Height of proposed Hotel to be shown using flags starting Thursday, November 14

The 258-room Doheny Hotel proposal would front Dana Point Harbor Drive, near the entrance to Doheny State Beach. Rendering courtesy of Langdon Wilson International
The 258-room Doheny Hotel proposal would front Dana Point Harbor Drive, near the entrance to Doheny State Beach. Rendering courtesy of Langdon Wilson International

By Andrea Papagianis

The Dana Point City Council approved a contract extension Tuesday with the Irvine-based firm preparing an environmental impact report for the proposed 258-room Doheny Hotel.

A preliminary EIR became available for public review in September, but with public comments and feedback from city staff, the Planning Commission and City Council still ahead, the contract with the environmental consultant UltraSystems was extended. This is the second contract extension. Project applicant, Michael Draz, of the Beverly Hills Hospitality Group, pays for the EIR.

The firm was contracted in January 2011 to examine impacts of the proposed two- to five-story hotel on 1.5-acres at the corner of Dana Point Harbor Drive and Pacific Coast Highway, a staff report said.

The site currently houses a Jack in the Box, a vacant store and the 46-room Dana Point Harbor Inn, all of which would be demolished. Plans for the hotel include conference rooms, restaurants, rooftop amenities like a pool and bar and an underground parking structure with about 275 spaces.

Beginning Thursday, November 14, story-poles will be erected on the property, demonstrating the various heights of the proposed hotel. They will be removed on Wednesday, November 20.

To move forward as planned, the developer would need a variance for the city’s height limit of 35 feet, said Ursula Luna-Reynosa, the city’s community development director. The proposed hotel varies in height from two stories to five, with its highest point standing at 60.5 feet tall.

Preliminary findings along with public comments and responses from city staff will be presented to the Planning Commission on Monday, November 18. No vote will be taken on the project. A public hearing will follow on December 9. Planning Commission meetings are held at City Hall, Council Chambers, located at 33282 Golden Lantern. Meetings begin at 6 p.m.

The Doheny Hotel proposal will be the topic of the Dana Point Civic Association Coffee Chat on Friday, November 15. The developer’s communications consultant will present the plans and field questions about the project. The monthly meetings begin at 8:30 a.m. and are held at Coffee Importers in the OC Dana Point Harbor, at 34531 Golden Lantern.

Relates Stories:

Doheny Hotel Developer Makes Pitch to Local Organizations

Updated on Wednesday, November 13: An earlier version of the story incorrectly listed the date story poles would be erected at the site. The story was updated to reflect the correct date. The Dana Point Times apologizes for the error.

About The Author Dana Point Times

comments (5)

  • A five story building will be way to high! We don’t want to turn our beautiful beach town into a concrete jungle 🙁

  • The proposed design sure looks a lot better than a closed up liquor store and a jack in the box.

  • It’s a beautiful design and much better then what’s there now!

  • In general I’m in favor of the new hotel.

    I went to the coffee chat on 11-15 and the planning commission meeting on 11-19, and heard concerns about increased noise and traffic, parking concerns, as well as those not liking the size of the hotel. Others said it does not fit in with the character of the city. One individual also said the story poles erected on the site show that the hotel would block part of his white water view.

    While I think view blockage should be addressed, for the most part I don’t think the other concerns are justified. As far as the noise level being increased, I don’t have a lot of sympathy for those who live close to PCH, as they should have know it would be noisy before they moved there. On the traffic front, the hotel developers did a study showing southbound PCH traffic would be improved because of the proposed addition of a right-turn only lane on PCH, and allowing U turns at the intersection of Dana Harbor Drive and Park Lantern. One of the individuals at the planning commission meeting brought up the subject of northbound PCH traffic, which the developers may not have addressed. While a valid point, without having studied the matter, I would think summer beach and harbor traffic would dwarf any increased traffic caused by a new hotel. In addition, one must consider whatever traffic is currently produced by the existing (Jack in the Box) and future businesses, if not the new hotel.

    According to the developers, if I remember correctly, they are only 7 parking spaces short of what’s needed to handle peak parking demands, including those from employees. While I am somewhat skeptical of that number, it should be easy enough to verify given the number of rooms and parking spaces in the hotel, as well as the maximum number of employees who would work there at any one time. In any event, with the kind of revenue the hotel would supposedly generate for the city (see below), it doesn’t seem like much of a hurdle,

    On the question of the aesthetics of the proposed hotel, that’s a matter of personal taste, so there’s no sense in arguing that point. I personally agree with the poster above me, Jason, who said it would be a vast improvement over what’s there. I do wholeheartedly agree that it does not fit in with the character of the city, if by that people mean the character of the 200 yard stretch of PCH in either direction. Currently, there’s an A’s Burger, Carl’s JR / Green Burrito, Denny’s, McDonalds, del Taco, and Jack in the Box. A new Dairy Queen and Der Wienerschnitzel would fit the neighborhood perfectly, but is that you want? I’m sure some would, but I’d prefer a nice hotel with restaurant.

    In summary, while I’m not claiming the proposed hotel is an optimal development for the site, it is far better than other alternatives I can think of. And the increased tax revenue of $1.5 million the developers claim would accrue to Dana Point could be used for beneficial projects in other areas of the city.

  • I just heard that this got voted down. What a pitty. We have to look at this decrepit corner for more years to come.

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