Mailbag: Create open space at old City Hall site

The Newport Beach City Council is moving City Hall to a beautiful new site, and now they will vote on the use of the old site, possibly for residential development.

Another recent plan calls for much of the public space to become a parking lot to benefit the retail space next door. How does this benefit our community? Why is there no police substation planned?

Why no public services for a population that is growing in density, especially with as many as 1,375 new homes planned within a couple of miles of the site?

If we need revenue and a parking lot, why not put a parking structure with a skateboard park on the top — access could be limited — and a fee collected? Youth in Newport Beach could be directed to constructive athletics in support of the skate and surf industry that drives a big part of the Orange County economy. It would generate more income for Newport Beach and better commerce than residential housing.

Why build anything at all? What is the rush? The land could serve the population by just having grass and trees for 10 or 20 years, and our next generation can use this valuable public space to meet the needs of an even more densely populated West Newport.

The Newport City Council should reconsider its plans and do a better job of outreach to local residents.

Everette Phillips

Newport Beach

Beach fees increase

Re. "Annual beach passes get increased to $195", (April 25): Let's see. First it was the carousel in Fashion Island. Then is was the Balboa Fun Zone. Next the firepits on the beach. Now, actually, going to the beach is prohibitive. And worse, apparently, the horses in the Fairgrounds Equestrian Center are not doing their share ("Horses yield little money," April 25.) It's OK. There's always TV.

Nancy Rayl

Newport Beach

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