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Dana Point Boaters Association
Parking Task Force
Good News Brewing on Slip Fees
LUP Language Revisions
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July 31, 2010
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Hi Boat Launch Ramp ,
Your DPBA leadership team is spearheading several different groups meeting on boater issues right now.
Here we are providing updates on two of these groups, the Parking Task Force and The Slip Fees Market Study. Please do contact us if you have questions, concerns or wish to volunteer to participate.
As we've said many times, democracy is a slow, painful process. But it does work pretty well when all stakeholders are properly represented and when those being represented take the time to be well informed and step forward from time to time to contribute with their time and ideas.
Your Board of Directors,
The Dana Point Boaters Association
The Parking Task Force is a cross functional group, co-chaired by DPBA and OC DPH that has been meeting periodically for more than a year and a half now. The membership includes boaters, merchants, marina operators and other stakeholders as well as OC DPH, the City of Dana Point and their design consultants.
In the Wednesday afternoon meeting there were three new versions of the existing plan for the build out of the new parking structure and Embarcadero presented. A set of drawings from Bryant Palmer Soto, Inc. was passed out and an interactive PowerPoint led discussion ensued. The later two of these three new alternatives, known as Non Panhandle Alternatives A and B were the product of past proposals made by DPBA directly to OC DPH and last reported on here in June.
The meeting lasted about 2 hours. We've included two sketches (not drawn to scale) illustrating the "Panhandle" related problem / opportunity.
Figure A - Existing Design with Square Parking Structure
Parking Structure - Panhandle Alternative
Above is the existing design for the parking structure at the edge of reconstructed commercial core. The "panhandle" designation is in recognition of the narrow dry boat storage area between end of structure itself and corner of Harbor Drive and Golden Lantern.
Figure B - New Non Panhandle Alternative
Parking Structure - Non Panhandle Alternative
Above is the new design, featuring a longer, skinnier parking structure of the same surface area square footage which eliminates the panhandle shaped boat storage area. This new design adds 125 parking spaces and thereby eliminates the need to add a third level to the parking structure at a later date. Because the design requirements of that 3rd story won't have to be included, the infrastructure is less expensive to build.
Here are those 3 new plan alternatives discussed at the Parking Task Force meeting:

1. Revised Panhandle Plan
This alternative is essentially a status quo design approach with certain engineering revisions, in particular movement of the Embarcadero entrance further away from Dana Harbor Drive on Puerto Place to solve a previously identified congestion problem. It provides:

- 493 dry storage spaces (400 in a boat barn), 334 vehicle with trailer spaces for day use, 144 auto-only spaces for boaters.

- 697 parking structure auto spaces total (610 spaces in structure itself plus 87 spaces in the Podium*).
*The area called "the Podium" is the double decked space for dedicated slip boater parking between the proposed new buildings and the new parking structure. (not shown above).

DPBA Analysis: This version of the plan also reflects some useful, relatively minor improvements in Embarcadero flow through with the same number of parking spaces within the parking structure.

2. New Non-Panhandle Plan, Alternative A
Both non-panhandle plans, alternatives A and B, feature a longer, skinnier public parking structure and a more rectangular (more desirable) Embarcadero following reconstruction. Alternative A eliminates the panhandle area but retains the previously proposed boat barn. This alternative provides:

- 493 dry storage spaces (400 in boat barn), 334 vehicle with trailer spaces for day use, 144 auto-only spaces for boaters.

- 822 parking structure auto spaces total (735 spaces in structure itself plus 87 spaces in the Podium).

DPBA Analysis: Alternative B provides 125 more parking spaces, improved Embarcadero flow through and it costs the same to build, or less than the panhandle layout. There is a lot more room in front of the launch ramp because the public parking structure is skinnier. However it does not provide the various other boater benefits associated with Alternative B.

3. New Non-Panhandle Plan, Alternative B
Alternative B also eliminates the previously proposed boat barn in favor of a two level boat storage facility, the same height as the public parking structure. The boat storage facility would intersect with the corner of the public parking structure and extend along Dana Harbor Drive to Puerto Place. The lower level would be primarily intended for transit use by tow vehicles and empty boat trailers. The upper level primarily would be designated for dry boat storage on trailers. This alternative provides:

- 822 parking structure auto spaces total (735 spaces in structure itself plus 87 spaces in the Podium).

- 493 dry storage spaces (for boats and trailers), 334 vehicle and trailer spaces for day use, 120 auto-only spaces for boaters. 24 less auto-only spaces would be required than with the other two alternatives because the boat barn is eliminated along with the associated additional auto parking it requires.

