Location for Reagan statue changes
The winding road in the Newport Beach saga of where to install a privately funded statue of the late Ronald Reagan took another turn Thursday.
Newport Beach City Manager Dave Kiff announced that the future statue of the 40th president and former California governor would be installed in Bonita Canyon Sports Park, and not in Castaways Park as planned, according to a news release.
The change comes from a new recommendation by the Parks, Beaches and Recreation Commission that Bonita Canyon Sports Park would be a “better fit for good public access to the statue,” the release stated.
The park, near MacArthur Boulevard and Bonita Canyon Drive, would also be a better location if the city decided to add more statues.
“Additionally, the location they proposed might accommodate more statues should the city and community want to develop a patriot’s walk or similar place of honor for other noteworthy individuals,” Kiff said in the release.
The new location is the same one that Councilman Keith Curry proposed renaming after Reagan to commemorate the centennial of his birth, which was Feb. 6.
Curry, who in January proposed commissioning a statue of “The Gipper” after his idea to rename the park after Reagan was voted down, said Bonita Canyon Sports Park is an outstanding location and an appropriate place to honor Reagan.
“I think it’s a good idea,” he said.
The City Council voted in February to place the statue in Castaways Park between Dover Drive and Upper Newport Bay and empowered Kiff, with input from community groups, to choose the location within Castaways Park.
Curry said the council was very comfortable with the new recommendation and doesn’t believe the decision would have to come back before it.