DP logoBy Patti Short, Dana Point

Last night I saw a post on a neighborhood internet site that called proponents of “NO on H” “horrible people.” I took it personally as I am an opponent of Measure H. I oppose the measure because it is misleading, has financial consequences and stops the progress of a long-awaited and needed Town Center.

I don’t believe my Dana Point neighbors and friends who know me and may disagree with my position think I am hideous, disgusting or deplorable. Yet a total stranger has branded me as such along with anyone else who opposes Measure H.

I would like to make it very clear that unlike some Measure H proponents, those of us who are opposed to H and in favor of I do not refuse admittance to people with opposing viewpoints to neighborhood meetings; we do not confront or threaten neighbors who put up signs opposing our viewpoint; we do not shout personal insults at supporters of the opposing view; we do not launch Facebook attacks calling for boycotts of any business who puts up a sign opposing our view and we do not trespass on private property to remove signs in support of the opposing view unless instructed to do so by the property owner.

We are fortunate to live in a country that protects and defends our right to free speech. We can disagree, and we can make a personal decision to withhold our patronage and support from those with whom we disagree; however, no one should be intimidated or be made to feel fearful of any consequences either personal or financial for exercising that right.

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comments (20)

  • Where can a I get a no on H sign. I can’t figure out how to get one to show my support.

    • Long-Time Resident Reply

      You an go to the “saveourpublicparking” website and call them to find out their new address. Their old hq across from Luxe was relocated due to the ongoing demolition. Or you could scavenge one of the many No on H signs along Del Prado or the side streets that have been torn down by Yes on H hotheads.

      • Wow. Jason, don’t you realize the irony of going to a website called “save our public parking” in order to get a sign to show support for a measure that actually decimates public parking? I spoke with a very experienced developer who has done hundreds of millions in Orange County development and he laughed at the proposed parking standards. He said he would be promoting ” the usual” standard of 2 spots for a 1 bedroom unit. Can you understand at all that 1 spot for a 1 bedroom unit could leave many people searching for a parking spot? You are voting for a measure that will destroy Daba Point so that a few greedy developers can grind a few more units out of a development site. Get s grip man! Use that thing between your ears and think a little!

      • Long-Time Resident Reply

        Public parking is defined as parking available to more than just customers and residents of the development that provides the parking. Measure H requires more parking, but it’s not shared parking, and wouldn’t be useable by others without the City leasing the space. So in fact Measure I does increase the supply of public parking compared to Measure H, provided there is development under H.

        But there will be no mixed-use development for the foreseeable future under H (see Mr Ray’s comments at the last Council meeting if you think the Union Bank project is an example of mixed-use being economic under H), and there may not be much non mixed-use development either. If the City continues their leasing of private parking in that scenario, then and only then would Measure H’s passage increase public parking.

    • People who vote yes know where to get their signs.

  • Well said, Patti! The way Measure H supporters have acted (online especially) is completely ridiculous in my opinion. When they started calling for boycotts of local small businesses because they don’t agree with their stance and state they’re not looking out for the residents of Dana Point I can’t help but laugh. Well, yes I guess they’re not looking out for THEIR interests yet last time I checked that’s not 100% of the people. I live in Dana Point and support Measure I, should I be boycotting the pro-measure H businesses? Completely asinine.

  • DP Homeowner/Taxpayer Reply

    I’ve spent hours talking with people and reviewing source material (meeting agendas, minutes, plans, etc.) in an effort to see past the hyperbole built into the various communications surrounding the confusing battle between Measure H and Measure I proponents. I view H as restrictive and I as short-sighted. I have consulted an outside parking professional and concluded that the claim that Measure I will “save our parking” is not altogether credible, though the fact that developers believe the cost of parking to be overly burdensome is entirely credible. The coastal community we know as Dana Point is a jewel, and quality development in keeping with the original Town Center Plan should be pursued with civility, transparency, and deliberation. I will vote YES on H with reservation, knowing that I have given both “sides” a thorough review. Please think for yourselves and respect others’ opinions.

