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Orange County Focus

NEWPORT BEACH : Team to Brainstorm on Peninsula's Woes

March 25, 1993|JEFFREY A. PERLMAN

Urban planners and architects will work with Newport Beach officials during a marathon three-day public workshop this week to help resolve traffic and other problems affecting the Balboa Peninsula.

The program employing an urban design assistance team will extend from a breakfast at 8 a.m. Friday in the Ebell Club through a final presentation at 7 p.m. Sunday at Newport Beach City Hall.

The program features a tour from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Friday, followed by presentations by various city staff members and community activists.

Similar urban design team efforts were held recently in Tustin and Santa Ana and resulted in new plans now working their way through city government.

Sponsored by the urban design committee of the Orange County chapter of the American Institute of Architects, the program is the result of concern about the business district's future.

Like other businesses in central districts, many in Newport Beach who serve local residents have relocated to suburban shopping centers, leaving seasonal and tourist-oriented vendors in their place.

Traffic congestion and parking shortages, coupled with cruising and loitering on weekends, has hurt Balboa Peninsula businesses, officials believe, and this will be a major topic during the weekend program.

To control the cruising problem, police set up a weekend checkpoint at 15th Street to regulate the flow of traffic. But businesses say they're hurt by delays generated by the checkpoint.

The urban design team's preliminary recommendations will be presented to the City Council at its 7 p.m. meeting on Monday.

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