Trash is the talk of the town

Discussion of whether trash services should be outsourced in Newport Beach ate up a significant portion of the City Council meeting Tuesday night.

As anticipation of the topic of trash grew, and the microphones intermittently turned off and on, council members moved quickly through other issues.

Council members also consequently decided to continue two of the four remaining items of business that followed the lengthy discussion.


AERIE Project

Brion Jeannette Architecture no longer needs to provide to the city a performance bond, which had been required to "ensure timely completion" of its AERIE condominium project in Corona del Mar.

The project, at Carnation Avenue and Ocean Boulevard, has been significantly downsized since its conception, according to a staff report.

The company should have sufficient funds to complete the project, city officials said.

Council members unanimously agreed to waive the bond requirement.


Eucalyptus Tree

The fate of a eucalyptus at 300 Poppy Ave. will be decided after staff members return to the council with more information about how it might be protected.

The "special tree" is neither sick nor dying, but its roots have pushed up the sidewalk and affected nearby plumbing, according to a letter from Mary McCarthy, who lives near it.

Her brother expressed concern for McCarthy's safety because her front gate opens near the disjointed sidewalk, where many skateboarders often ride, he said.

Another resident argued that the tree was part of the character of the street.

Council members wondered aloud whether there might be other ways to address the problem besides removing the tree, perhaps building a bridge of sorts over the roots.

They unanimously directed staff to return with more information.


Arts Commission

The council elected Charles Ware and Judy Chang from a field of five applicants to fill two places on the City Arts Commission. They are replacing Gilbert Lasky and Carole Boller, who resigned their seats in August.


Pier Encroachment

Docks are rarely a simple subject in Newport Beach. When weary council members reached the issue of what to do about a pier that encroaches on a neighbor's property, they began to talk in circles.

The permit for the pier was initially held by the current homeowner's parents. The resident now wishes to acquire the permit himself and sell the home, with the encroaching "mini-marina" contributing to the property's value.

The conflict in question was whether city staff ought to be able to approve or deny permits for such piers administratively, or if such permits should go before the Harbor Commission, as the current code requires.

After much confusion, Mayor Keith Curry asked, "Is there a reason we have to do this tonight? I mean we're sort of doing this on the fly, and it's become a little slapdash."

The council agreed to delay the item.

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