BOATER FACTSHEET: FACT OR FICTION?
On March 17th, Supervisor Katrina Foley was the guest speaker at the Dana Point Civic Association Coffee Chat.
Supervisor Foley handed out a Boater Factsheet, which were DPHP’s answers to questions posed to them by Dana Point Boaters Association. DPHP didn’t respond to DPBA, so we asked Supervisor Foley’s office to request the answers. It took some time to get a response from DPHP, but one was finally obtained. Click here for their response.
DPBA would like to make some comments regarding this response by topic.
Attachment 1 in the response is a copy of the communication from The Marina at Dana Point attempting to justify the elimination of dock boxes to Dana Point boaters. TMDP writes: “Why select Power Pedestal (sic) over Dock Boxes?”
They go on to say: “Dock boxes are very common in California marinas for they have been a very inexpensive way to provide utilities to boats on docks.” DPBA would like to comment that boaters don’t object to the use of power pedestals; boaters just don’t want dock boxes eliminated. The power hookups don’t need to be in dock boxes; power pedestals are just fine. In fact, many newer marinas use both. Click here for a picture of a modern marina in San Diego using both. DPBA questions whether DPHP has an ulterior motive for not including dock boxes in the revitalized marina. Quoting from page 118 of DPHP’s proposal to RFP# 2016-03-16: “The new docks will be modular. The modular design offers tremendous flexibility to expand, reconfigure or replace single sections if needed.” We surmise, could the exorbitant slip rate increases be a ploy to drive out the small boaters in the harbor so DPHP can “reconfigure” the docks in the future to accommodate much larger boats? Without dock boxes on the docks, it would make it much easier to reconfigure them. Click here for a copy of DPHP’s proposal.
DPHP’s response on the factsheet regarding the location of recently revitalized marinas, or recently built, without including dock boxes, is somewhat confusing. They state Bellingham did over 100 projects in California in 2022, and the vast majority of the projects did not use dock boxes, but they cited an example of a marina, Cap-Sante, in Washington state. DPBA researched Cap-Sante Marina and found out it is part of the Port of Anacortes. In a conversation with their marina office, they advised us the marina has just under 1000 slips, and most are for commercial boats. Only about 100 slips are actually used by recreational boaters. We asked if they have dock boxes, and the response was, “yes, but not on all the docks, just designated ones.” Hmm…
When asked if there has been any change in the layout of the Marina since approval by the CCC DPHP response was: “No. See Attachment 2 for a slip layout comparison.”
Does DPHP think boaters just fell off the turnip truck? Click here for the newsletter we wrote specifically on this subject. In Attachment 2, DPHP included the slip layout approved by the CA Coastal Commission, which included a slip mix chart. The second layout included in the attachment, labeled “Plan to Build,” has no slip mix chart. A rudimentary examination might conclude that they are alike, but in fact, they are very different. Is this just more smoke and mirrors from DPHP?
Several weeks ago, DPBA contacted the Army Corp of Engineers (ACOE) for an update on dredging in Dana Point Harbor. We were advised a survey was done by them in May 2022. We were told the ACOE is responsible for dredging the navigable channels of the harbor, including the entrance, but the County or DPHP are responsible for dredging the slips. ACOE is funded by the Federal government, and they applied for funds to be included in the Federal budget for the dredging and to fix the breakwater. They have not heard yet if funds were appropriated. If appropriated, the dredging would take place in late 2024 or early 2025. They added that because of the cost of mobilizing the dredging equipment, DPHP/County wants to wait to do the dredging of the slips until the ACOE does the dredging of the navigable channels. Vessels are getting damaged in slips in Dana Point because of the lack of dredging the slips. The costs to the boat owners to repair the damaged vessels could be in the thousands, but DPHP wants to wait to dredge until ACOE does to save money. Let that sink in. DPHP raised the slip rates 26% to 96%, and they are waiting to dredge to save money. Remember, in 2021, DPHP took $13.6 million in distributions from their harbor operation.
At the Coffee Chat, Supervisor Foley promised to get answers to her constituents’ questions, and she wants to work towards solutions. She also believes in proper oversight of county projects. We hope DPHP understands there is a new “sheriff” in town, and lack of transparency and performance will no longer be tolerated. We also hope proper oversight of the project will be implemented by the Supervisor’s office and the City of Dana Point, including compliance with the Coastal Development Permit and Local Coastal Plan.
Watch for Supervisor Foley’s announcement of a Town Hall Meeting in Dana Point for interested parties to get their questions answered. Representatives from all three entities of DPHP will be required to be there.