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Planning Commission approves height increases for Mariner's Pointe

June 11, 2012

The Newport Beach Planning Commission approved changes to former Mayor Tod Ridgeway's under-construction commercial development last week, increasing the height of some buildings that would already exceed the area's limits.

Mariner's Pointe, at West Coast Highway and Dover Drive, can now have a higher roof in some areas. In one instance, the plans are about 4 feet higher, but they would still be under the project's 40-foot limit approved by the City Council. The city's general plan limits buildings there at 31 feet.

The commission voted 4 to 1, with Commissioner Michael Toerge dissenting. Commissioners Tim Brown and Jay Myers were absent.

Residents living on the bluff behind the development complained that the council set a bad precedent for Mariner's Mile when the original height exception was made. Some said that the council was giving Ridgeway special treatment because of his political ties.

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"I think that the whole thing is pretty well-greased before it gets going," said resident Jack Geerlings on Monday. "We should have had something much smaller."

A city staff report stated that the changes would fall within the limits set by the council. The revised plans also call for seven fewer parking spaces.

— Mike Reicher

Twitter: @mreicher

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