It’s an odd dilemma.
Should Newport Beach City Council members push forward with an attempt to annex the Santa Ana Country Club and a nearby neighborhood? The neighbors sure want them to. They don’t want a Costa Mesa ZIP code.
But Costa Mesa leaders say hold on, the Local Agency Formation Commission, which has final say on the matter, gives Costa Mesa first dibs. And Newport Beach City Manager Homer Bludau advised his council to back off, arguing it would be unwise to tick off their Costa Mesa neighbors.
The Newport Beach Council members don’t care. They voted 6-1, with Councilman Don Webb dissenting, to ask the Local Agency Formation Commission for permission to annex the 290 acres.
“We are entering a new era of cooperation with the city of Costa Mesa, and it would be the wrong thing to do to foster that relationship,” Bludau said before the vote.
Well said, Homer. We couldn’t agree more.
We’re all neighbors. We share a school district and many other things beyond geographical coincidence.
And we have a number of big projects we need to start putting our shoulders into — together.
It won’t be easy to stave off expansion plans for John Wayne Airport when the 2015 settlement capping flights expires. But it was nice to see the Costa Mesa City Council follow Newport’s lead in opposing airport expansion.
And what about development plans for Banning Ranch that would likely require an extension of the 55 Freeway?
We recognize that County board Supervisor John Moorlach tried to broker a “global approach” that would have resolved a lot of issues regarding the unincorporated land in the area. But his George Mitchell imitation fell flat, and he could not hammer out a deal.
So perhaps it’s naive to expect our political leaders to play nice and forge a compromise. But that won’t stop us from calling on them to cooperate for the greater good.
After all, it’s not as if Newport Beach can pick up stakes and move if Costa Mesa figures out a way to annex the country club. Like it or not, they live next door to each other, and it’s always better to get along with your neighbors. You never know when you’ll have to borrow a cup of sugar or have them pick up your mail when you’re on vacation, so to speak.
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