"We get $1.7 million, and if we agree not to interfere, we get $4.4 million," Righeimer said at the July 17 meeting. "That's what we're talking about here."

As of now, however, the agreement has not been signed by any parties and has no legal validity, said Naghavi.

The changes made to the agreement by the council were significant enough that the developer decided to re-examine it, Naghavi said.

"I think they will be back after the New Year, but by no means is that agreement completely gone," he said.

What is for certain, he said, is that Newport Banning Ranch will have to address the development's impacts on neighboring Costa Mesa.

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Reactions to the recall

Robin Leffler, president of Costa Mesans for Responsible Government, whose major stances include opposition to the Righeimer-led city charter initiative, said her organization had no prior knowledge of McEvoy's recall intentions and does not back the effort.

"This is not the time or the place if something like this is going to happen," she said, adding that the recall effort would be "a pretty serious undertaking, and you have to really count your costs of whether or not it's appropriate or called for."

Leffler's group, however, has strongly opposed to Righeimer's outsourcing efforts at the charter proposal.

McEvoy said he doesn't plan on running for council again. Regarding his grass-roots effort to garner the thousands of voter signatures, he said "it's going to be work. It'll be an absolute amount of work."

"It'll gain momentum," he added. "This is very feasible. It can absolutely happen. I'm very confident in the result of this."

bradley.zint@latimes.com

Twitter: @bradleyzint