This rendering shows the newly approved entry-archway for Del Prado Avenue. Courtesy image
This rendering shows the newly approved entry-archway for Del Prado Avenue. Courtesy image

By Andrea Papagianis

New entryway features that could soon welcome southbound drivers into Dana Point’s downtown Lantern District have caused some debate about the sign’s historical accuracy.

Last week, the Dana Point City Council unanimously approved two markers for Pacific Coast Highway and Del Prado Avenue, welcoming drivers to the soon-to-be revamped corridor.

On PCH, three poles will be erected carrying banners touting Dana Point as “A place to surf, ride, play and dine.” For Del Prado, the council OK’d a stucco archway mimicking the southern PCH pedestrian bridge. Stucco towers, red tile and the same letter font reading “Lantern District” will complete the look.

The banner poles are expected to cost $90,000. That cost is already budgeted. The archway could cost upward of $500,000, double what was originally budgeted.

But cost isn’t the issue.

Dana Point resident and Historical Society member Keith Johannes raised concerns the signage isn’t entirely accurate, at least as far as the Lantern District goes. Johannes said he feared the signage only pointed to Del Prado and neglected PCH. He asked the city to include the Historical Society in the conversation.

A working group comprised of Councilmen Carlos Olvera, Stephen Weinberg and city staff felt the archway was a necessity. Staff recommended the city solicit bids, after which the budget can be revisited.

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