A newsletter in two parts:
Part 1: OC Parks Commission Kills Dana Point Harbor Advisory Council
We have important news to share in part two below, but first an update to set the scene: As expected, last Friday morning the OC Parks Commission voted to rescind the Dana Point Harbor Advisory Council that they approved last May; the commission then approved a temporary "ad hoc committee" as a means to gather community input.
[For more information on this action, see our previous newsletter here]
We fully support this ad hoc "town hall" for community engagement in our harbor. However, it will not function as an effective alternative to the proper community-based Harbor Commission that we originally sought. We believe there is an essential place for a commission of designated community representatives responsible for a mission defined by their charter and accountable to the community they are delegated to represent. We envision this commission as the essential third leg of a stool supporting the future of our harbor, a deliberative body working in close partnership with government and the private operator. This model has proven effective in many harbors along our coast and it is especially needed here as we hand the future of our harbor over to a private developer. And we intend to make it happen.
Part 2: Announcing the Creation of the Dana Point Harbor Advisory Board
Working in close partnership with the Dana Point Harbor Merchants Association, we have established the Dana Point Harbor Advisory Board. This group of community representatives will have the very same mission as the Harbor Commission we proposed last year, with a nearly identical charter, bylaws and membership. To relieve the County of its perceived legal obstacles to operating a harbor commission, the DPHAB will operate independently, though still in close collaboration with county agencies and our new private developer/operator. DPHAB will consider important operational matters affecting our harbor and report its recommendations to the OC 5th District Supervisor and OC Parks, just as before.
In the coming days, a nominating committee will be paneled to begin selection of the DPHAB membership. As in our original proposal, membership will be comprised of nine representatives from the following subsets of our harbor:
1. Wet Slip Tenant Boaters (2): Dana Point recreational boaters whose vessels are berthed in a boat slip, excluding commercial boat operators.
2. Dry Storage Tenants, Trailer Boaters, and Small Craft Operators (1): Dana Point recreational boaters whose watercraft are out of the water, such as on trailers or dry racks. Also includes human powered craft users (e.g. stand-up paddleboard) as well as other day-use customers. Excludes commercial boat operators.
3. Restauranteurs (1): Proprietors of restaurants as well as catering operations, operated within the boundaries of Dana Point Harbor.
4. Landside Merchants (1): Proprietors of all other non-restaurant, landside businesses located within the boundaries of Dana Point Harbor.
5. Waterside Merchants (1): Proprietors of Dana Point Harbor waterside-serving businesses, such as yacht brokers, boat repair operations, boat tour (e.g. whale watching) operators, ferry services, commercial and charter fishing.
6. Education, Non-profit, and Social Organizations (2): Groups and organizations dedicated to Dana Point Harbor public interests and activities such as harbor walking and park users; canoe, paddling, kayaking, sailing and fishing clubs; youth sailing operations; community-service; and environmental or marine-educational organizations.
7. At-large (1): A regular Dana Point Harbor visitor or other interested individual not represented by the preceding categories.
Individuals interested in participating in the development of the DPHAB or being considered as a member are asked to complete an interest form
. Interested and qualified individuals will be invited to a planning meeting in October where DPHAB membership will be selected, the charter and bylaws will be finalized, and an initial strategic plan developed. Shortly thereafter, a meeting schedule will be published and agendas will be posted publicly prior to each meeting. All meetings will be open to the public.
Of course, much more information on the new Dana Point Harbor Advisory Board will follow in the coming days and weeks. Please also pay close attention for important updates on the selection of a private developer to rebuild and operate our harbor. There will be rapid developments over the next few weeks and months. An attentive and engaged community is essential to our harbor's success. Please stay tuned.
Complete a Dana Point Harbor Advisory Board interest form here.
Have any questions, please click here to contact us.