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NEWPORT BEACH : Restroom Site for Balboa Undecided

February 17, 1992|LISA MASCARO

Plans for the new Balboa Island fire station are nearly complete, but residents and the city are still arguing over whether the new construction should include public restrooms.

While most residents and business people agree that some sort of public restroom facilities are needed on the island, there is still no consensus on the location.

Some say they should be put in the new fire station, but opponents say the facilities would better serve island visitors if they were closer to the busy commercial district.

Residents living near the proposed station on Marine Avenue say they don't want a public restroom near their homes.

At one point, residents had asked the city to use the property where the current station sits for a public park, rest area and restrooms. While some residents still support this plan, the city has said it needs the money generated from the sale of that property to finance the new station.

"We've come close to a consensus," said Councilwoman Jean Watt, who has been working with residents in the island community to find a solution. She said the idea of the mini-park appears to lack widespread support.

Fire Chief Timothy Riley has also been working with the island community, trying to design a station that will serve the department's needs but also fit in aesthetically with the small community, and most residents said they were pleased with the final artists' rendering.

The $1-million, 6,100-square-foot facility is slated to replace the outdated 1931 station that currently serves the island.

Construction would start this fall and be complete within a year.

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