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Richard Gardner, Dana Point

The Dana Point City Council will discuss this topic during an appeal of the Planning Commission’s approval of two adjacent duplexes on Tuesday, Sept 19 at the Dana Point Community Center on Del Obisbo. The meeting will start at 6 p.m. and this agenda item will be the first action item following public comments so come early if you would like to speak.

While reviewing the city’s General Plan and other documents, several statements in the Design Guidelines were especially appropriate. “They are intended to promote higher quality design that is sensitive to Dana Point’s natural setting, surrounding environment and community design goals.”

“In older neighborhoods of Capistrano Beach and ‘The Lanterns’ residential area, the proper size, bulk and height of new infill development is an issue. Escalating land values have encouraged oversized houses and additions. The demolition of older, modest houses, and their replacement with large scale homes has, in some areas, created a discontinuous urban design.”

Further in the Guidelines the Urban Design Concepts are listed and they include; Preserve the scale and character of the existing residential neighborhoods; Maintain existing residential development standards for yard setbacks, minimum lot size and building height; and Institute Discretionary Design Review for all multi-family residential development.

The Zoning Code says; “Any new building or structure… shall be designed to create a unified functional and comprehensive site plan with an integrated architectural theme that is compatible with and will complement and enhance the subject and surrounding properties, as determined by the Director of Community Development.

“The factors used to evaluate design compatibility and enhancement shall include, but not be limited to: Architectural style and detailing; Massing and bulk; Color and materials; and Scale and proportion.”

As our communities reach full build out, we must require our commissioners to use discretion to know when a project is too massive for the neighborhood. See ya at the Council meeting!

**Editor’s Note: For more information about the project, click here.

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