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NEWPORT BEACH : City Closer to Getting Park Site

The City Council is set to take another step Monday toward turning Caltrans land into a park.

The Planning Commission, on a 5-0 vote, approved an agreement that would allow Caltrans to trade the parcel at West Coast Highway and Superior Avenue for housing credits to be transferred to other land in the city.

The City Council asked planners several months ago to negotiate with Caltrans for a deal that would let the city downzone the property without paying Caltrans for the reduced resale value.

The undeveloped property was zoned for 152 condominiums, but neighbors--who refer to the 14.25-acre Caltrans West parcel as Sunset Ridge--have worked for two years to get play fields and playground equipment. The west side of Newport Beach has only one ball field.

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If the plan is approved, Caltrans will be able to sell or trade to a developer the right to build the 152 condominiums on another piece of property in the city. The city would get the land for minimal cost, planners said. One detail left to be resolved is a small corner of what was once the same parcel, but was split when Superior Avenue was rerouted.


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