A very interesting article in this weekend's edition of The Log regarding the difficult task of balancing of our recreational boating needs versus the interests of commercial development.
to read the full article. This article discusses the day-to-day problems we boaters face when any recreational boat harbor is excessively re-purposed from boating to land uses that generate tax revenue.
The case study in the article was Los Alamitos but the very same issues apply here in Dana Point, as a private developer is now being sought to fund harbor redevelopment, in return for a 50-year master lease on most harbor assets.
to see map of what's to be included in Dana Point.
The picture above (from The Log article) is just a mock-up but it tells the story of what the first major risk is to our wonderful recreational boating experience, as we now know it here in beautiful Dana Point Harbor - replacing many boats with a few pieces of "eye candy". Those 6 boats shown in the mock-up would consume the space for at least 36 boats of 32-foot average length. Arguably many more boats than that when also considering the extra space needed for navigation.
However, given there are still are a wide range of slip sizes in our harbor after redevelopment, including most of today's 1800+ slips under 30 feet, what will our monthly slip rates turn out to be? By the terms of the Dana Point Tidelands Trust, the harbor must break even and no funds may leave the harbor's "account" except to pay expenses and taxes. The account we're referring to is County of Orange Fund 108 which is entirely separate from The County's General Fund. The notable exception being harbor Sales, Real Estate, Personal Property and PIT taxes which go directly to the General Fund. That said, the developer won't operate at breakeven. Far from it, as the developer must put a several-hundred-million-dollar investment at risk, just to secure the master lease contract.
OK then, say we still have our slips and dry storage, and we can still can afford our rents. Great! The Log article discusses a third very real concern. Will we still be able to conveniently access and actually enjoy our boats? This is something the boaters of Dana Point have been concerned about ever since participating in the task group which defined "
The 12 Guiding Principles
" back in 1997-98 when redevelopment first became a hot topic.
Today and going forward, all the reasons above are precisely why boaters need the Dana Point Boaters Association!
DPBA is heavily involved with most every harbor stakeholder decision, aggressively representing recreational boaters of all types, from SUPs on up. Dry storage and day-use boaters as well as slip tenants. We are nonprofit of course, a California 501C(4) corporation. Our leadership receives no compensation of any kind. Our expenses almost exclusively involve maintaining lines of communication with our fellow stakeholders and supporters.
So why not do your part too, be a donor, and give us a hand? It doesn't take much and you can have confidence that you are making a difference.