Corona del Mar Today: Starbucks loses seats after city inspection

If you're a regular Starbucks customer in Corona del Mar, you might notice a few missing seats at the counter.

After a resident expressed concern, city officials investigated and asked that seats be removed at Starbucks at 2801 E. Coast Hwy. to make sure the coffee shop is in compliance with its permit.

"The conditional use permit limited inside seating to a maximum of 21 seats," said Mary Locey, a city spokeswoman. "It was determined that additional seating was added, and they have been asked to bring the seating into compliance by our Code Enforcement Division."

Locey could not confirm how many seats were removed because the investigation is open.

Starbucks officials said they removed the extra seats on Aug. 12.

"When we were contacted by the city today about this matter, we immediately removed the number of seats by which they believe we exceeded our permit," a spokeswoman said. "We will work with them to address their concerns and ensure we continue to offer the best possible customer experience."

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CdM home tagged as LUGO violator

A home in the 700 block of Narcissus Avenue has been tagged as a violator of the city's new Loud and Unruly Gathering Ordinance policy.

The tag was issued July 25 and will remain posted on the front of the home for 90 days. The first violation fine is $500, said Kathy Lowe, a spokeswoman for the Newport Beach Police Department.

The City Council voted to adopt the LUGO policy in May, and police began enforcement on July 1. Since then, 21 citations have been issued. The home on Narcissus is the only one in Corona del Mar.

The homeowner has 30 days to appeal.

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City to replace bicycle signs on Fernleaf slope

Newport Beach will replace signs above and below the slope on Fernleaf Avenue near Bayside Drive to make them more bicycle-friendly, officials said.

The change will come following online chatter complaining about the signs, which picture a bike with a red slash through it and the warning, "No bicycles on street, walk bicycles on sidewalk."

"It's a very unfriendly-looking sign," said Newport Beach Senior Engineer Brad Sommers. "It is not our intention to prohibit bicycles in the roadway."

Warning signs have been in place for many years, Sommers said, because of the steep slope, the blind curve and the narrow sidewalk. Originally, however, the signs were yellow and black and served to warn inexperienced cyclists that the roadway was hazardous. At some point, those signs were replaced with the current version.

The signs never were intended to create an area of enforcement where police issued citations to cyclists riding up or down the hill, Sommers said.

New signs will be ordered this week and could be installed in two weeks, he said.

The new signs will be yellow and black warning signs.

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Kitson to open at Fashion Island

If driving to Robertson Boulevard to get your Kitson fix wears you down, take heart. Fashion Island officials have announced the boutique will open its only Orange County location there this fall.

The boutique will carry clothing, shoes, accessories, gifts and other items for men and women, according to a news release.

"Kitson will feature the latest looks from Aberdeen & Skye, Wildfox, Denimocracy, MIH Denim, Aviator Nation as well as other exclusive brands that you'll only find at Kitson," the release said. "In addition to the latest handbags, scarves and jewelry, there will also be an assortment of eclectic books, candles, games and other kitschy gifts for which Kitson is known."

The shop, which will be 3,600 square feet, will be located in the Neiman Marcus-Bloomingdale's Courtyard. The boutique opened its first store in Los Angeles in 2000 and has been a celebrity favorite, the news release said.

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City arts commission seeks grant applications

Newport Beach Cultural Arts Grants for 2011-12 are available for arts organizations offering cultural arts programs for Newport Beach residents and visitors, according to a news release.

Applications must be emailed or dropped off at the Cultural Arts office at 1000 Avocado Ave. by 4 p.m. Sept. 30.

Applicants must also be able to document need, quantifiable success, a realistic budget and an implementation plan. The grant applications are available online on the city's website under Departments and Services/Cultural Arts/Cultural Arts Grants, and must be completed according to the instructions.

For more information, call the Arts and Cultural Services Office at (949) 717-3870.

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