New parking system installed at Dana Point Harbor

Boater lots have new machines installed at entrance and exit. Slip tenants are exempt from paying for parking, but who will be on the hook for going in and out of the lots?

DANA POINT—A new parking management system has apparently been installed at Dana Point Harbor, and the local boaters association is trying to answer the $64,000 question: who would be paying to go in and out of the lot?

Dana Point Harbor Partners, the private entity tasked with revitalizing the dilapidated boating venue in South Orange County, installed the new system to manage unauthorized or abusive parking habits. A recent Dana Point Boaters Association e-newsletter stated the new parking control system aimed to prevent “unauthorized use of boater parking and maximize space for legitimate slip tenants.”

Representatives from Dana Point Boaters Association said they pushed for a parking system where boaters could access the water for free, but “interlopers” were kept away. Slip tenants and their families are exempt from paying parking fees while visiting these lots, according to the Dana Point Boaters Association e-newsletter. The new parking system, however, has Dana Point Boaters Association asking who will have to pay for going in and out of the lots.

“These new machines sure look like they issue tickets and accept credit cards, suggesting that someone will be paying for parking. But who,” the e-newsletter authors stated and asked. “We are assured that Dana Point Harbor slip tenants … and their immediate families will never pay for parking. We will be issued up to four transponders that will be adhered to our vehicles and will automatically let us in and out of boater parking. But what about everyone else? Our friends and extended family? Boat mechanics and washers?

Dana Point Harbor Partners is expected to distribute details about the new parking management system soon, according to the boaters association’s e-newsletter. Details of those plans, whenever they are announced, will certainly be covered by The Log.

The boaters association, however, made it quite clear it would fight to protect “the boater experience” and block the imposition of fees or costs on slip tenants to help pay for parking.

“There is no indication so far that marina management plans to charge our guests to park. Nonetheless, we have preemptively made our position clear to Dana Point Harbor Partners that we will strongly oppose any parking management plan that results in our invited guests paying for parking,” the e-newsletter’s authors wrote. “Additionally, any new fees charged to those that service our boats (mechanics, washers and so on) should not be so exorbitant to cause undue charges passed along to boaters.

“In a nutshell, the new parking management plan must not impose new costs on the boater experience,” the e-newsletter’s authors continued.

Parking is still free, for now, according to Dana Point Boaters Association. The parking management plan could be implemented as soon as April. The parking control system has been installed but its arms, which keep people from going in and out at the entrance/exit, will remain open until the plan is fully implemented. Details of the parking management system at Dana Point Harbor will be reported on as soon as the information becomes available.

Installation of the new parking management system, according to Dana Point Boaters Association, was implemented to “protect boater parking from interlopers and others that have no business in our recreational marina parking.”



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