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A Year In Review: Projects Scrapped In Newport Beach

Approvals for big developments fell to the wayside in Newport Beach in 2017.

Museum House, Newport Beach, CA
Rendering of Museum House

Last year, two major projects that would have brought luxury housing, retail and hotel developments to the area were scrapped by the Newport Beach City Council after an uproar and lawsuits from local residents. Dissent from local residents could spell trouble for developers in the future wanting to build in pricey Newport Beach. 

With median housing prices in the millions, Newport Beach, a high-income beachside community in Orange County, is consistently ranked as one of the most expensive places to live in the nation, according to Forbes.

Early last year, the Newport Beach City Council rescinded approval of developer Related California’s proposed 25-story, 100-unit condominium on the Orange County Art Museum’s site at 850 San Clemente Drive. The museum had wanted to sell its property and use the funds to relocate to Costa Mesa. Opponents fearing large-scale developments successfully filed a referendum that ultimately led to the council's decision to abandon the project for now.

In November, after a years-long fight, the council repealed approvals for developer Newport Banning Ranch LLC to build on Banning Ranch, a 401-acre former oil field between Newport Beach and Costa Mesa.

The developer had planned to build 900 homes, retail and a hotel and convert a large chunk of the land as a nature park. Environmental activists filed suit saying the land is home to endangered animals and other rare wildlife species. 

An official with the developer told a local news outlet that it plans to bring a scaled-down version of the project back to the table in a year or two.