DPBA Analysis: This alternative provides 125 more parking spaces and improved Embarcadero flow through. It allows all boats to continue to be stored on trailers to eliminate the requirement of boaters storing their trailers outside the harbor. It continues to provide 24 hour direct boater access to their boats. It also frees up on water space for an undetermined number of additional temporary slips within the immediate area of the dry boat launch ramp (since a boat barn would not overhang the water). There may be new opportunities to address parking issues associated with the temporary slips (temporary unless parking problems can be solved) planned near the bait barge jetty. There may also be opportunities to make refinements in the layout of the shipyard to recover the .9 acres now used for boat storage and currently planned to be merged into the new Embarcadero configuration. According to OC DPH consultants, Alternative B costs about 8 million dollars less than the other two alternatives. There are as yet unresolved concerns (potential design issues) with movement of boats, trailers and autos within the two level boat structure.

A group voted and a unanimous consensus decision was reached to go ahead with a non-panhandle approach. In other words, to design the longer skinnier public parking structure that DPBA originally presented and has been lobbying for during the past year.
Of course DPBA also presented and has requested consideration of Non-Panhandle Alternative B. The group agreed that this consideration is appropriate.
There will be further meetings to review and consider additional information as it becomes available. There is a lot more design engineering work to be done and more group vetting needed regarding Alternative B. It makes sense to do a mock up demonstration of the engineering design for the trailer boating structure using aisle stripes, barricade cones and a few boats and tow vehicles. Obviously the question is: Just how feasible is Alternative B?
The Parking Task Force now is to reach a well informed group decision on which of the two non panhandle approaches to recommend. Since Alternative B is much cheaper, provides all mast-up storage with boats on their trailers and accessible anytime, provides more staging slips, it follows that Alternative B would appear to be the way to go. That is of course, if it is indeed entirely functional. Should this turn out to be the determination, then these findings would be vetted to a much wider boater audience, similar perhaps to what was done during the large public meetings in 2006 and 2007.
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Good News is Brewing on Slip Fees (updated info)
As was reported in June, a small team, about 12 stakeholders total including several boaters and DPBA members, has been formed to look at slip rental rates at Dana Point Harbor. The first meeting was held on July 21st and another meeting is scheduled for August 9th.
During the first meeting the group focused upon identifying the various factors that should be used to determine the value of slips here in Dana Point Harbor so that we can assess that value relative to comparable harbors within our area. The group broke from the meeting with a homework assignment to identify additional considerations to be added to the list.
We won't dwell here on why this work is important to boaters. We Dana Point slip renters already know that we are paying the highest slip fees of any publicly owned marina in Southern California and DPBA's goal is to change that.
Certain stakeholders do accept the principle that harbors owned by people should not generate a profit, paid in at the people's expense. This is understandable of course and we believe this continues to be the fundamental issue at hand.
The question is this: Will the County of Orange complete transition from simple land leases, where three private companies operated the harbor marinas for their profit, to the government managed harbor that The County started to accomplish when they established our harbor department back in 2005?
Please stay tuned.
City of DP Approves Language Clarification
This isn't really news but some may wonder what the fuss was about.
Amongst a variety of different oversight regulations, the Dana Point Harbor Revitalization Project is governed by the Tidelands Trust Local Coastal Program (LCP) which must be amended to enable approval.
The Land Use Component (LUP) of the LCP amendment was reviewed by the California Coastal Commission during their October meetings in Oceanside and approved with certain stipulations. The revised language resulting from these stipulations was then reviewed during their June Meetings in Marina del Rey. The LUP was to be heard in two separate agenda items. The first agenda item was to consider the revised language. It turned out that the revised language was approved unanimously, but unfortunately with a stipulation for further clarification. Therefore the second agenda item, consideration of the entire LUP with the revised language included, was pulled.
The Dana Point City Council then met on July 26th and approved the clarification of language that the Coastal Commission stipulated be developed during their June hearing.
Here is the language to be found in a one page section entitled Building Heights:

Buildings, excluding the dry stack storage building, need to be consistent with the character of the area.
The height of the buildings, excluding the dry stack storage building, should be consistent with the community character.
The revised LUP language now goes back again to the Coastal Commission for yet another review, we understand at their September meeting in Eureka.
DPBA Member Dues Waived for 2010
We announced some very good news for boaters in our February 26th Boater Blast. We're waiving dues for 2010, for three very good reasons. This is a great opportunity for boaters and there are absolutely no strings attached!
To learn more click here.
The Dana Point Boaters Association advocates the preservation, enhancement, and expansion of affordable recreational boating. We work to improve the family friendly atmosphere and breadth of water-oriented actives we all enjoy in the harbor. We serve as the watchdog by ethically protecting the rights of all boaters and representing them when collective action is most effective. We actively gather information and communicate our views to educate boaters, external interests, and public officials. We build and maintain constructive, working relationships to achieve common goals with other harbor stakeholders. We will pass on our harbor to the next generation of recreational boaters in better condition than it is today.
Questions should be directed by email to ( Or call us at (949) 485-5656 and leave a voice mail and we'll get back to you soon.

Dana Point Boaters Association
P.O. Box 461
Dana Point, CA 92629