Lillian Boyd, Dana Point Times

Dana Point city officials led a presentation on updates for development projects at Coffee Importers in Dana Point Harbor on Friday, April 19. Matt Schneider, Director of Community Development, and Kelly Reenders, Economic Development Manager, were the guest speakers for the monthly Dana Point Civic Association’s Coffee Chat meeting.

From left: Kelly Reenders, Economic Development Manager, and Matt Schneider, Community Development Director, present updates on commercial projects throughout Dana Point. Photo: Lillian Boyd

“It’s exciting for us to see how many people are interested in knowing what’s going on in town,” Schneider said.

Schneider kicked off the presentation by providing an overview of community development organization. As director of community development, Schneider oversees the planning, building and safety and code enforcement divisions.

According to data provided by the city, there were 1,993 building permits issued in Fiscal Year 2018. In the same time frame, there were 9,206 building inspections, 174 new zoning permit applications and a total building valuation of more than $157 million.

Schneider made the distinction that the majority of these numbers were associated with residential properties, while the focus of the presentation was on commercial development.

A sampling of Dana Point commercial developments:

 

The Greer, 24442 Del Prado

This is a mixed-use development, located on Del Prado Avenue and Golden Lantern, with 68 residential units, including 12 units designated for senior citizen housing. The Greer will have about 10,000 square feet of commercial and restaurant space with two levels of subterranean parking (188 spaces).

 

Vista Del Mar, 34177 Pacific Coast Highway

This is a mixed-use development that will replace the old Union Bank site currently located on Golden Lantern and Pacific Coast Highway. There will be 39 residential units with nearly 7,000 square feet of commercial and restaurant space. There will be two levels of subterranean parking (97 spaces). Union Bank will be relocating to the Lighthouse structure on Del Prado Avenue.

“This is a project that is what we like to call ‘shovel ready,’ ” Schneider said. “All permits have been issued. They’re actually waiting on their final tenant, Union Bank, to relocate. I expect within the next couple weeks to a month, you’ll see activity.”

 

Prado West, 34137 Pacific Coast Highway

“This project is on multiple sites in our Town Center, and it’s currently under construction, so it’s hard to ignore if you’re driving through,” Schneider said.

This project will include 109 residential units. It will have about 32,000 square feet of commercial space and have subterranean parking.

 

The Lighthouse, 24532 Del Prado

The new Union Bank branch will relocate to the Lighthouse structure from its PCH and Golden Lantern location.

“It’s a remodel; there’s no expansion involved,” Schneider said. “We’ll also be working with the property owner to see if we can secure some parking. There is a parking lot in the back of this site, and when the bank is not in use, we’ll see if we can utilize that parking.”

 

The Wave Resort, Green Lantern and Pacific Coast Highway

This project will include a 57-room hotel and a 52-bed youth hostel, per instruction from the California Coastal Commission. There will be a 4,000-square-foot restaurant and nearly 3,000 square feet for an outdoor dining space. There will also be a visitor center, two-level subterranean parking (174 spaces), including parking for nearby trails.

“This project is currently under review for construction documents. But it’s very close to getting its permit, so I expect within the next few weeks, you’ll start to see activity,” Schneider said.

Cannons Seafood Grill, 34344 Green Lantern

Cannons Seafood Grill obtained approval from the Dana Point Planning Commission to demolish and reconstruct its restaurant and add a 100-room hotel in June. However, approval from the Coastal Commission is still pending, and in the meantime, the restaurant is still open for business.

On June 15, Dana Point Times reported on the commission’s approval for a coastal development permit to demolish the existing seafood grill and construct a new resort hotel with a restaurant, café, spa and associated parking. The new five-level structure (including subterranean levels) will be host to 100 hotel rooms, a more than 1,600-square-foot restaurant, a 1,300-square-foot café and an almost 900-square-foot spa.

For now, there are no set demolishing and construction dates, due to pending approval.

 

Potential Hotel Sites

The Strand Hotel project includes 90 rooms and restaurant space, located at the end of Green Lantern near the Nature Interpretive Center.

“This is actually owned by the same people who are developing the Wave Hotel,” Schneider said. “Part of the approval process from the Coastal Commission is that they get the Wave project, particularly the hostel, completed—because it will serve as mitigation for both projects.”

On the corner of Green Lantern and Cove Road, there is a parcel (referred to by the city as “Lantern Point”) with a project under review for a 52-room hotel. There are three small lots (referred to by the city as “Boutique”) near the Chart House being combined to do a small boutique concept in the 15- to 20-room range.

