Newport Beach residents and business owners have been anxiously waiting for the Cove Apartments, a two-story mixed-use development planned to open by mid-2018.
The apartments, which will sit atop a former shopping mall, will include a rooftop pool, restaurant and fitness center.
It will be located at 1640 NW 36th Ave., near the former Alaskan Airlines terminal.
But the project has received some controversy.
The developer is facing a class-action lawsuit by the owners of the Alaskans, alleging that the project was not in compliance with the state’s Coastal Commission.
“There is no way of knowing if this project will actually be built or not,” said Steve Schleicher, executive director of the Coastal Commission, during a Feb. 21 news conference.
The commission says it will review the project, but that the owners will have until March 31 to provide the state with a report.
“We’ll have the report and a full report in the first half of March,” said commission chair Mark D. Schulz.
But there is no guarantee the commission will actually approve the project.
The Coastal Commission is a state agency that reviews projects for compliance with California’s Coastal Zone Designations.
The agency also oversees the state Coastal Commission of the Coast, a commission comprised of about 200 local governments, counties, cities and towns.
In its most recent Coastal Zone Report, in June 2018, the commission noted the project did not meet a number of design standards.
It also found that the plan “has not complied with California Coastal Commission criteria for a mixed-used project.”
The Coastal Zone Committee, a public hearing that the Coastal Zone Commission holds to determine if projects have not met coastal zone requirements, has recommended the project be reviewed.
The proposal is not expected to be finalized until after the commission considers the report.
On the day of the commission’s public hearing, a member of the public asked the commission what was causing the project to fall short.
“You’ve heard that the developers have a history of not doing this kind of work, and you know, there are all these lawsuits, but what is your understanding of what’s actually going on with the developers, and how can you help them improve this, and get it right,” said Roberta Brown, an attorney representing the owners.
“If they’re not going to fix it, they shouldn’t be building it.
If the commission finds that the developer is not going along with these standards, then the project should be abandoned.
That’s a common sense answer to the question.”
The commission did not address whether or not the owners were aware of the developer’s history of failure to meet standards and its failure to comply with California law.
“The owners are not aware of any history of any other developers who’ve failed to meet Coastal Zone standards and have not been subject to a lawsuit,” said Schulz, who said the Coastal Commissions office is not involved in the case.
“They don’t know whether or to what extent the Coastal Commissioner has been involved in this case.”
The project has attracted a lot of attention from developers who have poured money into the project and who have called it a landmark.
The project’s developers have been able to build the apartments without having to obtain permits, Schulz said.
“I’m sure they’ve got a lot to say to the Coastal commission,” he said.
However, Schleich said that the residents and businesses who will benefit from the project will not be the owners themselves.
“This is not a project for the owners,” Schleick said.
The developers’ lawyer, John Moseley, told The Times that he believes the Coastal Act allows the project “to be built without requiring any permitting.
It’s a natural extension of the law.
The owners do not want to build it.
They’re not the developers.
It would be better if they could build it without requiring a permit.”
The Cove Apartment project has also received criticism from the city of Newport Beach, which has been working on a plan to build a hotel and condominium on the site.
In September 2018, City Manager Richard Schoelk sent a letter to Newport Beach Mayor Don Vito, saying the developer was not complying with Coastal Zone requirements.
“Your letter makes clear that you are unaware of the fact that the Cove project is in compliance and has received Coastal Zone review, and therefore that you have no right to expect the Cove development to comply,” Schoalk wrote.
“Given that the City is in the process of completing a comprehensive review of the Cove developer’s project, and that the Newport Beach Coastal Zone committee has recommended that the site be approved for a hotel, condominium and/or residential development, I am unable to understand why the Coastal Authority would have any interest in the Cove projects,” Scholke wrote.
A City of Newport spokesman told The Miami Herald in January that the development has been in the works for about three years and is in “complete and final planning.”