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Council agenda: parks, cafe lease and arts grants

In its last meeting of the year, the Newport Beach City Council on Tuesday is expected to make strides toward the completion of two long-planned parks, extend a lease for a popular community gathering spot and approve a slate of cultural grant recipients.



Parks contracts

Though the meeting won’t be preceded by a study session, it will start at 5:30 p.m.— an hour and a half earlier than usual.


City officials also will host a groundbreaking ceremony for Sunset Ridge Park earlier that afternoon.

The park has been in the works for years, having hit a few stumbling blocks as the city sought the California Coastal Commission’s approval of the project.

In November, the commission issued the necessary development permit, allowing construction to move forward.

At its meeting, the council will probably approve spending roughly $5.2 million, plus up to $520,000 for unforeseen costs, to build the park, a staff report said.


The report recommends awarding the contract to Woodland Hills-based Environmental Construction Inc.

According to the report, the company proposed doing the work for 21% less than the projected cost of $6.6 million.

Plans for the 13.7-acre space near Banning Ranch include sports fields, a children’s playground and a butterfly garden.

The council is also expected to approve a roughly $4.5-million contract to dredge and grade the site of Marina Park.


A marina for visiting boats is one component of the park, which will also include a new Girl Scout facility, faux lighthouse and community center.


The Galley Cafe

City staff have recommended extending a lease with the operators of the Galley Cafe, a mainstay at the Balboa Yacht Basin since 1957, according to a report.

The basin was built in 1950 on state tidelands and city-owned uplands, meaning that the city is the cafe’s landlord.

With the cafe’s current agreement set to expire at the end of this year, city staff considered gathering proposals for other potential restaurants to occupy the space.

However, the report said, after talking with community members, “it was clear to staff that the Galley Cafe is a beloved and iconic fixture.”

The council is likely to approve a 10-year lease Tuesday, with two five-year extension options.


Arts Grants

Every year, the city gives $40,000 in grants for free arts and culture programs for the Newport community.

The council is expected to give final approval Tuesday to the most recent list of grantees, chosen from among 12 applicants.

Just more than half of the $40,000 is likely to go to the City Arts Commission to fund arts lectures and exhibitions in the Central Library and City Hall, according to a staff report.

The rest is slated to be divided among ExplorOcean, the Baroque Music Festival, South Coast Repertory Theater, Southland Opera, Festival Ballet Theatre and the Newport Beach Film Festival.