By Grace Leung, City Manager of Newport Beach
As the number of new COVID-19 cases begins to decline throughout Orange County, the Newport Beach permit counter, tax operations, and community centers will reopen to the public beginning Monday, January 31.
These services had been limited to virtual and drop-off only on January 3 in response to the recent COVID surge. However, as community transmission remains high, the public is encouraged to do business remotely whenever possible. The state’s mask mandate remains in effect for the City’s public amenities.
With City Council’s approval this week of a General Plan Update Steering Committee, we invite residents to apply. This three-member committee is essential to the success of the comprehensive update of the City’s General Plan, which was last completed in 2006.
The Steering Committee will lead the overall effort to update the Corporate Plan and make recommendations to City Council, provide oversight to a broader Policy Advisory Committee, and provide periodic reports to City Council. Any Newport Beach resident who is a registered voter can apply at this link. The deadline is February 16.
Deployment of organic waste recycling to begin next week
Beginning the first week of February, Newport Beach residents will begin receiving green-roof carts for state-mandated organic waste recycling, which includes yard waste and food scraps. To find out when your organic basket will be delivered, go to www.newportbeachca.gov/recycle and enter your address in the search function at the top of the page.
The new program will use three separate carts: one for solid waste, one for mixed recyclables and a third for recycling organic waste, which includes food waste and landscaping waste.
Between Feb. 1 and March 31, residents will begin receiving new green-top recycling containers for organic waste, an optional two-gallon bucket for kitchen scraps, and educational materials on how to properly recycle.
Recycling organic waste is now mandatory under state law, to reduce the impact on landfills and reduce greenhouse gases produced by the breakdown of organic waste. For more information on the new program, visit www.newportbeachca.gov/recycle. To find out if your collection day has changed, visit www.newportbeachca.gov/findmycollectionday.
Street sweeping changes begin next week in some neighborhoods
Starting Feb. 1, the city’s street sweeping schedule will change days of the week on parts of the Balboa Peninsula (21st Street to G Street) and Corona del Mar (north of Coast Hwy ). Also, the neighborhoods of Irvine Terrance, Harbor Streets, and the northern tip of Newport Heights are being changed.
This will accommodate changes to new garbage and recycling collection days. These changes will avoid conflicts, fix parking conditions and maintain the efficiency of street sweeping. Updated signage was installed this week and there will be a two-week transitional grace period for parking enforcement.
For more information on changes to street scanning, visit www.newportbeachca.gov/2022sweeping or call the city’s utility department for street sweeping inquiries at (949) 644-3011.
Cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach
As of January 27, the cumulative total number of COVID-19 cases in Newport Beach was 8,883, an increase of 409 cases since January 20. The total number of cases in Orange County as of January 27 was 503,292, an increase of 37,185 cases since January 20. The number of recovered COVID-19 patients countywide as of January 20 was 357,191. These numbers are provided to Orange County by the California Department of Public Health.
Testing and Vaccination Resources
Home and self-collected COVID-19 test kits are available free of charge to people who work or live in Orange County and can be ordered online at www.ochealthinfo.com/covidtest. In addition, free tests are now offered by the federal government through www.COVIDtests.gov or by calling (800) 232-0233. You can order up to four rapid tests to send to your home, which will be mailed free of charge through the US Postal Service within 7-12 days.
Vaccines continue to be widely available throughout Orange County for walk-in, same-day, and future appointments. People who are not yet vaccinated or boosted against COVID-19, or who are eligible for a third dose (due to immunosuppressed conditions) are encouraged to visit a local pharmacy or healthcare provider, or connect online to www.Vaccines.gov, www.MyTurn.ca.gov Where www.Othena.com, to schedule a vaccination appointment. For more information on COVID-19 information and resources, including case counts, vaccination, and testing in Orange County, visit ochealthinfo.com/covid.
CDBG Funding Availability Notice
Notice of Funding Availability for the 2022-2023 fiscal year was released on January 15 for the federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program.
The city receives funding annually from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to benefit low- and middle-income earners (households earning less than 80% of the Orange County median income).
The Department of Community Development will accept applications from nonprofit organizations seeking to provide CDBG-eligible public programs and services, including fair housing services. Additional information is available on the City’s website at https://www.newportbeachca.gov/government/departments/community-development-/community-development-block-grant-cdbg/cdbg-notice-of-funding-availability. Completed applications will be accepted until 2 p.m. on Friday, February 18.
West Balboa Island utility basement nears completion
Work to bury utilities on West Balboa Island continues to progress. The contractor is currently busy completing work on Agate Avenue. Last week, the contractor was able to install a vault adjacent to the Carol Beek Center and complete the installation of all conduits on Agate Avenue.
Pavement restoration is underway this week as the contractor prepares to open Agate Avenue to all traffic by the end of the day on Friday January 28.
The construction of the Jamboree will begin on February 6 with night closures
From Sunday February 6, construction work will require overnight closures of northbound Jamboree Road between Bayside Drive and East Coast Highway for approximately eight weeks. Southbound lanes will remain open and northbound traffic will be directed to Bayside Drive as an alternate route.
Northbound lanes in this area will be closed from 8:30 p.m. to 6 a.m. Sunday through Thursday. The project, to replace a large, nearly 100-year-old water main that serves the entire city, is being done at night to minimize traffic disruption during the day.
For any questions, please contact Alfred Castanon at (949) 644-3314 or [email protected] or Michael Sinacori at (949) 644-3342 or [email protected] of the City’s Public Works Department.
Volunteers wanted for the homeless Point in Time Count
Sign up to help shape homeless services in Orange County for the next few years as part of the one-time count, Feb. 22-24.
Point in Time is a biannual count of people experiencing homelessness on a given night. The count provides vital information that helps the county better understand homelessness in the community and guides how the county and its partners are responding to homelessness in Orange County.
Volunteer opportunities are available before the event and during the Point in Time Count event. Register on https://www.everyonecountsoc.org/.
- City Net, Newport Beach’s contracted social services agency, processed an application and security deposit for a seniors’ apartment for a woman who received an emergency housing voucher. Emergency Housing Vouchers are funded by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and allow people to pay affordable rent based on their fixed income. Nine homeless people in Newport Beach received vouchers. The voucher program is administered by the Orange County Housing Authority. City Net helps Newport Beach customers complete necessary paperwork, obtain bank statements, view potential rental apartments, and more.
- 17 people who were homeless in Newport Beach are now housed in the Costa Mesa Bridge Shelter.
- City Net referred a man to a sober living program.
- City Net registered a person in its services and conducted a vulnerability index assessment. City Net uses the Vulnerability Index assessment to screen clients on a number of factors to determine appropriate placement in the county’s continuum of care system. Some factors include age, health issues, and how long they are not immune.
- City Net has registered a man for mental health counseling via telehealth.
To donate to those living homeless in Newport Beach, please visit our Good Giving Program webpage at https://newportbeachca.gov/trending/community-issues/homelessness/how-you-can-help.