Aralia Street residents may get some relief

Aralia Street residents may soon rest easy.

The Newport Beach City Council on Tuesday night approved a resolution to establish a one-hour parking limit on the street for any cars without a permit. The one-hour limit would apply between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. on school days.

The vote marked a major step in what residents describe as a years-long battle to have their voices heard.

Students at the nearby Corona del Mar High have been clogging the spaces in front of the homes on the street rather than park in school lots because of the convenience.

As a result, residents say they cannot have guests over because there is no room for their vehicles. Any maintenance workers or babysitters would also be hard-pressed to find a parking space.

Denise Lambe said she regularly moves her car into a spot in front of her home early in the morning to reserve it for her visitors. She also has tried to use cones. Two have been stolen, she said.

The vote passed unanimously 5 to 0, with Mayor Keith Curry absent and Councilwoman Leslie Daigle recusing herself because she owns property near the street.

Before the rule takes effect, all residents on the block will be notified. They will have an opportunity to speak at the next City Council meeting, in November, when members will vote on the parking changes for a second time. After that, 30 days will need to pass before the rules can be enforced.

Under the new rules, up to three permits would be allowed per household. A small fee would be applied.

The agenda had suggested that the council would consider parking issues on other streets near the school. Staff recommended that those be considered at another time.


Equestrian zone 

Council members also voted unanimously to remove a requirement for an annual use permit allowing the keeping of three to six horses in the residential equestrian zone of Santa Ana Heights.

Staff reiterated to council members that the removal of the requirement — which carried over when the area was annexed but has never been enforced — would not alter the city's ability to enforce existing requirements regarding maintenance of areas where horses are kept and limits on the number of horses allowed.

Several residents nonetheless spoke about alleged code enforcement problems.

"My real concern is enforceability," Richard Lehn said, explaining that he cannot enjoy his backyard because of sewage problems and dust created at the horse property near him.

Others alleged that limits on the number of horses were not being followed. They also said that at least one horse-boarding business was being operated in violation of the rules.

Two code enforcement cases in Santa Ana Heights are currently under evaluation, staff said. Mayor Pro Tem Rush Hill urged staff to continue pursuing any necessary correction.

Also during the meeting, council members found Sober Living By the Sea, a rehabilitation facility, to be in zoning compliance.

Council members approved a new lease for the Balboa Bay Club, which is being renamed the Balboa Bay Resort, extending the current term to 50 years.

The club, which changed ownership in June 2012, is undergoing improvements such as a new guard shack and updating its restaurants, the general manager said.

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