Lillian Boyd, Dana Point Times

The Dana Point Harbor Partners (DPHB) invited members of the community to see and provide input on design concepts for the Dana Point Harbor revitalization on Monday, Aug. 19 at Ocean Institute.

At least 150 people gathered in the Samueli Lecture Hall & Conference Center to see the latest conceptualizations for a new and improved harbor. Poster boards displayed colors and materials, landscape designs, ideas for patios, trellises and seating, future events and programmable areas, tenants, and overall look and feel.

Members of the community, as well as Dana Point City Council and Planning Commission, attended the event. While the partners entered a 66-year lease agreement with County of Orange to develop the harbor, officials with City of Dana Point have provided support.

“Coastal Development Permits (CDPs) have already been obtained for the commercial core portion of the project,” said Matt Schneider, Director of Community Development. “The city remains a stakeholder and we are working with the partners along the way.”

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Dana Point Mayor Joe Muller stated that it was monumental for the partners to be hosting the event.

“After 20 years of talking about how to get this done, the partners are really following through,” Muller said. “It’s incredible to see everything in motion after so much time. We are seeing history in the making.”

Staff with SMS Architects stood beside the vision boards to answer questions and concerns that community members had. People with feedback had the opportunity to fill out forms to give anonymous input on the designs.

Brandy Rosso is a designer with SMS Architects.

“We want to keep it simple but authentic to what Dana Point is to its residents. We want to create a space where people can hang out at the harbor and enjoy it for more reasons than one,” Rosso said. “We want the space to be as inviting as possible. We can achieve that with lighting and seating, or with doors with a bi-fold, or garage-style or glass.”

Bryon Ward, with Burnham-Ward Properties, will oversee the development of the commercial core in the harbor.

“I’m very pleased with tonight’s turnout. I don’t think people were expecting this level of transparency,” Ward said. “While we want to encourage a level of urgency to roll out improvements, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get feedback from the community.”

The harbor partners will give a presentation before the Dana Point Planning Commission.

“We will use that as an impetus to finalize designs and address questions,” Ward said.

The anticipated time and date for the planning commission presentation on the harbor’s commercial core designs is 6 p.m. on Sept. 23 at Dana Point City Hall.

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