Newport council expected to nullify Banning Ranch approvals Tuesday

The Newport Beach City Council is expected next week to reverse several approvals for the derailed Banning Ranch development.

The council will take up the court-ordered repeals when it meets Tuesday.

In 2012, the council — with different members — certified an environmental impact report and approval of general plan and code amendments, a development agreement and several other development-related plans for what at the time included 1,375 homes, a 75-room resort hotel and a 75,000-square-foot retail complex on part of Banning Ranch’s 401 acres of scrub and grasslands at Newport Beach’s western edge.

The project was later whittled to 895 homes, a 75-room hotel, a 20-bed hostel and 45,100 square feet of retail space.

Except for the environmental report and the development agreement, all other approvals were not to take effect until the California Coastal Commission granted the project a coastal development permit, among other actions. The commission rejected the permit application in 2016 and again this year.

And when the California Supreme Court ruled this year that Newport Beach had improperly approved the development, the Orange County Superior Court, under direction from the state’s 4th District Court of Appeal, ordered the city to vacate all Banning Ranch-related approvals.

Balboa Island water main

Also Tuesday, the council will consider a contract to replace the water main on Balboa Island.

The project is the first of three phases to replace the 1940s-era water infrastructure on the densely populated island.

City staff recommended that Orange-based T.E. Roberts Inc. get the $1.56-million construction contract.

With contingencies, geotechnical services and incidentals, the project comes to $1.75 million.

The cast-iron water main to be replaced runs along Balboa Avenue on the main island and portions of Collins and Opal avenues.

Preliminary work is expected to begin in December.

Animal shelter Friends

The council also will consider formalizing the city’s relationship with the nonprofit Friends of Newport Beach Animal Shelter.

The group formed this year to raise money to support the city-run animal shelter, which operates at a small leased space in the Santa Ana Heights neighborhood.

A cooperative agreement would allow the boosters to work with the Newport Beach Police Department, which operates the shelter through its animal-control division.

Tuesday’s council meeting starts at 4 p.m. with a study session, followed by the regular session at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 100 Civic Center Drive.

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