Marina Park finalization still a ways ahead

It may still be another year before city officials can begin construction on Marina Park, the planned Balboa Peninsula community center.

Although the California Coastal Commission approved the plans in June, the city of Newport Beach still has to obtain a coastal development permit, settle issues relating to a faux lighthouse, and budget for the $20-million project, said Public Works Director Steve Badum.

Badum and Senior Civil Engineer Iris Lee presented the latest Marina Park plans Wednesday during a Speak Up Newport meeting.

After a presentation, Badum said that the city would wait until it has a firm construction date before issuing a 90-day notice to vacate for the people who live in 57 mobile homes on the city-owned property.

He said they might not start building until next spring or next fall.

Marina Park is expected to take up 10.45 acres between 15th and 18th streets.

The project is still in a "conceptual" phase, Lee said. The City Council budgeted $6.8 million for it in the 2012-13 fiscal year.

One controversial issue has been a 73-foot ornamental lighthouse in the designs.

"The tower is still in question," Lee said.

The council approved an amendment to the city's land-use plan, which would allow the faux lighthouse. Now the city has to get that amendment approved by the Coastal Commission.

Audience members, many of whom wore Hawaiian and nautical shirts, had mixed reactions to the plans.

One woman said there were enough children's sailing facilities at the harbor's yacht clubs, while another attendee pointed out that not everyone could afford yacht club programs.

Another woman objected to taxpayers funding a $20-million park.

In her presentation, Lee detailed some of the materials that would be used in the community center and sailing facility. The buildings would have lots of glass to maximize views.

She described "nautical-themed" materials, including man-made wood. The community sailing center would have children's areas with bright colors.

Twitter: @mreicher

Copyright © 2019, Daily Pilot
EDITION: California | U.S. & World