Newport Beach City Manager Dave Kiff is selling his Upper Newport Bay home and says he will repay the $470,000 the city lent him for the house.
Kiff plans to move back to Laguna Beach, where he lived for about 15 years. He still owns a home there.
His original contract offered an incentive to help him move to Newport, where City Council members thought he would be more in-touch with city happenings.
But Kiff said it has been difficult to escape city business, and he wants to move back south for family reasons. Voters in 2010 removed the city charter requirement that the city manager live in town.
"I guess I need a little more downtime than I thought I would," Kiff said.
He and his partner remodeled the house to luxury standards, and Kiff said they may not sell it for enough to recoup their investment. He bought it for $935,000 in October 2009, with the city lending him about half that amount. It was listed last month for $989,000.