This year will be the first in several in which streets will not be barricaded for the Fourth of July holiday, Newport Beach City Councilman Mike Henn reported during Tuesday's meeting.
In recent years, Balboa Boulevard has been blocked off at West Coast Highway on the Fourth, forcing the unaware to walk more than a mile out of their way to get to the Balboa Peninsula.
The city has been trying to tone down Fourth of July partying in recent years. Henn said that a new party house law has proven to be effective.
Lot merger decision postponed
A decision on whether to allow the merger of two lots in Corona del Mar was postponed until May 8 to give the property owner time to modify the proposal.
An initial plan to merge the lots at 2808 and 2812 Ocean Blvd. was rejected by the Planning Commission in October, but a revised plan was approved in March.
The plan for a single-story building spread across the lots has been met with some resistance from neighbors.
City Hall property
The council also authorized staff to start work on rezoning the current civic center for new use once the new Civic Center is built.
The early plans are very general, allowing for mixed commercial and residential uses, as well as possible civic uses.
A staff report states that four-story buildings and "99 residential units and 20,000 square feet of non-residential uses are contemplated."
The Dunes joins hotel group
The Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort and Marina will be joining the Newport Beach Tourism Improvement District.
The association of six large local hotels is financed by a self-imposed 1% surtax on room rentals and is used to promote tourism.