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Briefly in the news

June 21, 2001

A state bill that would pave the way for a park at West Coast Highway

and Superior Avenue in Newport Beach has taken another step toward

reality.

That bill, introduced by state Sen. Ross Johnson (R-Irvine), passed

the full Senate on June 5 on a 39-0 vote.

Known as Senate Bill 124, the legislation would transfer vacant land

owned by Caltrans to the city at a reduced price of $1.13 million.

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Newport Beach has earmarked an additional $5 million to develop a park

at the area, known as Sunset Ridge.

The city's attempts to develop a park at the land for a decade have

not been successful, in part because of a stalemate with Caltrans over

how much the land is worth. The state agency wants the market rate of

about $4 million.

Using a loophole in state law, Johnson's bill would allow the city to

buy the land at the price Caltrans paid for it in the late 1960s.

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