By Kristina Pritchett

During the City Council meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 21, Dana Point city staff discussed parking needs and potential costs regarding the revitalization of Doheny Village.

Staff recommended waiting to schedule a joint workshop with the Planning Commission until the City Council makes Planning Commission appointments, which could occur after April 10.

Mayor Debra Lewis asked if anyone on the city’s staff would be able to answer questions from the public.

Ursula Luna-Reynosa, director of community development, said staff would be able to answer questions, but since form-based code (what could be used to help zone Doheny Village development) is a specialty, she felt that the staff could only answer “surface level” answers.

“If these become our codes, we better understand them,” Lewis said. “I’d hope a member of the staff would be familiar certainly enough to answer questions.”

Acting City Manager Mike Killebrew said the city may be able to create a handout with entry-level information about the form-based code and how it works.

Councilman Joe Muller said the staff has held multiple meetings, including the four-day design charrette.

“I’m not saying we shouldn’t have more, but it’s been out there. We’ve done seven days of outreach already, we can’t force them to show up to the events,” Muller said and added he liked the idea of creating handouts.

When the motion of waiting until the new Planning Commissioners took office, Mayor Pro Tem Paul Wyatt said he didn’t see the delay as necessary.

“They then have to get up to speed; it could be June before they could feel comfortable voting,” Wyatt said.

According to a staff report, the city’s consultants—Opticos Design and Nelson\Nygaard Consulting—are scheduled to meet with City Council members in March to allow the Council to gain a more detailed understanding of the form-based code and proposed parking standards in advance of a joint meeting. However, due to the Brown Act, only two Council members can meet at a time, so there will need to be three separate meetings and it’s estimated to cost between $6,000 and $8,000 to have the meetings.

According to the staff report, the Doheny Village Project’s budget summary to date totals $766,735. This includes payments for economic analysis, the form-based code work, hydraulic analysis, traffic studies and more.

Since the city staff’s recommendation was to receive and file the report, Council did not need to vote on any specific action.

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