By Andrea Swayne
The Orange County Board of Supervisors on December 11 voted unanimously to approve certification of the Subsequent Environmental Impact Report, or SEIR, for the waterside marina improvement portion of the OC Dana Point Harbor Revitalization Plan.
Marina improvement will include Americans with Disabilities Act compliant accessibility ramps and a reduction of as many as 155 slips, a number the Coastal Commission reduced from the just over 200 originally proposed.
Harbor Director Brad Gross said in the past that the county will endeavor to maintain a zero slip loss but pointed out that since there have been roughly 180 vacant slips over the past few years, the maximum 155 loss would not displace any boaters.
A recent email to members of the boaters’ group, Dana Point Boaters Association, said that in light of a DPBA study finding that only 19 to 22 slips would likely be lost to new ADA-compliant ramps, it is hopeful that the 80 temporary slips set to be added during construction could become permanent and result in gaining rather than losing any slips.
Boaters 4 Dana Point, another boaters’ group, expressed mistrust in the plan in its recent email to members. The message said that since the Harbor Department was able to win supervisor’s approval without being specific on the slip plan, their group views it as a setback for boaters. The B4DP email also said their calculations show ADA compliance should only require the loss of between 21 and 22 slips.
Elements such as the originally proposed docks at Baby Beach were taken out of the approved version of the plan.
The $140 million Harbor Revitalization Plan has been in the works since 1997 and there have been more than 150 meetings held on the subject since.
The county’s next step will be to prepare specific construction designs to be included in the application to the California Coast Commission for a Coastal Development Permit.