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AB 1196 (Harper) and Contract with Don Schmitz and Associates <br />April 24, 2018 <br />Page 2 <br />FUNDING REQUIREMENTS: <br />The current contract with Schmitz and Associates runs at $16,000 a month and has a 7 - <br />day notice to terminate. The contract has been funded with a budget amendment on <br />March 27, 2018. In an email to me on April 18, 2018, Mr. Schmitz suggested that the <br />monthly retainer would lower to "$8,000 to $10,000 a month .... except for June (which <br />includes Mr. Schmitz' testimony before the Senate Committee) which would be $12,000 <br />(for that month)." <br />DISCUSSION: <br />In recent years, Council members have discussed the concept of a "Port Master Plan" for <br />Newport Harbor, that would be akin to a Local Coastal Program (LCP) for the waters of <br />Newport Harbor. With an LCP, a local community's governing board steps into the shoes <br />of the California Coastal Commission in interpreting the Coastal Act, allowing local <br />residents to avoid following the Commission across the state at its monthly meetings to <br />secure a permit. <br />In effect, having a Port Master Plan may allow the City to process environmental review <br />and permits for modifications, removals, and installations of items like sea walls, private <br />and public docks, mooring cans, swim lines, and more — assuming all of this occurred <br />consistent with the California Coastal Act. Additionally, it could allow the City Council to <br />more effectively manage small dredging projects, especially around private piers. <br />Starting with the Council's planning session on Monday, January 29th, 2018, and then at <br />the Council's evening meeting of Tuesday, February 13, 2018, the Council gave direction <br />to have legislation introduced that would create the Port Master Plan concept in state law. <br />Assembly Member Matthew Harper agreed to introduce the legislation, which is now <br />Assembly Bill 1196 (similar language was included in AB 2464, but now AB 1196 is the <br />primary vehicle for this effort). Assembly Member Quirk -Silva and State Senator <br />Moorlach are co-authors of AB 1196. <br />AB 1196 would essentially align Newport Beach's harbor with other significant harbors, <br />calling out our harbor as a harbor able to have its own Port Master Plan. If the bill become <br />law, the City would then have to develop and submit the Port Master Plan to the Coastal <br />Commission for review and approval, similar to the City's extensive Local Coastal <br />Program effort. <br />Following the Council's discussion of this on March 27, 2018, the California Coastal <br />Commission voted 8-3 to formally oppose the passage of AB 1196. Staff to the <br />Commission suggested that there were other methods that could accomplish some of the <br />City's needs and concerns without amending the California Coastal Act, such as a "Public <br />Works Plan" or a "Master CDP". The Commission's staff report read in part (sections in <br />bold are where I added emphasis): <br />In 2016, prior to the certification of Newport's LCP, the Commission worked with the city to <br />streamline the permitting process for small dredging projects in the harbor that impact eelgrass, <br />an important marine habitat. This was a major efficiency improvement for both the City and the <br />Commission that is working well. At that time, the Commission and the City also discussed the <br />10-2 <br />