On The Agenda

October 05, 2000


Commissioners are scheduled to approve plans to expand the Balboa Inn

on Main Street and Ocean Front. The project will include the construction

of a building with up to three stories and 11 new guest suites, a guest

spa area, about 2,000 square feet of retail space, and a partially

covered, 20-space, tandem parking area. The project also includes the

demolition of an existing single-story retail building and pool area.


What to expect: While the project has been favored by city

officials, staff members said residents have complained about view

restrictions. The new building would stand 31 feet tall. The maximum

height allowed for buildings in the city is 26 feet.

The inn's owners still owe the city about $50,000 in hotel-occupancy

taxes, and Assistant City Manager Sharon Wood said they were working with

the city to pay the debt. She added that, if approved, the inn's

expansion plans had the potential of generating even more hotel-occupancy

taxes for the city. But the current backlog in taxes should not be an

issue for the Planning Commission, Wood said.


Commissioners will consider scheduling an Oct. 19 revocation hearing

about a permit that allows Buzz restaurant to operate its business on Via


In May 1998, the Planning Commission approved the permit, which

included a waiver for 41 parking spaces, on the basis that most of the

restaurant's second floor would be used for interactive video and sports

games. Parking requirements for game arcades are lower than those for

restaurants. Earlier this year, restaurant owners removed the games and

turned the floor into a bar, restaurants and dance area.

What to expect: "When [Buzz] eliminated the games, sometime earlier

this year, they essentially fell out of compliance," said Patricia

Temple, the city's planning director, adding that commissioners also had

to determine whether the restaurant's high number of disturbances should

be a consideration.

Between Jan. 1 and June 30, 41 calls for service and 75

officer-initiated activities took place at the restaurant, a Police

Department memorandum shows. As a result, 29 people have been arrested

inside, at or immediately adjacent to the restaurant. Incidents include a

patron being struck with a beer bottle during a fight, an alleged rape of

a patron by a bartender and the arrest of a patron in connection with

lewd conduct on Buzz's dance floor.

Representatives for Buzz restaurant could not be reached for comment



* WHO: Newport Beach Planning Commission

* WHAT: Regular meeting

* WHEN: 7 p.m. today

* WHERE: City Hall, 3300 Newport Blvd.

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