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LANDSCAPE:Cold to global warming

THE POLITICAL

August 03, 2006|By Alicia Robinson

Wednesday's discussion was at the order of the Orange County Local Agency Formation Commission, which decides annexation issues and has been asked by the county to get unincorporated islands annexed to cities.

The two cities failed to agree in earlier negotiations, and Newport's subsequent request to annex West Santa Ana Heights was tabled by the commission in July. Costa Mesa and Newport Beach officials were told to talk out their issues, which include the country club, the area south of Mesa Drive and Banning Ranch.

Residents blocked a previous attempt to bring the Mesa Drive neighborhood into Costa Mesa with a protest vote and have threatened the same in the future.

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By filing an application to move from Costa Mesa's sphere to Newport's, residents aren't trying to flout the negotiating process, said Paul Watkins, who attended the meeting on behalf of the country club and the neighborhood south of Mesa Drive.

"We're just going forward with what we have for a long time intended to do," Watkins said.

IRVINE, WE'LL SEE YOU IN COURT

Newport Beach officials may still consider legal action to block Irvine from proceeding with developments Newport thinks have been inadequately studied, despite some positive steps by Irvine.

The Irvine City Council voted on July 25 to have a full environmental study done of proposed zoning for the Irvine Business Complex on Jamboree Road. Newport Beach City Councilwoman Leslie Daigle said that's a step in the right direction, but she's still alarmed that Irvine has moved ahead with approving individual projects while the total effect of proposed development changes hasn't been fully reviewed.

For example, Irvine's council also recently approved a 445-condo development at 2323 Main St., Daigle said, and "they've got other projects teed up for approvalÂ…. We're trying to advance our own quality of life, so we have to be vigilant about our borders."

But Irvine Mayor Beth Krom said developers of the Main Street condos and other projects will have to do environmental studies that also consider cumulative effects of all the developments in the works.

"We absolutely want to evaluate all of the impacts to make sure that we're moving forward in a balanced and intelligent way," Krom said.

TERMS OF SUPERVISING

That November ballot just got a little longer. Orange County Supervisors on Tuesday decided to offer voters a measure that would change supervisors' term limits from two consecutive terms to a total of three terms in their lifetime. The current four-year term limits, which were put in place in 1997, allow supervisors to serve two terms in a row, and after leaving office for a term they can run again.

SPEAK UP AND LEARN ABOUT GREENLIGHT

Speak Up Newport is holding an event Wednesday which will feature speakers for and against the growth control ballot measure Greenlight II.

The evening begins at 5 p.m. at the Newport Beach Yacht Club, 1099 Bayside Drive, Newport. Visit www.speakupnewport.org or call (949) 224-2266.

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