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By Kristina Pritchett

The Hobie Memorial Foundation will receive financial help from the city to pay for a memorial sculpture after City Council voted in favor of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) during the Dec. 6 meeting.

Currently, the cost estimate provided by the Foundation to complete the memorial is $350,000. The staff’s recommendation to the city—which was approved—was to provide a dollar for dollar match up to 50 percent of the cost, but not to exceed $200,000. The funds would come from the Art in Public Places reserve.

According to the staff report, the memorial must be delivered within one year and the city would maintain the final approval of the artwork, location, placement and aesthetic aspects of the memorial. Upon completion of the memorial, it will then be dedicated to the city, and the city would be responsible for the upkeep, maintenance and integrity of the piece.

In November, the Council approved a resolution adopting a final tract map in South Cove—the development on Del Obispo—for the linear park where the 27-foot tall memorial will be placed.

Councilman Joe Muller said he was in favor of the project but had concerns with the price tag attached to it.

“We have about $300,000 from in-lieu fees, and you’re asking for two-thirds to go into one project,” Muller said. He added that it concerned him a big portion of the Art in Public Places funds would be spent in one area rather than across the city.

Director of Community Development Ursula Luna-Reynosa told the Council the money in that fund is for these types of projects.

“Dana Point needs to embrace its heritage, and the surfing heritage and everything that goes along with it. We have to look after it.” said Robbie Roberson, president of the Hobie Memorial Board of Directors.

During the Dec. 6 meeting, the Council voted four to one in favor, with Councilman Rick Viczorek opposing the item.

The Foundation told Council they want to see the memorial presented next summer during Zephyr’s grand opening.

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