Resort plan raises questions, tempers

August 05, 2004

No. This debacle we now have on our hands could have been handled

better by the city to have never allowed public parkland and

environmental open space to be given away for private hotel

development in the first place. Trading a park for a time share hotel

is not the legacy we should be leaving to our children and the


Next, Councilman Steve Bromberg spoke about how there were plenty


of hearings on the project. It was not the quantity of hearings but

the lack of quality in the city's response to the various committees,

experts and residents that weighed in on the project. In so many

cases, the city's response to the egregious problems identified were

grossly inadequate, and often they responded "comment noted," which

is no comment. It was all too obvious that our city officials were on

a mission to approve the hotel Environmental Impact Report at all

costs. It raises a lot of questions as to their motive.


Newport Beach

No, the city has not done its part. In fact, it is a citizens

group that is designing the aquatic center that should properly be


The city is more interested in fat salaries at City Hall than in

the residents of Newport Beach, so it has deliberately ignored the

aquatic center proposal and tries to pretend it doesn't exist.

It is very difficult for ordinary people to reach the water and

enjoy the harbor that is the center of our recreation, our fame and

our property values. A third of a mile of city-owned waterfront

should be used to give citizens access to the water, not used for

private profit.

How could the issue have been handled better? The city should have

encouraged design of the aquatic center, the developer should have

bowed out before wasting money on a bad idea, and the residents

should have gotten started sooner on developing the design.


Newport Beach

The city continues its dumb course, determined to give Steve

Sutherland his retirement fund. This "five-star" hotel will not only

not survive on its own, it will directly compete with the city's only

other bayside luxury hotel, the Balboa Bay Club.

It is not as though the Balboa Bay Club has people beating down

its doors to get in. The market niche being addressed by the new

hotel being subsidized by our government is the same one on which the

club relies for survival. Both these hotels will occupy tidelands,

which are owned by the people of California -- not the city

government. Therefore, our investment is being squandered by a

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