[UPDATED] Frog House Surf Shop [Not Quite] Saved

UPDATE, FEB. 21, 5:02 P.M.:

When we last checked into the Frog House, the legendary surf shop was working with the city to remain in the west Newport Beach spot it has darkened since 1962.

But there is one thing you can say without reservation about the city of Newport Beach: It's not the California Coastal Commission (CCC).

Thus, if the city agrees to change its Coastal Land Use Plan so the Frog House can stay, the CCC will be on deck to approve (or deny) the change as well.

The Daily Pilot has the scoop.

A zoning change is required to allow commercial uses on the land that since 1973 has been zoned residential. The city did not enforce the zoning in the area until it tried to push out some drug rehabs that popped up in the same Newport Shores section of town, which is along PCH and close to the Huntington Beach border.

This past September, the Frog House, the nearby National Cat Protection Society and the building that used to house the Green Room Surf Shop were informed they are out of compliance with city zoning and might have to shut down. The owners of all three buildings have since applied for the zoning change.

The city, which has indicated it wants to work with the Frog House to keep it at its location, had to inform other governmental agencies of the possible land-use change.

Enter the CCC to the party.

UPDATE, OCT. 15, 7:38 P.M.:

The legendary Frog House surf shop in Newport Beach has apparently been saved.

"Frog House owner T.K. Brimer and Newport Councilman Steve Rosansky, whose district includes the surf shop, both said today that Brimer can request a zoning change from the city that likely would be granted and allow the shop to operate indefinitely," veteran OC journo Roger Bloom writes on something called OCinSite.com.

(Note to Rog: sorry to refer to the site that way; the "About" page says "coming soon.")

The shop on PCH in Newport Shores was targeted for closure because zoning changes passed in the 1970s deemed the area residential-only. Three other buildings were also endangered.

Bloom quotes Rosansky and City Manager David Kiff on the record and other officials off the record agreeing that if the Frog House goes to the Planning Commission and City Council with a zone-change request, it will be approved.

It was the second biggest news of the week for the Frog House, after being named Best Surf Shop in the Weekly's Best of OC edition. (A boy can dream, can't he?)

UPDATE, OCT. 7, 2010, 7:50 A.M.:

Righteous readers who

saw our post about the Frog House being endangered

inform that a Facebook page has been created to save the legendary Newport Shores surf shop.

You'll find the page here: Facebook.com.
Here is the description:

A Group dedicated to helping save one of the oldest and most renowned surf shops in the U.S.A. A landmark for surfers going back to 1972 the Frog House has been an icon and a living tribute to the Newport of old! Save the Frog House from being ousted by petty regulations and the "new" Newport establishment that wants the world to look like Newport Coast!

City officials say the Frog House is one of four "nonconforming" properties that do not meet residential zoning standards for the area passed in the 1970s.

ORIGINAL POST, OCT. 6, 2010, 8:15 A.M:

The legendary Frog House in west Newport Beach could close due to a zoning regulation that dates back to the 1970s.

The Frog House

opened in 1962 right where it is now, but in the 1970s, the land was re-zoned for residential only. The Frog House is one of four structures that has apparently operated outside zoning laws ever since.

The Los Angeles Times has the crazy tale.

All hail Smokey.
All hail Smokey.
The Frog House

The Frog House
All hail Smokey.

Another law, this one passed in 2008, called on the city to take action against these "nonconforming" properties, which were also offered the option of pursuing permits that might allow them to stay put.

However, a city official tells the Times that no one was required to tell the Frog House management about any of this.

The same official adds that the Frog House can seek a temporary extension from a city hearing officer or ask the City Council to amend the zoning.

Sounds like some surfers better start hanging tens at City Hall.


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