Lillian Boyd, Dana Point Times

The Dana Point Harbor Partners hope to make some changes to plans for revitalizing the Marina Inn and surrounding area. Proposals for two hotels and changes to square footage for certain amenities achieved city council approval and will now go to the California Coastal Commission (CCC) for consideration.

The Dana Point Harbor Revitalization Plan would allow the future replacement of the existing Marina Inn with a new lower-cost facility, as well as the construction of another new market-rate hotel. The proposal plans for both hotels to be located closer to the waterfront than the existing hotel in order “to promote a stronger pedestrian connection to the anticipated Pedestrian Promenade and Festival Plaza.”

One hotel will be lower-cost, overnight visitor accommodations of no fewer than 136 rooms, plus additional lower-cost overnight accommodations or amenities that may be required. The lower-cost hotel will replace at minimum the 136 rooms of the existing Marina Inn.

The lower-cost overnight visitor accommodations are planned to provide additional guest amenities, including an expanded lobby area with guest services, a communal kitchen, ground-floor beverage service and seating, upper-floor beverage and food services and seating, a fitness center, retail space, a swimming pool, lockers and laundry.

The second hotel will be market-rate and shall provide up to 130 rooms; up to 8,275 square feet of restaurant and kitchen space; up to 6,000 square feet of special function space and meeting rooms with a banquet kitchen; 600 square feet of ancillary retail space; and a 1,700 square-foot fitness center and other outdoor activity facilities. Within the hotel structure, boater service facilities of not less than 6,800 square feet will be provided.

The increased size of the restaurant is offset by the same amount being reduced from boater facilities and special functions, so there are no net changes, said Sean Nicholas, a city senior planner.

A hearing was held on Tuesday, June 16 during Dana Point City Council, after the item had been unanimously recommended by the planning commission on May 27.

On October 6, 2011, the California Coastal Commission (CCC) certified the Local Coastal Plan Amendment and Zone Text Amendment (LCPA/ZTA) for the Dana Point Harbor Revitalization Plan & District Regulations (Revitalization Plan). The Revitalization Plan is referenced in the Dana Point Zoning Code (DPZC), and thus is part of the City’s Coastal Implementation Plan.

RD Olson Development, representing the Harbor Partners, is the applicant proposing amendments to the hotel. Any modifications to the provisions of development require an LCPA and ZTA.

During Tuesday’s council meeting, Councilmember Debra Lewis inquired whether boaters in Dana Point Harbor were adequately informed and whether they had provided input on the proposed modifications. City staff and the applicant said the proper notification requirements were met and there had not been any pushback of which they were aware. No one spoke during the planning commission meeting, nor the council meeting, during public comments regarding the proposal.

The recommendation to approve both a resolution to submit the changes to the CCC and an ordinance amending the zoning for the changes was passed by council unanimously. The Dana Point Harbor Partners now await CCC approval, but it is unclear when the commission will hear the matter.

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