Letters to the Editor: Koll Center proposal is more out of place in Newport than Museum House


Every so often there is what I call a poster boy for bad development or overbuilding in Newport Beach. In 2013 there was the plan to change a carwash in Newport Center into a multi-story condo or hotel, rising up above its surrounding two-story commercial neighbors.

In 2014 we had the Museum House. Currently, the Koll Center Residential project is planned to arise right in the face and middle of a well-functioning business complex.

For the record:

4:10 p.m. Jan. 12, 2018An earlier version of Mailbag misspelled the name of the second letter writer. The correct spelling is Mary Spadoni.

In his recent letter to the editor about the Koll Residences project (“Koll Center Residences would be a good addition for Newport Beach”), Thomas R. Damiani pushed the developer’s plan, saying these massive luxury towers conform to the General Plan. We wholeheartedly disagree.


The General Plan suggests residential villages in the airport area but nowhere is there evidence that the intention is to build the tallest and most expensive high-density condo towers ever built in Newport Beach. There are instead multiple policies that are in direct conflict with this project.

The project is much more out of place and out of touch with the General Plan than the Museum House. But just as I said about the Museum House two years ago, this project raises all sorts of questions that Newport Beach residents should answer through a vote or, in this case, a General Plan update would be optimal.

Residents are ready to participate, and the question of how to provide appropriate residential areas and units in the airport area should be squarely on the table.

Please attend the Planning Commission study session Thursday if you want to hear more about this project. And go to the SPON website, which will direct you to all the current information and application:

Jean Watt

SPON board member and founder

Newport Beach

Consider a Costa Mesa wall of honor

Re: Geoff West’s commentary on the naming of community center for Norma Hertzog (“New community center should bear former Mayor Norma Hertzog’s name”): There is no argument that Hertzog was an outstanding woman in Costa Mesa political history. Recently, I read an article wherein the county was considering renaming John Wayne Airport because of passage of time and the younger generation being unfamiliar with his history in the county.

As the City Council discussed renaming the community center for Hertzog, I thought of the Donald Dungan Library and why the library was named for him by some council members. Personally, I had no idea who Dungan was or why his name appeared on the library.

I propose we need an alternative plan to honor those outstanding residents. How many buildings can we name?

A wall of honor in the community center or library, appears to be a viable idea. There are others who should be recognized, and a wall of fame could accommodate this honor.

It makes sense to have a policy, a process to make these honors, without a political “their side” versus “our side.” Everything has become a contentious political issue. I am tired of failure to consider options as an instant political maneuver.

Options mean negotiation, consideration and a determination to arrive at middle ground. This is not about Hertzog — this is about the lack of communicating and angst continuing with our council. Sometimes other suggestions are good and not an assault on another council member’s integrity.

Hertzog deserves recognition, as do many others. Let’s open the door to acknowledging those responsible for the founding, growth and future of Costa Mesa, in a fashion that will be inclusive to past, present and future citizens of note.

Mary Spadoni

Costa Mesa

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