Letters/Online Comments

Editorial: Dana Point Poles Will Tell a Story

Are you curious to see just how big the proposed “boat barn” dry storage facility planned for Dana Point Harbor will be? The harbor’s recreational boaters are definitely interested — and they are about to find out.            

OC Dana Point Harbor announced that “story poles” went up this week to indicate proposed new rooflines of the planned harbor buildings in redevelopment Planning Areas 1 and 2, called the “Commercial Core”  — including the “boat barn.” The California Coastal Commission initially approved the landside portion of Dana Point’s $140 million Harbor Revitalization Plan in January 2011.            

Rodger Beard, president of the Dana Point Boaters Association (DPBA), sent an email blast to members, telling then to take a good look now — because those story poles will only be up for seven days. They’re set to be taken down on Feb. 7, leaving local boaters with just one weekend — Feb. 2 and 3 — to see them.

“The DPBA leadership team is planning to really check these story poles out, and we would appreciate your help,” Beard said in a message to members Jan. 28. “The plan is to take a large number of high-resolution digital photos from each of the many perspectives necessary, in order to have a proper understanding of the ocean view the county of Orange is planning to leave us with.”

Members will take photos the weekend of Feb. 2-3, and those images will later be posted on the association’s website, at dpba.org.            

According to the county, the story poles will be placed to show the ridgelines and peaks of the proposed Commercial Core buildings and dry boat storage building proposal. County staff members will provide specific designs of the buildings in the application for a Coastal Development Permit (CDP), which must also be approved by the Coastal Commission.            

OC Dana Point Harbor director Brad Gross said the CDP will be finalized after the city’s Planning Commission public hearing is conducted and an appeal period ends. The application could be filed with the city within the next two months, after which a public hearing will be scheduled.            

“This is the time the public will have another opportunity to comment on the buildings in the Commercial Core,” Gross said. “The city tells me the hearing could be scheduled within six to eight months after the submittal, depending on the completeness of the package. There will be ample notice to the public on the hearing date.”            

However, long before those public comment periods begin, boaters now have an opportunity to see the building heights and ridgelines for themselves.            

With so many different versions of boat storage facility plans having been discussed over the past few years, with building heights ranging up to 60 feet, seeing the story poles for ourselves might answer a lot of nagging questions about impacts on views and the practicality of this facility.            

As they say, seeing is believing.

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