Lillian Boyd, Dana Point Times

Gary Newkirk is the second candidate to announce his run for District 4 in Dana Point.

As a member of the community since 1997, Newkirk says he has a fundamental appreciation of the unique and diverse character of this historic area and he is committed to encouraging responsible development, while honoring the city’s heritage and retaining its coastal village charm.

Gary and his wife of 30 years, Kathy (a public school speech pathologist) have lived in the Lantern District since 1997. Their son Nick, now a junior at UCSB, attended local public schools, graduating from Dana Hills High School. He enjoyed several years of Dana Point Youth Baseball and at DHHS played baseball and ran cross-country.

“I first became interested in civic affairs when I served on the city’s Building Height Task Force in 2005. Our very diverse group worked cooperatively to develop zoning solutions for irregular or sloped residential lots, avoiding what had been a steady stream of contentious variance requests,” Newkirk said. “During two terms on the Planning Commission (2009 to 2015), including one year as Chair, I built a reputation as someone who could be trusted to encourage responsible development, code compliance and projects that reflected the character of our community, always ensuring that residents’ voices were heard.”

Newkirk casted one of the dissenting votes rejecting the Majestic (now Raintree) developer’s request for variances outside the resident-approved Town Center Plan.

“A subsequent successful appeal to Council angered residents who successfully launched Measure H to force the Council to seek ballot approval for any future changes to the plan,” Newkirk said.

After graduating from UCLA with a degree in Economics, Newkirk pursued a career as a stockbroker.

He later developed a career in sports photography, media marketing and business development. He volunteered as photographer for the TGR Foundation, Tiger Woods’ educational foundation that offers underrepresented students the resources and support needed to thrive in school and beyond.

As a contract photographer for publications like Golf World/Golf Digest, and Allsport Photography (now Getty Images) Newkirk travelled to over 450 tournaments.

“Despite having had the opportunity to visit some truly amazing locations, there’s no place I’d rather be than here in Dana Point,” Newkirk said. “This is our home and we are here to stay. I would be honored to serve the Lantern District and the larger community on the Dana Point City Council. I pledge to continue to provide residents a voice as I seek to enhance and preserve our residential neighborhoods and our exceptional way of life.”

Newkirk’s only opposing candidate in District 4 will be Mike Frost. In District 5, Michael Villar and Benjamin Bebee will appear on the ballot on Tuesday, November 3.

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comments (6)

  • I respect Mr Newkirk as a businessman an artist and a longtime resident but I think he should take credit for the monstrous twin monoliths and the other projects being built up and down since he was both a member and president of the planning Commission while the were progressing .I wish I knew more about the guy but evidently his history on social media wasn’t conducive to running for office so he scrubbed it .I suppose the fact he helped get Mike Levin elected makes him a serous candidate but hope Mrs Boyd give Mike Frost the same chance to express his qualifications and desires

  • It appears that there is some confusion about the entitlement process for the Majestic/Raintree project under construction in Town Center. The Planning Commission rejected the project as proposed, and I voted no because of the numerous variances requested including excessive height, the addition of a 4th floor instead of the 3 allowed and inadequate parking. The developer appealed this decision to the City Council who overturned the Planning Commission finding and approved the plan as proposed with variances allowing the project to commence. There were four public hearings on the project between July 14, 2014 and the vote to reject on October 6, 2014. Here is a link to the minutes of the final hearing, vote and rejection with my comments: https://www.danapoint.org/home/showdocument?id=14709 (pages 5-9). I do find it interesting that at the meeting on August 11, 2014 during public comments that while the majority of residents voiced their opposition to the plan Frost spoke in favor of the proposal as presented with the requested variances. https://www.danapoint.org/home/showdocument?id=14499 (page 6)

    I am proud of my record on the Planning Commission and my record is transparent, public and searchable on the city website http://www.DanaPoint.org

    • It appears that there is some confusion about the entitlement process for the Majestic/Raintree project under construction in Town Center. The Planning Commission rejected the project as proposed, and I voted no because of the numerous variances requested including excessive height, the addition of a 4th floor instead of the 3 allowed and inadequate parking. The developer appealed this decision to the City Council who overturned the Planning Commission finding and approved the plan as proposed with variances allowing the project to commence. There were four public hearings on the project between July 14, 2014 and the vote to reject on October 6, 2014. Here is a link to the minutes of the final hearing, vote and rejection with my comments: https://www.danapoint.org/home/showdocument?id=14709 (pages 5-9). In contrast my current city council opponent spoke in favor of the project and variances at the meeting on August 11, 2014 while the majority of residents voiced their opposition. https://www.danapoint.org/home/showdocument?id=14499 (page 6)

      I am proud of my record on the Planning Commission and my record is transparent, public and searchable on the city website http://www.DanaPoint.org

  • Interesting how the president of the planning Commission and a city council person are willing to blame a single private citizen for the twin monstrosities .Is this what we can expect for on Newkirk , more of Lewis / Nelson Blame game
    Dude you were on the planning commission and it’s president take some responsibility .

  • Actually Mr. Chapman, Majestic did ask for a height variance. It wanted to build rooftop deck that required multiple stair case and elevator enclosures towering nearly 60 feet high..That’s the height of a 6 story building.! Also, the requested 4th floors was also a variance because the Town Center Plan limited buildings to 40 feet AND 3 stories, not 40 feet OR 3 stories. In 2014, Mike Frost went to the Planning Commission and spoke publicly in favor of the Newport Beach developer’s variance requests. Gary Newkirk was on the Planning Commission in 2014. He and planner Norm Denton voted NO, so all variance requests were DENIED. The city council overturned Newkirk and Denton’s DENIAL.

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