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October 20, 2002
This fall's election in Newport Beach, like the two prior to it, is being shaped strongly by the forces behind the city's controlled-growth Greenlight law. Just what those forces are is a matter for discussion and, possibly, concern. First off, though, it bears repeating that the philosophy behind Greenlight is a beneficial one to Newport Beach. Controlling growth, limiting traffic, giving the nod to residents over developers and bringing a civil nature to city government are all worthy goals.
December 13, 2000
Mathis Winkler NEWPORT BEACH -- The city entered a new era Tuesday as City Council members officially declared Greenlight's victory. The slow-growth initiative -- approved by 63.4% of the city's voters in the Nov. 7 election -- will require a citywide vote on any development that causes an increase of more than 100 peak-hour car trips or dwelling units, or 40,000 square feet more than the general plan allowance....
January 14, 2000
Noaki Schwartz NEWPORT BEACH -- Proponents of a controversial slow-growth initiative have found a potential problem in their petition and say they will look to the City Council to clarify the measure if it passes. Supporters of the so-called Greenlight initiative admitted this week that the retroactive nature of the measure could cause residents to vote on more developments than originally anticipated. The Protect From Traffic and Density initiative proposes to let residents vote on "major" amendments to the city's strict general plan.
October 23, 2002
I thought the Pilot editorial on Sunday, "Watching Greenlight," was fair and asked interesting questions. I will speak for myself as a Greenlight committee member, and I think my thoughts reflect those of other steering committee members. My potential power is nonexistent. I would never ask any candidate that Greenlight supports to vote a certain way on any issue. I would not support a candidate who did not endorse the concept of Greenlight. All candidates endorsed by Greenlight are independent candidates.
December 22, 2002
Phil Arst and Tom Billings Sixty-three percent of Newport Beach residents who registered their opinions in a recent official city poll believe that more development will lower their quality of life. This puts the Greenlight principles that the city should be preserved as a residential beach/bay community squarely on track with the wishes of the majority. Greenlight is a volunteer grassroots residents' group staffed by hundreds of volunteers.
March 21, 2003
Paul Clinton Leaders of the Greenlight movement praised the Hyatt Newporter's restoration as an ideal example of restrained growth. Hotel managers, during their process, won't be required to seek a public vote on the plan because it doesn't significantly expand the hotel. "That's the kind of development that Greenlight supports," said Phil Arst, the Greenlight spokesman, "upgrading older areas of the city, rather than adding density." The Greenlight initiative, passed in 2000, requires a public vote for large-scale development that either exceeds certain size thresholds or needs an amendment to the city's general plan.
January 24, 2001
Mathis Winkler NEWPORT BEACH -- The mechanics of Greenlight remain uncertain after City Council members spent Tuesday afternoon discussing possible guidelines for the slow-growth initiative. Approved by voters in November, the new law requires citywide elections on any general plan amendment for a project that adds more than 100 peak-hour car trips or dwelling units, or 40,000 square feet more than the plan allows. While council members are not required to adopt guidelines, the text of the initiative encourages it. But the initiative requires at least six of the city's seven elected officials to vote in favor of any rules.
By Daniel Tedford | July 3, 2008
Phil Arst was determined. He didn’t want to give up on his small beach town staying a small beach town, even if it did get a little bigger and more popular. So he fought for his beliefs, through sickness and health, and he made a name for himself in doing so. Arst, a major political figure and activist in Newport Beach for years, died Wednesday afternoon of complications from a liver transplant. It was his 79th birthday. Arst received a liver transplant four years ago and had been suffering medical issues due to the surgery ever since, his daughter Denise Ruffner said.
By Michael Miller | April 2, 2008
A few months from now, the Westside of Costa Mesa may be moving in two directions — into the future and into the wild. The city adopted a plan two years ago to promote home ownership on the Westside by building new condominiums and other multi-unit housing. Since then, four developers have successfully submitted projects, but that doesn’t mean the skyline west of the 55 will be dominated by concrete and shingles. Two of the applicants have won approval to build green roofs — roofs covered in vegetation — and hope to begin planting later this year.
January 16, 2008
Skaters, rejoice: Costa Mesa City Council members decided to move forward with creating small-scale skate parks throughout the city during their Tuesday night meeting. The council will tentatively examine locations in Pinkley, Vista, Estancia and Shiffer parks as locations for the proposed facilities. The locations were selected from a list of sites proposed by city staff. The council decided to examine the possibility of installing multiple parks throughout the city after voting against a plan to install a larger facility at Lion’s Park last year.
December 4, 2007
Allan Beek’s lawsuit is completely in accord with all he has done and hoped for in Newport Beach. It was obviously motivated by his lifelong commitment to the environment, to preserve parks and ocean views for the current population as well as the future. It thus shares the logic of Greenlight. The Ficker initiative is not about the environment or the future of our city; it is about a city hall in his image. Greenlight was broad and legislative in nature; the Ficker initiative is just about where to build a building the council hasn’t even decided to build, and it is administrative in nature.
By Michael Miller | September 21, 2007
Panini Cafe will move to a new location on East Coast Highway, despite the protests of a number of neighbors who said the move would cause traffic and alcohol problems in the area. The Newport Beach Planning Commission voted 6-1 in favor of Panini’s application to move at Thursday’s meeting, which lasted until nearly midnight. The matter will go before the City Council if someone in the community appeals the decision; otherwise, the restaurant is set to make its move.
By Alicia Robinson | April 24, 2007
Because of the 2000 ballot initiative known as Greenlight, Newport Beach voters may find themselves voting on a city hall site, whether it’s the thrice-rejected park site by the central library or not. Council members have said no to building city hall on 12 acres reserved for Newport Center Park, but interested parties including retired architect Bill Ficker want to get the issue on the February ballot. The council recently voted to do a formal study of an Orange County Transportation Authority park-and-ride site just down the street from the Avocado Avenue library and park site.
By Alicia Robinson | April 10, 2007
Former Newport Beach Councilwoman Evelyn Hart isn't getting an award for her hospitality, but perhaps she should. If you come to her house, Newport Beach's 2007 citizen of the year will make you a cup of coffee, and she may offer her services as surrogate granny for the entire city of Newport Beach. Hart learned Friday she's been chosen by past citizens of the year to be the 62nd recipient of the honor, which will be presented at a dinner in June. The award was founded by the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce in 1949.
By Philip Arst | March 11, 2007
In it's March 4 editorial ("Council decided. Newport voters elected them. And that settles it"), the Pilot supports the fact that an elected City Council made a decision even though the editors disagree with it. On our part, we thank council members Edward Selich, Michael Henn, Nancy Gardner and Keith Curry for protecting a previously committed park from being changed to accommodate a new city hall. There is a basic problem in Newport's inability to find a suitable site for its new city hall.
March 4, 2007
Back in the year 2000, when Greenlight forces were busy brewing up their bitter cocktail of ballot box planning, we took a very unpopular stand. We stood in front of the oncoming train and yelled, "Stop!" That train didn't stop. Greenlight became the law of the land, and we had to jump out of the way and concede to the will of the people. What we said then, in argument against Greenlight, is that the City Council is elected to be the lawmakers for the city of Newport Beach.
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