NEWPORT BEACH : Club Still Seeking Development Plan

City officials and representatives of the Balboa Bay Club are continuing negotiations over how the private yachting club can expand and renovate its property.

On Monday, the City Council will vote on a budget amendment to free $10,000 in city funds to pay the accounting firm Kenneth Leventhal & Co., which has been retained to help the city analyze the club's development proposals.

"Leventhal's helping us analyze . . . what the appropriate level of development needs to be," said City Manager Kevin J. Murphy.

Neither club nor city officials would discuss details of the current study, but it generally focuses on a scaled-down proposal for a resort-style club that would still be large enough to generate needed revenue.

"The Balboa Bay Club would like to resurrect their former plan," Murphy said. He added "there's been talk about different levels of that former plan."

Club officials have been working with a city committee to create a development plan that would please the community after last summer's failed proposal for a massive renovation of the aging club, which is on city-owned land.

That plan--which included hundreds of hotel rooms, banquet-sized meeting rooms, a cocktail lounge and restaurant--was widely criticized by the community and narrowly defeated by the City Council.

The action was a blow to club officials, who immediately set to work polling the community and working on plans that they hope will win support.

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