General Plan Description Quote

The City of Newport Beach General Plan is currently being updated to respond to social, economic, and environmental changes, and to comply with new State laws. Nearly 20 years have passed since the last General Plan was adopted and Newport Beach is presented with many new issues and opportunities. Therefore, the General Plan must be updated to reflect the ever-changing needs and desires of the community. The elements of the General Plan that are being updated are described below.

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A Vision Statement describes a shared image of what people want their community to become over the planning period (20-30 years). It is a statement written as an end state for a desired future. The development of a Vision Statement is a foundational step in the planning process, acting as a “guiding light” for the development of goals, policies, and actions for the General Plan Update. The process for developing the Vision Statement builds on data analysis and outreach and engagement to reveal the values, needs, and aspirations of the community.

Two of Newport Beach’s most prominent features, the Newport Harbor and Newport Bay, create a sense of community identity offering recreation and economic opportunity. The Harbor and Bay Element guides development and activities conducted on and near the bay and harbor with the intent to preserve the diversity and charm of existing uses without restricting the rights of the waterfront property owners. The goals and policies of the adopted Harbor and Bay Element balance economic, recreational, and environmental needs, ensuring that the harbor and bay are accessible, safe, and healthy.

The Historical Resources Element aims to preserve and maintain Newport Beach’s historic, archeological, and paleontological resources to create an awareness and appreciation for its rich history. Policies and goals will ensure future development respects and protects the history of Newport Beach for generations to come.

Recreational facilities like parks and community centers play an important role in the physical, mental, social, and environmental health of the community. The Recreation Element ensures that beaches, parks, public facilities, recreational programs, and natural areas are safe and enjoyable for everyone. Adopted goals and policies aim to improve and expand recreational opportunities including beautifying parks and public spaces, installing and maintaining amenities, and increasing safety and accessibility.

Newport Beach offers a strong sense of community that is represented in its arts, cultural, and literary offerings and at its events and facilities. The Arts and Cultural Element ensures that Newport Beach is an attractive and supportive environment for artistic expression and cultural activities and events that foster a sense of community.

From its pristine coastline to its lush wetlands and rolling hills, Newport Beach is blessed with a variety of natural resources that support its economy and enrich the lives of residents. The Natural Resources Element balances the use, conservation, and preservation of natural resources and habitats. It aims to promote good air and water quality, sustainable development patterns, and the sustainable use of extractable resources so that they can be used and enjoyed by future generations.

While Newport Beach residents enjoy an exceptionally safe community, it is important to remain resilient in the event of natural disasters and other hazards like fires. The Safety Element aims to protect people, development, and resources from hazards, including flooding, fire, extreme weather, earthquakes, and landslides. It identifies strategies to prepare for, respond to, and recover from hazard events while minimizing harm to people and property.

Decisions about how land is developed are central to long-range planning because they affect nearly every aspect of society, including the economy, natural environment, and livability of the community. The Land Use Element determines what should be built where in Newport Beach based on the needs and goals of the community. It dedicates space for a variety of uses and ensures that residents have convenient access to resources to meet their day-to-day needs, such as schools, grocery stores, and parks. The Land Use Element is currently undergoing a separate but parallel update as part of the Housing Element Implementation Program to support housing production in the focus areas identified by the Housing Element. This General Plan Update will further assess land use changes that may be identified.

The ability to transport people and resources within and outside of Newport Beach is important to residents and the local economy. The Circulation Element ensures that roads, sidewalks, bikeways, and transit systems enable people and goods to move efficiently in the city and beyond. It supports safe, convenient, and diverse travel options for residents and visitors and helps businesses send and receive the resources they need. While the Circulation Element was updated in 2022 to comply with state law mandates, such as “Complete Streets” and Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) legislation, further policy revisions may be identified through this General Plan Update.

While Newport Beach enjoys many urban conveniences, it also experiences uniquely urban issues including noise pollution. The Noise Element works to minimize the impacts that noise from roadways, construction, airports, and special events have on the community. In doing so, it improves residents’ quality of life and strikes a delicate balance between a lively community and a peaceful one. The Noise Element is currently undergoing a separate but parallel update as part of the Housing Element Implementation Program to support housing production in the focus areas identified by the Housing Element. This General Plan Update will further assess needed policy revisions for the Noise Element.

Newport Beach is known as a great place to live due to its scenic beauty, neighborly culture, and variety of community resources. The Housing Element ensures that there are enough homes in the city to meet the needs of current and future residents. The Housing Element is unique in that State law requires it be updated every eight years. The City adopted the most recent version of its Housing Element in 2022 and this update involved a separate community engagement effort. The Housing Element has received certification from the State and for this reason, the Housing Element will not be a part of this General Plan Update.

General Plan Update Timeline