Newport Beach launches pilot program for private security cameras in public right-of-way

Newport Beach City Hall.
The Newport Beach City Council approved a pilot program for the usage of private security cameras in the public right-of-way in specific neighborhoods throughout the city.
(File Photo)

A new pilot program that will allow private security cameras to be installed in the public right-of-way of select neighborhoods was approved Tuesday by the Newport Beach City Council.

The one-year program will allow up to 10 qualified homeowner associations with at least 50 single-unit dwellings within a continguous neighborhood to install private security cameras in the public right-of-way. Rent will not be collected from an HOA for use of that right-of-way, but applications, encroachment permits and agreement fees are required.

Initial suggestions called for the pilot program to expire on July 1, 2024, but Councilman Erik Weigand requested to extend the trial as it is expected to take at least a few months before the cameras can get up and running. His council colleagues agreed to extend the program until September 2024.


Homeowner association boards will need to provide the city with supporting information, documentation and contact information; camera details; a camera and sign installation plan; installer and operator information.

The cameras are required to be self-contained with solar or battery power and have wireless communications. They cannot have pan, tilt or zoom abilities or utilize facial recognition or capture audio. Associations will also be required to move cameras at the city’s request and provide statistical information to the Newport Beach Police Department to assess the program.

As of Tuesday, four homeowner associations had expressed interest in the program: the Spyglass Hill Community Assn., the Harbor View Community Assn. Board, the Newport Hills Community Assn. and the Dover Shores Community Assn.

The item was brought up for study in April after the Spyglass Hill Community Assn. reached out to Mayor Pro Tem Will O’Neill.

During the April study session, Spyglass Hill Community Assn. President Bruce Horn said residents wanted to install cameras to deter crime.

Councilman Brad Avery said he was supportive of the program and understood the reasons why residents asked for it, but raised concerns about the right to privacy and increased surveillance.