  • Dear Patti,
    I am sorry you feel bullied(the residents feel bullied by the city council). But I am sorrier you have drank the Kool Aid of the City council. Measure H merely insists the City council sticks to the original plans that took tons of money and resident involvement complete. Measure I is a power grab plain and simple. Our City Council is dominated by people that make their money developing and managing real estate.
    The lie that is that measure I gives these politicians power to do what they want rather than adhering the the the original plan of the citizens. Once you give them this power you will not get it back. When the town center is over crowded and traffic snarled and the poor residents that live on adjacent streets won’t be able to park in front of their houses on the adjoining streets to town center . It will be all over, and the developers will be sipping champagne on their yachts .
    Yes of course I am not going to support businesses that do not support and share the vision of the people of Dana Point. These are businesses choose the tourist dollar over the resident dollar.
    I will be using my dollars to enjoy a libation at the many restaurants and shopping at the cool local shops that share my vision. Why wouldn’t I ?
    for example I will never ever again set foot in the Luxe , get coffee at coffee importers or go to Swhack or Boneyard Cafe.

    By the way there has been a white truck spotted pulling up Yes on H signs . You will notice the H signs are predominately on residential private property, measure I signs are littered about on lots belonging to Chinese investors and random corners. I have seen them put in the ground in places only to be pulled out by the actual business owner.

    Patti please see Measure I for what it is a power grab by special interests. I really cant believe that any sane person can’t see they horrible way thees city councilman have behaved on a wide range of issues . It is a really bad idea to give them any power at this point. You vote for Measure I you sign over our city to a band of developers that will lay it to waste.
    Long Term Resident , Mr Theile I presume . What exactly do you what to build on your piece of land across from Still water?
    VOTE FOR H not the Lie that is I

  • None of the rhetoric has helped me figure out what’s going on here. It’s to be expected of course. Each side loads arguments in their favor while allowing no admission of the possibility the opposing side has any valid points. I’m leaning towards yes on H based on what I see regarding parking density proposed vs those in cities like Laguna Beach and a couple of others. I just watched a presentation on channel 855 TV where the city council enumerated all the projects proceeding currently and a few coming soon. Revenues looked good, construction looked good, expansion of current business is thriving which is a more bullish sign than new construction in many cases and on and on. So which is it? Measure H will kill the town business climate or Measure I will ensure it? Emotional pleadings and scare tactics aren’t helping me decide. Using the council’s own report of a thriving Dana Point, someone tell me why increased density is necessary.

  • Concerned Citizen Reply

    Yes on H no in I. Stand with the citizens not the corrupt city council or the awful businesses of Dana Point. These businesses aren’t even smart enough to see what is coming for them in tge days ahead. They are not tourist facing businesses and will get axed by the cost of property or by the city council itself.

  • I have talked to many neighbors who were on the fence regarding how to vote, but now will be voting in favor of Measure I because of all the bullying we are seeing by Measure H supporters.

    Ultimately I think the real issue with this debate is the city will likely need a parking garage or two to make the town center the truly pedestrian friendly area that everyone wants. The folks supporting H are understandably concerned because without a concrete plan for this, parking will be a mess in the future. That being said, I don’t believe their plan solves the problem and actually exacerbates the issue.

    Forcing businesses to provide parking does not promote a pedestrian friendly zone, this can best be accomplished when public parking is available. This is the main reason why I have voted NO on H and YES on I. For example, if today I park in the Craft house parking lot, I can’t then walk to JC Bean for a coffee or shop at Hobie for some clothes. In order to do that, I would need to find public parking. Measure H would eliminate 700 public parking spaces, basically mandating people park where they shop, thereby preventing the ability to stroll around the town center.

    What we want is ample public parking that would allow for people to spend time shopping and dining at many different areas in the town center. This is why Measure H is not advisable, its poorly written and doesn’t address the problems at hand.

    • Jason, you have obviously been doing your homework on this and have drunk all the Kool-Aid the Measure I supporters are feeding you! The “poorly written” Measure H was written 10 years ago by a select committee of residents who, along with an expensive private planning company that charged the city over $1 million to come up with it, put it in place and called it the 2008 Town Center Master Plan which was then approved by the Coastal Commission. This is what residents got behind and expected to happen and with it came the parking standards that are now being decimated by Measure I and the current city council. Instead of developers having to pay to provide adequate parking this council has given them a pass and now the burden will be on the residents to pay for building parking garages and leased spaces.

