Newport Crest residents oppose Banning Ranch

Residents of a condominium community near Banning Ranch have organized against the proposed large, master-planned development.

Joining conservationists seeking to preserve the ranch as open space, some Newport Crest residents protested during a Newport Beach Planning Commission study session Thursday.

As the efforts of Newport Banning Ranch LLC, the developer of the property, wend their way through the approvals process, the 400-acre mixed-use project has accumulated opponents from Newport Crest and Costa Mesa's Westside, two areas on the outskirts of the active oil field.

"The overcrowding, noise, health and safety hazards will effectively destroy the privacy and peace of mind of Newport Crest residents," said longtime homeowner Don Bruner, reading aloud from a prepared statement at the meeting.

The Banning Ranch environmental impact report says that the project consisting of 1,375 homes, a 75-room resort, parks and a commercial center would create light pollution, traffic, noise and other problems for neighbors.

Planners contend that some of the impacts could be lessened through measures such as sound-proof walls and rubberized cement, although the city could not legally require the Newport Crest Homeowners Assn. or the city of Costa Mesa to accept those fixes.

The first official public hearing for Banning Ranch is scheduled for March 22, before the Planning Commission. The commission will then make a recommendation to the City Council.

If the Newport council decides to approve the development, it would have to justify impacts on neighbors.

Twitter: @mreicher

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