Fight over mega yachts in Newport Beach

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NEWPORT BEACH (CNS) – In what may seem like a plot line from “Arrested Development,” residents of a tony Newport Bay condo project want a wealthy Los Angeles real estate developer to “shove off” with his 216-foot private yacht, it was reported today.

The Newport Beach Harbor Commission has approved a pilot project to allow mega-yachts to anchor in Newport Bay, and L.A. developer Rick Caruso now has a permit to anchor his 216-foot-long yacht, called “Invictus,” off Lido Island.

Not so fast, said residents Pamela Whitesides and Judy Cole. They told the Daily Pilot newspaper that the Invictus and another smaller mega yacht, just 130 feet long, will be bright, noisy and fume-generating intrusions on their coveted bay views.

One city harbor commissioner has embraced the mega-yacht idea, and told the newspaper that Newport Beach could become a destination port for the millionaires and billionaires who own such vessels.

That’s just the worry of Whitesides, who was interviewed by the Daily Pilot as she was “looking out her floor-to-ceiling glass windows onto the calm blue water off the western end of Lido Island,” as the newspaper put it.

“This is just a trial, they keep assuring us of that,” she told the newspaper. “But it’s a trial to make it permanent.”

Caruso, owner of The Grove and the Americana at Brand shopping centers, plans to host “a small wedding” on his Invictus this fall, and anchor off Lido Island for 16 days, a harbor commissioner said.

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