Koll Center development will help ease region’s housing crunch

Published in the LA Times Daily Pilot Tuesday, January 29

“To me, housing is transportation; transportation is housing. You don’t reach those goals, we’re going to take [state transportation] money from you,” Gov. Gavin Newsom told the Associated Press earlier this month.

This quote makes it clear the new governor is playing hardball with cities that do not approve housing. If a city rejects General Plan-compliant projects, he’ll withhold millions of dollars of transportation funding.

This is the type of Sacramento tactic that I have come to expect. However, it should not bother Newport Beach at all. That’s because the voters approve our General Plan. In fact, Newport Beach residents decide where and how much housing should be built. Approving General Plan-compliant projects is not simply common sense; it is also upholding the will of the people.

The governor’s actions — though overbearing — simply give us another incentive to approve General Plan-compliant projects, including Koll Center Residences. This is a project that is defined by the General Plan. It’s been in the works for a decade. It can have immense benefits to our community. It should be approved.

Newport Beach does not have to like Sacramento tactics, but it must respect the will of the voters and approve General Plan-compliant projects.

Ken Dufour

Newport Beach