Last Tuesday, Newport Council approved a new ordinance to make construction last even longer in Newport Beach, which had its preliminary vote three weeks ago.
The ordinance, started when Mayor Diane Dixon heard annoying saw sounds on the weekend, according to the Daily Pilot, has banned construction on Saturdays, compounding with an additional ban on Sundays, eliminating 2 of the 7 days per week of work. Now projects that would have normally taken 6 weeks will now take 7, 12 weeks will become 14, and 18 weeks will add an additional 3 weeks to the total development time– and that is assuming an unrealistic idea that there will be no additional ramp-up time from taking the weekend off.
Some have cheered this restriction of the free market, and the banning of people being able to work on weekends due to the noise, but let’s be honest: It’s the weekend. The areas affected (particularly on Balboa Peninsula) are already filled with loud noise from tourists during this time– and who would you rather have the parking filled with: Tourists or workers who are there to accelerate the end-time of a project?
This laddering of development will– inevitably– result in a recognizably higher number of development projects happening simultaneously in a neighborhood at any given time, higher prices for development, higher prices for home ownership, higher prices for renters, worse traffic and parking congestion stemming from more simultaneous development, and– of course– “black market developers” who will be paid to skirt the law and get the job done faster. Of course, this is also removing additional property rights from owners who previously had the ability to get their home work done faster and cheaper. This also, essentially, bans homeowners from working on their own homes if they also work a 9-5 job on Monday through Friday.
The neighborhoods that this would affect are Balboa Peninsula, Balboa Island, Bay Island, Harbor Island, Linda Isle, Lido Isle, West Newport, Bayshores, Newport Shores, and Corona del Mar.
The construction noise will be limited to 55 decibels, which is about the sound that your refrigerator makes.
But of course, as long as Dixon doesn’t hear that annoying saw on a Saturday on Lido, this is all acceptable collateral damage for the rest of us to endure for the duration of this law… which, of course, is eternal.
In the “land of the free”, our politicians continue to see what they perceive to be a problem and immediately move to ban it, without ever considering the ramifications of their own actions.