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By Kristina Pritchett

Dana Point residents were able to catch a glimpse of and provide suggestions about what Doheny Village could look like during a meeting on Wednesday afternoon.

Inside Capo Beach Church, Opticos Design, Inc. told city officials and residents about the form-based code that could reshape Doheny Village into a walkable urban district.

“I think we heard loud and clear what the residents want to see,” said Dan Parolek, principal of Opticos Design, Inc.

Last year, Opticos was hired by the city to help residents refine the vision of Doheny Village. Over the course of five days, Opticos staff held a design charette where residents, city officials and Opticos staff discussed ideas they wanted to see in the village. At the end of the meeting, designs were set up in the room, and people were able to comment on them.

During the meeting on Wednesday, Parolek showed a concept for the village that pinpointed four district environments, each with its own zoning code. These included a “maker district” with walkable streets and artisan shops; a main street with entertainment options and public transportation; and residential neighborhoods. Each district would be designated with either a small or large “footprint,” indicating the potential financial, social and infrastructural impacts of potential development.

“The zoning code now doesn’t allow a lot of what the community wanted,” said Tony Perez, director of form-based coding at Opticos. “Currently, it allows for drive thrus, and that’s not what the community wants to see there.”

For parking in all four districts, if the space is residential, units with one bedroom or a studio must require one parking spot. For non-residential uses, depending on size, the space could require two spots per 1,000 square feet or none at all.

Some residents voiced concerns about the flow of traffic in the village.

Parolek said officials have had transportation studies done on the area. He added that the installation of roundabouts would be beneficial, not slow traffic and would help pedestrians cross the street in a safer way.

Parolek told residents throughout the meeting that the code was not final and they want to continue to work with residents to make it what they want to see in the area. Email Cindy Nelson at with concerns, comments or questions.

To see the form-based code, visit

An industrial arts neighborhood concept is one of many plans made during the four-day design charrette for the Doheny Village Plan. Rendering: Courtesy of Opticos Design, Inc.
An industrial arts neighborhood concept is one of many plans made during the four-day design charrette for the Doheny Village Plan. Rendering: Courtesy of Opticos Design, Inc.

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comments (1)

  • Please have the planning with the old charm of Doheny and Ole Hanson style buildings. This is not Irvine or the other planned communities areas. Like Mission Viejo, or RSM. We should not even be entraining large building or projects that cannot sustain our ever depleting resources. The coastal area needs low rise buildings and less boxed up loft multipurpose use traffic like inter cities we are not equipped for this type of planning and it will only destroy our coast lines. We should leave this planning to Irvine, Anaheim and RSM that have been planned and built this way.

    The idea is not to keep building up and out the freeways to bring the masses of cars and traffic. The idea should be sustain what exist, compliment with projects the give more to the existing community to provide healthy growth for our youth and provide walkable, bike able communities that enhance and take care of the ocean. We should look at Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz and the many northern coastal cities that keep preserving the coast not building to provide parking and roads to the coast. Think about European cities and even east coast that give public transportation, parks in the developed communities and areas that provide quality of life and safety.

    We need just a face lift and street scape why is all the money being wasted on plans that cannot even happen on large of the properties for 25+ years. Let us enjoy what could be the focal point of darling coastal community. Slow growth and responsible development.

    Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.”
    — Helen Keller,
    author and political activist

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