The City Council unanimously approved an underground utility district--the city's largest--for West Newport Beach last year. Residents had gathered signatures from almost 60% of their neighbors to pay for the removal of overhead electricity, telephone and television wires and cables.
In July, Edison completed designs for the first phase of the project, from the Santa Ana River to 56th Street. This month, the city reviewed preliminary drawings for the section between 35th and 25th streets.
But while utility companies are working on design plans to bury the wires, the project must undergo a public hearing, which could be held by late 2001.
A majority of comments at the meeting must favor the change in order for the project to proceed. The project could cost $6,000 to $9,000 per household, but the increase in property values would far outweigh the cost, said Deputy City Manager Dave Kiff.