Company:
City of Newport Beach
Status:
Awarded
Awarded:
Urban Development Project of the Year
Additional Files
View of memorial butterfly garden and Pacific Ocean
Restroom architecture
Grand opening day
Overall layout of Sunset Ridge Park
Additional Information

Sunset Ridge Park

Project Location:

4850 West Coast Highway, Newport Beach, Orange County - Northwest corner of West Coast Highway and Superior Avenue

Project Description:

This project involves constructing a new 13.7-acre park at the northwest corner of West Coast Highway and Superior Avenue in the City of Newport Beach.  Proposed active recreation amenities include one youth baseball field, two youth soccer fields, a children playground area, and a picnic area with restrooms.  Sunset Ridge Park also includes passive recreation amenities such as a memorial butterfly garden, a shaded overlook area with views of the Pacific Ocean, and meandering pedestrian walkways throughout the park.  With the exception of the turf playing fields and paved areas, the park is landscaped with primarily California native plants of the Coastal Sage Scrub vegetation community.

Project Justification:

The idea of developing this active park originated over 20 years ago.  Despite many obstacles as described below and the change in leadership throughout the years, the City remained focused on the development of Sunset Ridge Park.  In accordance with the Recreation Element of the City’s General Plan, the West Newport area is in need for additional parkland.  The City recognized this need and purchased the land from the California Department of Transportation in 2006 to develop an active park.  After eight years of environmental clearance, permitting, final design and construction, Sunset Ridge Park is now complete and regularly visited by the general public.  This new active park will provide a much needed place for families to enjoy youth baseball and soccer games.  In addition to the active elements of the park, the 5.15 acres of Coastal Sage Scrub vegetation also serves as a habitat of the federally endangered California gnatcatcher.

Special Circumstances:

The location of the project presented several unique obstacles.  Since the proposed park is immediately adjacent to existing condominiums to the north, many of the residents were concerned with potential noise increase, security and loss of privacy, and loss of scenic ocean views.  City staff worked very closely with the adjacent residents throughout the design and construction phases in order to minimize or avoid the residents’ concerns.

Another obstacle was the procurement of a Coastal Development Permit (CDP) from the California Coastal Commission (CCC).  Throughout the 3-year long permitting process, a local environmental group continuously voiced their concerns regarding the development of Sunset Ridge Park claiming that the existing land is a habitat for the federally endanger California gnatcatcher.  CCC staff subsequently recommended denial of the CDP.  City staff remained persistent and was able to convince CCC Commissioners to overturn their staff’s recommendation and ultimately received the CDP on November 8, 2013.

Project Attachments:

The total project cost including environmental clearance, permitting, final design and construction is approximate $8.5 million.  Construction was substantially completed in December 2014 on schedule and within budget.

Award Citation::

Sunset Ridge Park is a new 13.7-acre park with active and passive amenities including one youth baseball field, two youth soccer fields, a children playground area, picnic area, restrooms, a butterfly garden, a shaded overlook structure and meandering walkways throughout the park.  It also includes California native landscaping of the Coastal Sage Scrub vegetation community.

Suggested Award Summary:

This project involves constructing a new 13.7-acre park at the northwest corner of West Coast Highway and Superior Avenue in the City of Newport Beach.  Proposed active recreation amenities include one youth baseball field, two youth soccer fields, a children playground area, and a picnic area with restrooms.  Sunset Ridge Park also includes passive recreation amenities such as a memorial butterfly garden, a shaded overlook area with views of the Pacific Ocean, and meandering pedestrian walkways throughout the park.  With the exception of the turf playing fields and paved areas, the park is landscaped with primarily California native plants of the Coastal Sage Scrub vegetation community.

CEC

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