Editor’s note: The following are the top 10 stories in Newport-Mesa in 2008, as judged by Daily Pilot editors.
1 Measure B: Newport Beach voters approved a controversial ballot measure in February that requires the next Newport Beach City Hall to be built on a 12.8-acre parcel of city-owned land next to the central library on Avocado Avenue. Opponents of the measure wanted the entire site preserved as a park. The measure divided Newporters over the issue of preserving open space in the community. Allan Beek, a local activist, filed a lawsuit challenging the legality of the measure and City Council members sparred openly on the subject. Jack Croul, a wealthy retired paint manufacturer, made things interesting when he donated $680,000 in support of the measure.
Now plans are moving ahead to build a new $60-million municipal complex on the site that will include a park and a parking structure. The Newport Beach City Council in January will discuss approving a contract with the San Francisco-based architect Bohlin Cywinski Jackson to design the new city hall.