Newport Beach, Tustin fear traffic influx from residential development.
BY JEFF OVERLEY and SONYA SMITH
IRVINE WORLD NEWS
The Newport Beach City Council voted Tuesday night to sue Irvine over development in the Irvine Business Complex.
In its planned lawsuit, Newport will challenge environmental studies of two projects – a 444-condo project called 2323 Main and the 290-apartment Avalon Bay development.
The city will seek a full review of traffic effects and recreation needs throughout the complex, Newport City Attorney Robin Clauson said.
Thousands of condos and apartments are in various stages of construction or approval in the 2,760-acre complex. Though each project has its own study, Newport says a comprehensive review of all the projects on the table is needed.
The complex near the cities’ shared border has seen explosive growth lately. Newport fears that without proper planning, the influx of residents could overwhelm its streets and parks.
“It’s a threat to our quality of life, and we’re not going to sit on our hands,” Newport Councilwoman Leslie Daigle said.
Irvine officials say individual projects are evaluated against a backdrop of other planned developments and make a distinct overall study redundant.
In August, the cities agreed to formal talks in pursuit of a compromise. But with only one face-to-face meeting since then, little headway was made.
“We clearly have worked to ... avoid the need for a lawsuit,” Irvine Mayor Beth Krom said Tuesday. “I have confidence in the work that the city of Irvine has done.”
Tustin will join the suit out of concerns similar to Newport’s, Tustin spokeswoman Lisa Woolery said.
Already suing Irvine are two Irvine Business Complex companies – Deft Inc. and Allergan. Both companies, fearing the proximity of new housing to their industrial operations could be a legal liability, are also suing over the 2323 Main project.
It is not a surprise that two neighboring cities are planning to sue Irvine (Irvine World News, Oct 12).
Irvine residents facing increasing traffic and difficulty parking at the shopping complexes may be beginning to wonder whether there are any checks and balances on the developerocracy that seems to pervade Irvine’s growth.
It is surprising how little dissent there has been to the approvals of all the multi-storied residential complexes coming up and even to the idea of increasing housing near the proposed Great Park.
Those who will be residing in the new developments are not necessarily those who currently commute to work in Irvine; so traffic can only increase significantly.
Despite rejecting an El Toro Airport, perhaps we are stuck with the deep congestion.