Corona del Mar Today: Luxury condo project granted continuance

March 12, 2011

The AERIE applicant stopped a Coastal Commission hearing Wednesday, moments before a vote, asking for a continuance in order to find out exactly what will be needed to gain approval for the Corona del Mar condominium project.

"We need some specifics," said David Nish, a representative for Richard Julian, the AERIE developer. "We would like to ask for a continuance."

The hearing had lasted about 90 minutes, with several members of the public speaking in support and in opposition of the plans, which would replace a 60-year-old apartment building with a seven-unit condominium complex at the corner of Ocean Boulevard and Carnation Avenue.


Staff was recommending support of the plans, requesting that some lower decks and a swimming pool be changed and moved in from the water. A dock portion of the AERIE plans was withdrawn; staff had suggested denying that part of the project.

Several commissioners, however, said they remained unconvinced about the scope of the project, despite staff comments praising Julian's efforts to reduce plans from a year ago when commissioners voted 7 to 5 against it. The new plans reduce grading by 55% but still required a cut of 11,460 cubic yards.

"This is, in fact, major bluff alteration," said Commissioner Mark Stone. "They are hollowing out the bluff. I continue to struggle with that … I think this is asking for too much here … I don't know why it needs to be that large."

Commissioner Bruce Reznik, who is new and didn't vote on AERIE last year, agreed.

"There is a lot to like about the project," he said. "I agree there is a project here … It's absurd to think it's not going to be precedent-setting. In the end, I don't think this conforms to the community character."


Holiday House Liquor Store closes

Holiday House Liquor at 2937 E. Coast Hwy. has closed, with a for-lease sign posted nearby and a notice in the window announcing the shop would reopen soon.

"Holiday House will relocate next to Starbucks April 1, 2011, Thanks!" the notice says.

The sign did not indicate which Starbucks would be the liquor store's new neighbor. A leasing agent for a vacant property near the Corona del Mar Starbucks said that no one had signed a lease for that space, including Holiday House.


Cycle Safety Committee discusses signs

Newport Beach could soon see signs advising cyclists to watch their downhill speeds on hills like Spyglass and Ridge Park Road, as well as signs that remind motorists and cyclists to share road space.

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