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Corona del Mar Today: Lack of support dooms ZeroTrash effort

November 05, 2011

For five months, the first Saturday of the month has brought red-shirted volunteers to Corona del Mar to clean up trash as part of a ZeroTrash campaign.

But this weekend, organizers said, they won't return.

"We simply couldn't get any community support," said Chip McDermott, founder of the Laguna Beach-based ZeroTrash organization. "Very few CdM locals volunteered on 1st Saturdays."

ZeroTrash will continue its efforts on the Balboa Peninsula.

The group launched its Corona del Mar cleanups in June. Volunteers each received a breakfast burrito from El Ranchito, a red T-shirt and a trash picker.

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Organizers said there was little community involvement over the summer, but they hoped that more volunteers would show up as residents heard about it.

Instead, McDermott said the number of volunteers "embarrassed" him.

*Residents: Clean up after your pets

The Corona del Mar Residents Assn. this week updated its website with a reminder for residents to clean up after their dogs.

"Ever go out to pick up your morning paper only to find that someone has left their dogs' feces there for you to pick up?" the website says. "Ever tried to get rid of those burned and yellow spots in your yard caused by dog urine? Do you worry about where it's safe for you and your family to sit when you head over to Inspiration Point or the Bluffs for a picnic or to enjoy the sunset?"

Association President Karen Tringali said the post came in response to a recent influx of calls and emails complaining about dogs making messes.

*Homeowners appeal Planning Commission decision

A couple has filed an appeal of a recent Planning Commission decision not to allow them to merge lots on Ocean Boulevard, city officials confirmed.

John and Julie Guida filed the appeal with the Newport Beach city clerk, and the City Council will hold a public hearing that has not yet been scheduled.

The Guidas own two homes in the 2800 block of Ocean Boulevard and have submitted plans to build a single home. In September, the city's zoning administrator granted them a lot merger, but in a 6-1 vote Oct. 20, the commission overturned that decision.

Neighbors have said that the planned home would violate a 1951 agreement that limits to one story the height of three Ocean Boulevard lots, and several neighbors testified that their views would be obliterated by the new home.

The city's Planning Department has the plans, but no building permit will be issued unless the council approves the lot merger, said city spokeswoman Tara Finnigan.

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