked the Planning Commission to take another look, considering the owners’ self-imposed restrictions.
The Planning Commission voted 3-2 that those restrictions would be adequate and added a few more of their own — and now the Council must decide whether to deny the lot merger or accept the merger with restrictions.
The owners, John and Julie Guida, are represented by Coralee Newman of Government Solutions, Inc., who has stated that they would present the Council with their original restrictions, indicating that they would not include the additional ones suggested by the Planning Commissioners. One of those extra restrictions would reduce the height of the new home by an additional three feet.
Neighbors say they also were informed on April 20 that the Guidas don’t plan to comply with the extra restrictions.
“By his continued refusal, in the face of any opposition or restrictions, to reign himself in, he is asking the Council-members to turn a blind eye to his intent to build his house at any cost,” states an email from Jeff DuFine, speaking on behalf of an Ocean Lane couple who face the loss of views. “We are dismayed, but frankly not shocked, that the benefit of all the extra time and consideration given to Mr. Guida has resulted in his blatant disregard for the Commissions rulings.”
Neighbors have stated that they will go to court to fight to uphold the 1951 private restriction, which permits the Ocean Boulevard homes an easement to reach their garages from the rear of the homes. Losing that access could require the new home to have garage access from Ocean Boulevard on a dangerous corner near Goldenrod Avenue that has a lot of beach foot traffic, according to DuFine’s email.
The City Council meeting begins at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers at City Hall at 3300 Newport Blvd. The public is welcome and may make comments.
Read our earlier stories here, here, here, here, here, here and here.
The Council also will hold a Study Session meeting at 4 p.m. that will include the first look at the 2012-2013 fiscal budget.