Depending on one's perspective, thousands more Newport Beach residents driving through Costa Mesa would either gridlock intersections and kill the city's small-town character, or they would bring much-needed commerce and raise property values in neglected parts of town.
The proposed Banning Ranch development could test these assumptions.
Proponents and opponents of the project made their case at a Costa Mesa study session on Thursday. While the Costa Mesa City Council cannot approve or deny their project, Banning Ranch developers are working to win city leaders' and residents' support.
Newport Banning Ranch proposes 1,375 homes, 75,000 square feet of commercial uses and a 75-room resort inn.
About 65% of the 15,000 additional auto trips generated by the project in Newport Beach would pass through Costa Mesa streets, according to the environmental impact report. Costa Mesa, the most-impacted intersections would be along Newport Boulevard — four junctions between 17th and 19th streets — and three to the west of Newport Boulevard.