At the end of January, we met with Supervisor Foley’s Deputy Chief of Staff, Alyssa Napuri, and Christian Gagne the newly appointed Dana Point Harbor Project Oversight Manager. “Mr. Gagne has worked in the County of Orange Real Estate Department and the private sector overseeing complex projects similar to the Dana Point Harbor revitalization. He will be responsible for making sure the Dana Point Harbor makeover proceeds according to the development contract/timeline and to provide transparency to the public and the harbor stakeholders about the process.”
It was a good meeting, and we were able to provide a report on oversight issues important to boaters including the current slip layout, day use boater parking and the lack thereof, and two sets of marina rules. We left the meeting hopeful that Mr. Gagne’s appointment to this new position was finally a step in the right direction of meaningful oversight of this $500 million-dollar or more project. Of major concern, and on the top of his list, is the issue of day-use boater parking.
For those of you who might not know, the Dana Point Local Coastal Plan dictates at least 334, day use boater parking spaces at all times including during construction. Since DPHP took over the management of the harbor, the amount of day use boater parking spaces has been reduced and the area repurposed for other uses. This is not compliant with the Local Coastal Plan. Several weeks ago, assumedly in preparation for the invitation only groundbreaking ceremony for the parking structure, most of day use boater parking was cordoned off leaving day use boaters with no place to park to launch their boats. During construction, an alternative place for day-use boater parking is supposed to be provided. The Local Coastal Plan lists this as mandatory and not discretionary. Alternative parking is to be included in the Construction Phasing Plans. We pose the question, have you seen the Construction Phasing or Parking Management Plan? We certainly haven’t and don’t know of any place where they are posted. We hope the new website with all the centralized information will be announced soon. This is vital information needed by boaters now and not in six months.
DPBA has lodged a complaint with Mr. Gagne regarding the lack of day use boater parking and we hope for a quick resolution. Without one, we have no recourse but to demand that the City of Dana Point and the CA Coastal Commission take swift action. Because this issue is at the top of the priority list, we are hoping it will be resolved soon. Resolution of this very important item might signal to boaters that the oversight promised is actually happening.
We found Mr. Gagne to be refreshing, focused, and with an open-door policy. He wants to hear from boaters and to know the concerns. If you have questions, we encourage you to email him at email@example.com. Please copy firstname.lastname@example.org on any emails to him so we can monitor the progress.
As always, and until the Appeal on the slip fee issue is heard by the Court of Appeals, we do need donations to continue funding the fees and expenses. As we stated in our last newsletter, this includes out-of-pocket costs, not just fees, that must be paid. I know we sometimes sound like a broken record, but just think of it as playing your favorite song and click here to donate.
We are grateful for your generosity, your kindness, and your willingness to assist.