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Corona del Mar Today: Group approves curvy, palm-filled entryway plans

December 31, 2011|By Amy Senk
  • A rendering of the proposed revamped entryway at MacArthur Boulevard and East Coast Highway in Corona del Mar.
A rendering of the proposed revamped entryway at MacArthur… (Courtesy City of…)

Corona del Mar's revamped entryway at MacArthur Boulevard and East Coast Highway could feature a curvy, extra-wide sidewalk; date palm trees; low, curving walls that double as seating; and "programmable" sidewalk space that could be used for art and music shows and holiday events.

Members of the Corona del Mar Citizens Advisory Panel voted 3 to 1 at the group's December meeting to approve the plans and forward them to the Newport Beach Neighborhood Revitalization Committee.

The decision resulted in the CdM CAP group's being immediately disbanded because it filled its obligations, despite an agenda that listed another January meeting and earlier discussion of outreach efforts to nearby businesses and the Corona del Mar Residents Assn.

"The concept plan, while still preliminary and will be refined in future design phases, is a very good plan that follows the CdM Vision plan," Ron Yeo, a committee member who has been involved in Corona del Mar beautification vision plans for several years, said in an email to local leaders.

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Construction costs will be around $1.3 million, he wrote, and the project could be on the Newport Beach proposed budget in July.

The current plans move the so-called squeeze lane — where three traffic lanes reduce to two lanes — to the west side of MacArthur Boulevard. The former traffic lane would then be used to expand the sidewalk area from about 12 to 33 feet in the block between Begonia and Carnation avenues, while also expanding to a lesser degree the widths between Acacia and Begonia and Carnation and Dahlia avenues.

The changes not only will improve the looks of the area, Yeo said, but it will improve traffic safety for cyclists, motorists and pedestrians.

The changes also will result in the loss of nine parking spaces between Begonia and Carnation avenues because of safety concerns, but the parking places would be replaced in other areas of Corona del Mar, Yeo said.

Specific details, such as park benches, bicycle racks, possible outdoor dining for nearby restaurants and others, remain unresolved.

"All the details will be worked out later," said CAP member Sandie Haskell. "We could have meetings for the next three years with people saying, 'We should have this here or put an umbrella there.' But we were an ad hoc committee formed to come up with the concept. We came up with a concept, and our work was done."

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