County officials Tuesday rejected the pleas of residents of the unincorporated South of Mesa Drive neighborhood to extend an application that would allow the neighborhood and nearby Santa Ana Country Club to be annexed by Newport Beach.
“It’s just wrong in a democracy to see a citizen’s group be treated so disrespectfully,” said Cal McLaughlin, who has led Newport Beach annexation efforts in the unincorporated neighborhood. McLaughlin noted that he and his neighbors overwhelmingly wanted the area to become part of Newport Beach.
The Orange County Local Agency Formation Commission, which presides over annexations, voted down the extension 6-1.
The residents needed a tax-sharing agreement from the Orange County Board of Supervisors to move forward, and some blame County Board Chairman John Moorlach for blocking the board from voting on the agreement. Moorlach, a longtime Costa Mesa resident, has been outspoken in his belief that Costa Mesa has more of a right to the land than Newport Beach.