Harbor/Newport Overlay Districts
Building Residential Projects in Commercial Zones
In 2016, the City Council voted to designate residential overlay for 14 locations along Harbor Boulevard and Newport Boulevard. Under the overlays, instead of the commercial uses already permitted, property owners would have the option to develop residential uses at densities up to forty dwelling units per acre and four stories in height.
Many of the overlay locations included old, rundown motels, but also included other properties. While we need to address problem motels, our primary approach should be strict code enforcement and law enforcement. Sandy Genis did not support the proposed high density overlays and was the only City Council member to include rolling back the overlays as a priority in the City Council goal setting session in March of 2017.
In February of 2018, under Sandy’s leadership as Mayor, the City Council finally voted to review the various overlays. In October 2018, over two thirds of the overlay districts were eliminated. At a few locations, where community support existed for keeping the overlays, the maximum allowable densities and height were significantly reduced. Because at one of the overlay locations a project was already approved (Ayes: Foley, Mensinger, Righeimer, Monahan; No: Genis), that overlay had to remain unchanged.