Story of the Year - 2002: Newport Coast becomes part of Newport Beach

Many Newport Coast residents had resisted annexation.

December 22, 2009|By Brianna Bailey

Newport Coast resident Jim McGee spent thousands of hours over the course of several years negotiating an agreement for Newport Beach to annex the well-heeled Newport Coast area. The deal included about $50 million in benefits for the residents there paid out by Newport Beach.

The deal went through in 2002, after a group of Newport Coast residents filed an unsuccessful lawsuit to try and halt the annexation.

Today, McGee cites perks like faster response times from Newport Beach police, and paramedics as reasons why he’s happy to call himself a Newport Beach resident today.


“I’m very happy and I think most people are very happy,” McGee said. “the partnership has been very mutually beneficial and has provided benefits to Newport Coast that would not have been possible before annexation.”

Many Newport Coast residents did not want Newport Beach to annex the area at the time. Others still wanted Newport Coast to incorporate into its own, independent city.

A city-financed 17,000-square-foot, $8.5-million community center, completed in 2007, has helped Newport Coast feel more like it’s part of the city, said Newport Beach Councilwoman Nancy Gardner, who represents Newport Coast.

“In Newport Coast, every community is gated, so it’s a little hard to get together to meet somebody besides immediate neighbors, Gardner said. “The community center has really stimulated a sense of a larger community there and helped people feel ‘Yes, we are part of Newport and we’re glad.”

The center has become the hub of Newport Coast, McGee said.

“Before, there was no place you could go to meet a neighbor, it was very insular from a community standpoint,” he said.

Newport Coast is rich in political influence, as well as panoramic ocean views.

Newport Coast residents made $1,566,453 political contributions during the 2008 election season alone, according to data from the Federal Election Commission.

The area also generates a hefty chunk of tax revenue for the city.

Newport Coast residents paid an average of $10,001 in property taxes per housing unit in 2000, according to

The luxury developer Monarch Estates is building a massive 18,000 square-foot estate on 12.5 acres in Newport Coast called Villa del Lago that is tentatively priced at $87 million.

The Irvine Co.-owned Resort at Pelican Hill also has become a big moneymaker for the city.

In business for just 12 months, the 504-acre luxury resort generates 16% of Newport’s hotel tax revenue and Pelican Hill’s restaurants produce more sales tax revenue than any other eatery in the city, according to city officials.

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