By Kristina Pritchett

Over the weekend, the city of Dana Point announced they reached an agreement with the Surfrider Foundation regarding the hours of access to Strand Beach in the Headlands development.

In the city’s agreement, effective Nov. 22, Surfrider will receive a one-time payment of $150,000—or one-third of Surfrider’s attorney’s fees. The payment must be received within 30 days of the agreement’s effective date, according to the settlement.

The settlement, which follows the California Coastal Commission’s (CCC) approval of an agreement, resolves a six-year legal dispute. In October, Surfrider filed a motion for attorney’s fees and costs, seeking $446,429.08 from the city incurred over the years.

In an effort to bring an end to litigation, the parties agreed to settle and resolve all outstanding issues, according to the statement.

The CCC’s agreement guaranteed four routes of public access to the beach, while allowing Dana Point to maintain local control.

“The city is pleased to reach this agreement that is fair and equitable to both Surfrider and the taxpayers,” said Mayor John Tomlinson in a statement. “We look forward to collaborating with them and other coastal advocacy organizations including the Coastal Commission and the Ocean Institute to educate the next generation about the importance of protecting and preserving our coastal resources and providing access to the coast.”

According to the agreement, Surfrider is pleased the dispute has been resolved.

“Surfrider Foundation is pleased to announce its dispute with the city of Dana Point has been resolved, with the city having agreed to pay attorney’s fees to Surfrider amounting to $150,000, and Surfrider looks forward to moving on to other issues supporting beach access and ocean conservation,” the statement said.

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