On East Coast Highway in Corona del Mar, just north of Hobie Surf Shop, green grass covers a triangular piece of land that is easy to miss, save for the painted mural periodically changed on the wall behind it.
The mural will continue, but this 1,300-square-foot property won't be left alone for long.
The Newport Beach City Council voted Tuesday night to move forward with plans to landscape it as a pocket park.
"It will certainly look nicer, and it will be usable space there, which is great," said Laura Detweiler, the city's recreation and senior services director, adding that the projected cost of the project is $90,000.
As part of an ongoing effort to increase walkability in the area, the space could include an area for seating and perhaps a sculpture, explained Ron Yeo, a Corona del Mar resident and architect who did the preliminary design pro bono.
A bronze plaque in the park will pay homage to Myrtle Cox, who lived in El Cajon but owned various commercial properties in Newport Beach. Cox agreed to donate the land before her death in December at age 87.
"It was a remarkable gift from one who was not even a resident of our city," said Mayor Pro-Tem Ed Selich.
The part of the land that slopes upward will be terraced. A different type of water-conserving plant will be showcased on each level, said Selich, who first had the idea for the park about 15 years ago.
"This had all the elements of the right size, the right location," he said. "All the little pieces just fell into place."
Residents might stop to rest their feet there, Yeo imagined, perhaps picking up a lemon supreme cupcake or a scoop of bubblegum candy from B.Candy, which borders the park to the north. Yeo passes the space on his morning walks.
As it stands, teenagers have posed in front of the wall to take pictures during the summertime. Families have stopped by the grassy spot to take Christmas card photos in December, said Sarah Dineen, a store manager at Hobie Surf Shop. Otherwise, it often remains vacant.
Dineen looked forward to the park being built next to the store, expecting that it could bring added business.
And even if this does not draw more business to the area, it will benefit shoppers who may need to take a rest between stores, said Bernie Svalstad, vice chairman of the Corona del Mar Chamber of Commerce and the Business Improvement District.
"It will add to the charm of Corona del Mar Village," he said. "I think that's what it's all about."
The park follows a number of ideas dreamed up as part of the Corona del Mar Vision Plan, which Selich helped to oversee when he served as a planning commissioner. It included crosswalk improvements across Coast Highway and median landscaping. Next up may be bike racks and cleaned up newspaper stands.
Also Tuesday, council members approved appointments to various council committees, held a public meeting on the renewal of the Newport Beach Tourism Business Improvement District and conducted a public hearing on new regulations for wireless telecommunications facilities.