 

Chevron, 34306 Pacific Coast Highway

In the October 12, 2018 edition of Dana Point Times, it was reported that the planning commission unanimously voted to approve the permits requested by Chevron to remodel its convenience store located on Del Obispo Street and Pacific Coast Highway.

“There were concerns about lighting, hours of operation, and we worked closely with the applicant and the community to make conditions of approval to address those issues,” Schneider said at Coffee Chat.

City staff recommended the commission adopt a resolution approving requests for a coastal development permit, a conditional use permit and a site development permit. Plans for a new Chevron station implemented Spanish Colonial Revival architecture style with scalloped layers for roofing. Designers intentionally closed off trash and mechanical areas in their plans in order to discourage illegal camping. Blueprints also incorporate more illumination and security cameras.

The current Chevron convenience store does not sell alcohol, but corporate officials hope to sell beer and wine after construction. Although the state of California allows businesses to sell beer and wine between 6 p.m. and 2 a.m., several Dana Point residents expressed concerns during the public comment period for a potential increase in public intoxication and nuisances.

At the start of the meeting, the proposal called for beer and wine sales to end at 10 p.m. each night. But the applicant – Stantec architect Gary Semling – said officials with Chevron were willing to compromise, and he amended the cutoff time to 9 p.m. A requirement was added that beer purchases must come in a pack of at least three instead of single cans or bottles, while wine bottles must contain at least 750 mL.

 

South Shores Church, 32713 Crown Valley Parkway

“We get a lot of questions on the status of South Shores Church,” Schneider said. “It’s been underway for quite a while now.”

South Shores Church had initially hoped to open in time for Easter weekend, but due to an “unforgiving winter weather season,” developers are aiming to complete the project by this summer. In 2015, the City Council approved the coastal development conditional use and site development permits for the project, which was first proposed in 2009.

When completed, the Dana Point campus will have nearly 72,000 square feet of ministry space and 364 parking spaces.

 

Dana Point Harbor

On July 17, the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a recommended action to name the Dana Point Harbor Partners LLC (DPHP) as the 66-year master leaseholder and operator of the Dana Point Harbor. The lease was formally signed at a ceremony and press conference in the harbor on Nov. 2.

Community meetings planned around a harbor revitalization plan first began about 21 years ago. In 2016, Lisa Bartlett and other county leaders proposed a plan to partner with private developers to oversee a new and improved harbor.

“We expect to get a presentation from the Harbor Partners in the next month or in the near future,” Schneider said. “A lot of the details are being worked out and finalized, and it’s an exciting time for our community.”

Construction for the first phase, which includes a three-level parking structure near the launch ramp and Dana Wharf, could start by the end of this year.

 

Doheny Village

The City of Dana Point is currently undergoing a comprehensive planning effort for the Doheny Village area of Capistrano Beach.

In 2010, city council selected ROMA Design Group to prepare the Doheny Village Plan for the project area, and the project included public outreach that resulted in a draft document in 2013.

In 2015, the city council approved a contract for Opticos Design, Inc. to build off the effort of ROMA Design Group and prepare implementation language for The Village to be incorporated into the city’s zoning code, according to the city website. A key factor of Opticos’ work plan was to facilitate a community design charrette to engage the community and solicit additional input.

In March 2016, the draft code was informally distributed, and community members expressed issues related to parking, nonconforming uses and development standards.

The Doheny Village Working Group is made up of the Doheny Village Merchants’ Association (DVMA), as well as city officials. The working group meets on a monthly basis to develop a community-driven plan for the future of the area.

So far, city council has adopted the community’s guiding principles, city staff has suspended work on the draft Environmental Impact Report, and city council has approved the Zone Text Amendment to allow greater flexibility for redevelopment of nonconforming structures and uses. The working group has also developed new zoning districts and a draft zoning map, and it has proposed modifications to existing, proposed and prohibited land uses.

For updates on when the Doheny Village Working Group meets, check the calendar webpage at danapoint.org.

For updates on ongoing developments, visit aboutdanapoint.com to use an interactive map on the Development Pipeline webpage to see which projects are under review, approved or under construction. City council also receives a monthly report of ongoing developments, which is available to the public on the city website. Reports can be found by going to the city council agenda.

To view the livestream footage of Schneider and Reender’s presentation during Coffee Chat, visit the City of Dana Point’s Facebook page.

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