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Residents worry about traffic, lights from CdM stadium

The school district has proposed building a new sports complex at the high school, but neighbors are apprehensive.

November 06, 2013|By Hannah Fry

Residents living near Corona del Mar High School are becoming increasingly concerned about the effects a newly funded school stadium could have on their quality of life.

Increased traffic, parking issues, trash, lighting and vandalism were a few issues discussed last month during a meeting of about 60 residents from the Eastbluff, the Bluffs and the Plaza communities that border the high school, said resident Diana Blaisure.

"Because there's such a close proximity of the residences to the school site, there's a definite concern that the stadium is going to have a very negative impact on the community," she said.

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In September, the Newport-Mesa Unified school board allocated $7.4 million for a stadium to be built at CdM. Costa Mesa High School was also given the same amount of money for its future stadium.

Newport Harbor and Estancia high schools already have stadiums on campus.

Having stadiums at all four of the district's high schools is "excessive," Blaisure said, and residents are concerned that problems will follow the new CdM stadium.

With the exception of four-lane Eastbluff Drive, the other three streets surrounding the high school are narrow two-lane roads, which students use for parking during the school day and residents use for parking at night, Blaisure added.

"When new land uses are proposed next to residential areas, there's always a concern," she said.

Parking has been an issue in the residential area surrounding CdM for several years.

The Newport Beach City Council approved a resolution last month to establish a one-hour parking limit on Aralia Street for any cars without a permit after residents complained that high school students were parking there during the school day.

Newport-Mesa board member Katrina Foley said the district is aware of CdM's parking and traffic concerns.

"We will be looking at how to mitigate all of those impacts to do what is beneficial for the overall community," she said. "Our staff is very cognizant of those concerns."

Because CdM is a smaller campus, its stadium won't be as big as the one at Mesa.

"Their footprint is extremely restricted," Foley said of CdM. "They have site constraints that will dictate the scope of the stadium."

At the meeting last month, some residents spoke about the potential for the new stadium to impact their property values, Blaisure said.

While she said she couldn't comment on the project's impact on property values without proper data, she said the stadium could potentially discourage people from buying homes in the area.

"Homes that are closest to the stadium may look less attractive to people who want to purchase them and reside in them versus people who purchase property for investment as rental units, which could increase rental units in the area," she said.

This creates a challenge because people who live in the community on a short term basis don't have the same investment in the community as a homeowner, she said.

The district is still in the planning stages of the project. The board will likely receive more information from district staff in January, Foley said.

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