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Orange County Digest

Newport Beach : Panel Gives Reprieve to Landmark China House

July 12, 1986|Jody Becker

Plans to bulldoze Newport Harbor's landmark China House and build two large homes were denied Thursday night by the Newport Beach Planning Commission because the roof lines of the proposed homes would be too high.

But the buyers of the property, James and Martha Beauchamp and Ernest and Donna Schroeder, may appeal the decision to the City Council or submit alternate plans to develop the site.

The Planning Commission rejected the variance proposed by the two couples, which called for the construction of two homes with roof lines that would exceed the city's height limit.

Neighbors of the China House and residents of the area opposed to the plan have expressed their desire to see the old pink and jade-green, pagoda-style house remain as an unofficial landmark at the mouth of Newport Harbor, where it has stood for over half a centruy.

"The decision was really a political one," said Donna Schroeder, one of the parties now in escrow for the property. "There are plenty of other homes in the cove (China Cove) which have variances. I think the city . . . was just afraid because of all the pressure."

The roof lines of the two homes would be lower than that of the China House but would exceed the standards set since it was built in 1929.

Final approval for development of the site will rest with the California Coastal Commission, which oversees the environmental impact of construction along the coast.

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