Horse permits subject of public hearing

The Newport Beach City Council will hold a public hearing during its meeting next week on whether to require the annual use permits for some horse owners in the Santa Ana Heights residential equestrian district.

The hearing follows an August decision by the Orange County Board of Supervisors to eliminate a regulation that calls for residents in the area to obtain annual permits if they keep three to six horses for non-commercial use.

Newport Beach tried to eliminate this requirement in 2010 but failed to follow the appropriate steps, according to a staff report.

East Santa Ana Heights and West Santa Ana Heights were annexed to Newport Beach in 2003 and 2006, respectively, according to the report. The permit requirements were not enforced upon annexation.

In order for the city to remove them, it needed the county to give consent. Changes could then be made to the Santa Ana Heights Specific Plan, which includes rules related to keeping horses recreationally in this district.

The city is trying again to eliminate the annual permits, now having received approval from the county and other key groups including

the city Planning Commission, which signed off on the change Oct. 3.

Existing city law already limits the number of horses allowed. This change then serves to streamline the laws between the city and recently annexed area.

The council is also set to consider the implementation of possible restrictions on parking around Corona del Mar High School. Residents have told city staff repeatedly that their streets become clogged Monday through Friday by students who park there instead of in school lots.

Options presented by city staff include establishing a one-hour parking limit between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. on school days on a portion of Aralia Street, on Amigos Way and on the south side of Domingo Drive, according to a staff report. The parking limit could be applied to all drivers, or only to those without a permit.

Other issues include whether to clear a contract for demolition and tree relocation as well as consideration of a professional services agreement for inspection and material testing at the future site for Marina Park, which will be located on the Balboa Peninsula between 15th and 18th streets.

Future contracts related to the project will need to be awarded for the contruction of the marina basin, docks and the community center and park, according to the agenda.

A new lease for the Balboa Bay Resort will be considered, as will the continuation of a resolution on the Woody's Wharf use permit appeal and a review of zoning compliance at rehabilitation center Sober Living by the Sea.

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