The Newport Beach Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation has taken several steps to educate its members on the issue including a meeting at which both open space proponents and the owners presented their plans. After much consideration and discussion, the chapter believes that the open space proposal would provide the maximum environmental benefit if plans to acquire the land have a viable financial plan and will support the full remediation and restoration of the site.
Surfrider Foundation Newport Beach Chapter Position on Newport Banning Ranch Development
The Surfrider Foundation Newport Beach chapter support an environmentally sensitive plan to maximize public space, improve water quality, clean polluted run off and protect natural and sensitive habitat and species. Such a plan must address the existing conditions of concern including: untreated urban runoff to the ocean, destabilized bluffs, existing mineral rights of oil companies and appropriate assessment and cleanup of abandoned oil drilling operations and equipment and site remediation. Our concerns also include the plans for roads on the property, which would carry additional pollutants and untreated urban runoff to the ocean and local beaches.
The Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) is required to select an Environmentally Superior Alternative from the several alternative actions that are analyzed within the scope of the Report. The DEIR lists Alternative B – General Plan Open Space Designation as the Environmentally Superior Alternative. This is consistent with the primary use for the property as listed in the City of Newport Beach General Plan approved by the voters on November 6, 2006.
Regarding the project alternatives presented in the DEIR, our chapters see Alternative B – General Plan Open Space Designation as our preferred plan for Banning Ranch, assuming all concerns for water quality, untreated run off and land remediation are addressed in this alternative.