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NEWPORT BEACH : Irvine Co. Plans for Gated Community Clear 1st Hurdle

November 12, 1994|HOLLY J. WAGNER

An Irvine Co. plan to build a 119-home gated community off Dover Drive in Newport Beach cleared its first hurdle Thursday by winning approval from the Planning Commission.

Before the commission approved the plan, the Irvine Co. was required to put up a bond to be used for widening Dover Drive between Westcliff Drive and 16th Street if it becomes necessary.

Chairwoman Norma Glover and others objected to the street widening and said it would invite traffic and may not be necessary even after the Upper Castaways development opens.

By putting up the bond, the Irvine Co. ensures that money will be available for the improvements.

In addition to traffic concerns, residents of the area and adjacent Newport Heights told the commission that widening Dover Drive threatens destruction of the wetlands below the bluff, and said they wanted assurances that the wetlands would be restored if they are destroyed.

While the replacement plan is part of the development agreement, residents feared that any destroyed wetlands would be replaced in another area through a land swap.

"You have no plan. There is no plan as to how the wetlands are to be re-created," 16th Street resident Jan Vandersloot said.

He also said he had no quarrel with the Irvine Co. or the development, but with the city's plan to widen Dover Drive.

A planned 12-foot-wide bicycle and pedestrian trail around the development, which would connect with existing trails in the area, also was a focal point of discussion.

Glover and other residents of nearby areas objected to the width of the proposed path. "I do not think it should be a 12-foot trail," Glover said. "By the time we get all this paving up there it's going to be an asphalt city."

The commission finally determined that the width was necessary because the path will also be used to allow police and other emergency vehicles access to the area.

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