What's in a name?

What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet

Clearly, Shakespeare makes a poor guide to Orange County real estate. According to real estate experts consulted by the Los Angeles Times, adding the name Newport Beach to your address “can increase property values by up to $100,000, if not more.” And homeowners in the unincorporated West Santa Ana Heights, wedged in between Newport Beach and Costa Mesa, want in on that platinum-coated name. Newport is obliging them, the city has begun the process of annexing the neighborhood.

This annexation should go much more smoothly than a previous attempt in 2002. Of course, that time the city attempting to swallow the West Santa Ana Heights was the decided unglamourous Costa Mesa. Residents revolted, the attempt was scuttled. Still, there are those people for whom the neighborhood will always remain a part of greater Costa Mesa, at least in their hearts– and in this case, by “people” I mean Costa Mesa city officials. “Why would you create an island in the city of Costa Mesa that is called Newport Beach?” Costa Mesa City Council Member Katrina Foley plaintively asked the Times. I don't know– building on precedent? There already is an island in the city of Costa Mesa that is Newport Beach in all but name: South Coast Plaza. That mightiest of malls does its best to create the illusion that there is a corner of a foreign field that is forever Newport.

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