Newport Beach's Sunset Ridge Park is one step closer to approval after the California Coastal Commission voted to delay the application, but indicated it would likely approve a park on that site.
Previously, the commission staff had recommended denying the project at East Coast Highway and Superior Avenue.
By a 6-5 vote Thursday, the commissioners said they would approve a park with conditions, and ordered the city and its staff to create a feasible plan.
City Manager Dave Kiff said he is "cautiously optimistic" and appreciative of the commission and its staff.
"While going through this process has been hard on us, it's also been hard on the commissioners," he said.
The city had presented plans to the commissioners once before, unsuccessfully. The staff contended the proposed sports park would cover land that could be habitat for the protected California gnatcatcher, while the city said that area did not qualify as protected habitat.
— Mike Reicher