Commentary: Coastline campus in Newport affecting neighbors

Re. "Coastline to unveil Newport Beach campus," Sept. 19: While the Daily Pilot continues to publish puff pieces about the wondrous new Coastline College facility, I have seen nothing written about the horrible effects the building has had and will have on the surrounding residential neighborhood.

Once classes have begun, the traffic impact on Monrovia and Superior avenues is likely to be huge. And then there are all those glass panels built at an angle and facing the ocean. These panels happen to face at precisely a point so as to collect the maximum effect of the rays of the sun and then are magnified about three times that and beamed directly into all the homes along Newport Crest's north perimeter, including mine.

While I used to like to sit on my back deck in the evening and enjoy my dinner, I can't sit out there when the panels are aiming their incredible blast of blinding light at me. Nor can I even see the TV screen inside unless I turn it around because these penetrating rays stream right inside my den.

I am also concerned about their effect on certain pieces of artwork on my wall, which I originally placed so as to not be affected by the rays of the sun. The reflected sunlight from the huge wall of glass also generates a noticeable increase in heat as well.

During the night the lasting effects of this monstrosity continue to reverberate, literally. There are at least a dozen or so coyotes living out back. When a passing siren goes by, that will set one or two of the animals off with their howling. This sound echoes off the building right back at them causing more coyotes to howl. That, of course, increases the sound bounce, which sets off still more coyotes, their howling magnified more and more by the acoustical effects caused by this building.

This cacophonous din continues for about 10 minutes or so, several times a night sometimes. A neighbor recently had her elderly mother spend the night and she slept in a room overlooking the field between us and the campus. The noise of the coyotes — in amplified stereo — terrified the woman and she told her daughter she would never stay there again.

This building has created a huge and negative impact on my life already — I have lived here in peaceful serenity for 36 years — and classes have not even started yet. Several residents have complained. I called the city and, after being bounced around to several departments, was told that because this is a Coastline College District project, the city has no control over the design or impact.

We have complained to Coastline and are told they are looking into the matter. Still, the glass panels continued to be installed — only about half had been put in place when we began alerting them to these issues — and there doesn't appear to be any concern or serious effort on the part of Coastline to deal with this matter, not even so much as to come over and see or hear for themselves what I have described.

All of this has nothing to do with the eminent Banning Ranch development, over which the city does have control, but I don't expect the powers that be to give a damn about the impact of that project either.

Meanwhile, your article by Britney Barnes shows and describes how the Coastline building leans at a 7-degree angle to symbolize the position of a sailboat in the wind. Sometimes sailboats capsize. (Been there and done that.) My own hope is that a strong wind will huff and puff and blow this place down.

LENARD DAVIS lives in Newport Beach.

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