I drove to the site of the Newport Dunes Resort and saw the balloons that

outlined the building of the postponed new hotel ("Debate over Dunes

height growing," March 4). I think the proposed structure will fit nicely

on the site and blend well with the neighboring property, without unduly

obstructing anyone's views.

This project is good for the entire community of Newport Beach. It

provides needed accommodations, additional revenue to the city and added

beauty to the Back Bay lagoon. This has all been done in a way that

appears to be considerate to its neighbors and within the traffic limits

that are already approved for the site.

The city and all the residents will benefit from this hotel. It is time

to approve the new plan and quit spending everyone's -- in particular,

the city's -- time and money on the approval of this hotel.


Newport Beach

For months I have heard about the Dunes project and, after seeing the

balloons on East Coast Highway this weekend, I am not sure what all the

fuss is about. It does not appear the new building will block any views,

at least as far as I could tell.

Yes, the new hotel will be big, but not as big as what was originally

proposed. For this we can thank the concerned residents and nearby

homeowners for helping to have the project scaled down more than 25% from

what was originally proposed for the site.

But, while I believe the activists have done an excellent job, I also

believe it would be a huge loss to the city not to have this project go

forward. Newport Beach and all of us residents will benefit from it.

Let's move on with the Dunes expansion in a responsible way that won't

further divide this wonderful city.


Newport Beach

I have been a resident of Newport Beach for almost 30 years. I am a

mechanical engineer, consultant and have been associated with the Evans

Hotel group for many years, first working on the upgrades at the

Catamaran hotel in Pacific Beach, San Diego.

Also our firm, Toft Wolff Farrow Inc., was involved with the design of

the recreational vehicle park, also owned by the Evans Hotel Group.

We have found that the Evans family has always developed and built a

"first-class" project, as seen by their successful projects: the RV park,

Catamaran hotel and the Bahia Corinthian, also in San Diego, on West

Mission Boulevard.

As you know, the company's recently submitted revised plan has scaled

back the size of both the hotel and the time shares.

Most important, has been the reduction of the project's expected traffic

-- from 4,800 daily trips to less than 3,630 trips. This comes to a 25%

reduction, which is not only less than the original proposal but less

than the previously approved project (more than 10 years ago), which was

based on 4,000 trips per day.

Also, I believe the Evans' architect has redesigned the building as an

award-winning project.


Newport Beach

I have spent more than 25 years in the hospitality and tourism-related

fields and am very well acquainted with the current Newport Dunes resort

management and operations.

The concept of a destination resort hotel on this property is a very

commendable idea.

The location is ideal because it is already a family recreational center

with an upscale marina, boat-launching facility, restaurant, highly

regarded recreational vehicle park and a beach recreation center. It is

also an integral part of a biking and walking trail system.

A resort hotel and time shares will complete the master plan of the

property in an ideal way.

In addition, the Evans family has a long and respected history of

operating first-class hotel properties. They are highly regarded in the

tourism industry. We can be assured that this will be a well planned and

exceptionally well managed hotel.

Anyone in the tourism business in Southern California will assure you

that this hotel will be a major asset to the city of Newport Beach


Newport Beach


The article "Debate over Dunes height growing," March 4, states as a

matter of "fact" that the recent small reductions in the proposed Evans

Hotel at The Dunes has "significantly reduced traffic" estimates.

That statement is inaccurate.

The effect of the proposed reductions in the number of vehicles is

unclear and disputed.

Secondly, the statements attributed to Commissioner Ed Selich does a

disservice to Bert Ohlig and the public by characterizing Ohlig's work as

"completely inaccurate."

The recent effort of elevating balloons to various heights is marginally

useful only in establishing a point of reference to height. It confirms

the earlier contentions of Susan Caustin and others that the hotel

reaches the height of the Castaways Bluffs.

The balloons, however, do not provide any perspective with respect to the

volume and density of this immense project. There is no place in the Back

Bay for this oversize, ill-conceived, nonconforming, moneymaking venture.

Evans Hotels should be required to adhere to the agreement the company

made in 1989 with all concerned parties and limit construction to the

project that was previously approved.


Newport Beach

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