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Balboa Village parking exemptions return to the City Council

Balboa Village parking exemptions return to the City Council
The Balboa Village Parking Management Overlay District would relieve some businesses of providing dedicated parking along Balboa Boulevard between Adams and A streets, pending approval by the City Council and California Coastal Commission. (File Photo)

The Newport Beach City Council will once again attempt to tackle parking management along a tourist-heavy stretch of the Balboa Peninsula.

With the council’s OK Tuesday, a proposal for the Balboa Village Parking Management Overlay District will go to the California Coastal Commission for final approval.

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The overlay district is a framework to relieve some businesses of providing dedicated parking along Balboa Boulevard between Adams and A streets, with the idea of reducing parking congestion and encouraging continued pedestrian use of the traditional storefronts. It’s been on the city’s radar since at least 2015 but is subject to state scrutiny because of its proximity to the beach.

Overhead utility lines on the western stretch of Balboa Boulevard aren't likely to be buried until later this year. Work initially was expected to begin last spring. These are on Balboa around 35th Street.
Overhead utility lines on the western stretch of Balboa Boulevard aren't likely to be buried until later this year. Work initially was expected to begin last spring. These are on Balboa around 35th Street. (File Photo)

Utility undergrounding

In other business, the council could give the go-ahead for about $4.5 million in contracts to bury overhead utilities on the western stretch of the peninsula, a milestone in another long-awaited project.

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The project area covers Balboa Boulevard, from 36th Street to West Coast Highway, and two neighborhoods just off Balboa, one between 45th and 47th streets, and the other off the harbor-facing side of the road between 38th and 44th.

The work, managed by Southern California Edison, was expected to begin in the residential portions in fall 2017 and on Balboa Boulevard proper in spring 2018. But bids came into Edison much higher than expected and exceeding available funds.

The neighborhoods’ residents formed special districts to cover the costs themselves through voluntary assessments, while the Balboa Boulevard portion planned to use money collected from all Edison customers because the improvements are considered a benefit to the general public. The Balboa stretch was also to extend to 23rd Street, near the Newport Pier.

The Balboa Boulevard portion was initially estimated at $4.1 million but came in at $8.6 million, while the neighborhoods came in $750,000 to $1.5 million over budget.

On the council’s direction last year, Edison redesigned the work and the city took over construction management to bring down costs.

The current $4.5 million figure is for the residential and main road components combined. Work would begin in May and take 10 months.

The 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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