      The worst part of your comments go to the heart of the matter…you are just ignorant of the facts so your argument against Measure H has no validity.

    • Jason, Jason, you miss the point entirely! Who should be responsible for providing parking? Do you believe in corporate welfare to the extent that parking is now exclusively a taxpayer burden?You say the City can just build “a parking garage or two”. Really? That was called for in the original town center plan, by the way, but it’s a little late now. Check out the 3/31/16 financial report. Our fair City is down to $2.5 million in unassigned funds. Every other dollar is either set aside for emergencies or allotted to another commitment or in trust for others. In 8 years, your buddies have raided the City piggy bank and we’re $30 million poorer. We don’t have money to buy a coffee, let alone a lot,or a parking structure. And don’t count on that piggy bank fattening up any time soon because our Council hasn’t posted a real operating surplus in 6 years.

      As to bullying, you need to talk to the H supporter who dared put a Measure H sign on her car and got both sides keyed, or the poor lady who was intimidated by Measure I out of town thugs who vandalized her table at a public rally. And especially, talk to the Bead Shop owner who was singled out for public humiliation in a huge flyer sent to thousands of voters by your buddy Bill Brough. That flyer was brought to you by huge developer donations – the real,folks behind I.

  • I heard that the majestic project that involves the 3 sites is going to make their 150 non-residential parking spots open to the public even though they didn’t have to do it. Their sites are in the middle of town center. Great news!

    • Shawn, wow that is really great news that you HEARD! Another made-up lie by the Measure I folks which I’m sure you’re one of. Raintree apartments can’t even come up with enough parking spaces for their renters, let alone their guests and perhaps if we do get some commercial going in there so there won’t be anything left to share! This is just simple-minded propaganda that you are spewing and before you put that stuff out there get educated!

      • Please don’t be a bully and call people names. That is what I heard from one of the city’s planning staff that works out at the gym I go to – I think I did get educated. Call the city and ask them before calling my rumor a lie.

    • Lies lies lies, read the plan Shawn!

      You’ve been misinformed!!! (I was too, until I read all the details!)

  • There has been a lot of hysteria lately about supposed “bullying” on behalf of Measure H supporters. We normally don’t like to give these kinds of reports any attention because they only serve as an intended distraction to the real issues, but we decided we’d better set the record straight. There has been absolutely no bullying of anyone advocated or endorsed by Measure H. We support the rights of all Americans to voice their opinions, whatever those may be, and to vote with their feet and their pocket books as well as their ballots.

    For the record, we are not trial lawyers, we have not paid one cent for consultants or signature gatherers, and we are not “special interests”, although you will find lots of those on the opposing side if you check their latest FPPC filing. We are ordinary citizens working to restore sane parking standards and responsible development in the Lantern District. We enthusiastically support our cause and hold legal, fun rallies involving sign waving, slogans, smiles and waves to passersby. We have a lot of fun and if that looks like an angry mob, you must be watching reports of current national political rallies.

    We reject the claims of bullying and submit these opposing claims which can be backed up with credible witnesses:

    A person with a Measure H sign on their car had both sides of the car keyed, causing serious damage when they were parked at the West Basin in the harbor on Saturday.
    Two Measure I supporters vandalized our table at a community event and our volunteers were so intimidated by them they were afraid to turn their photos over to police.
    Many of our signs have been stolen, and a bearded man in a white van was repeatedly reported as a culprit.
    One of our workers was angrily accosted at a local grocery store and the manager was asked to remove us for exercising our constitutional rights. The person then continued to harangue passersby, further cementing their decision to vote yes on H.

    Perhaps the most grievous act of Measure I bullying came from our own Assemblyman, Bill Brough, who sent a large printed campaign flyer to thousands where he intimated that Measure H would invite more “tattoo parlors, bead shops, and sober living homes” to our town. That ridiculous statement is not only completely out of line, but it maligns the reputation of the one and only bead shop in the area – a company that had to move thanks to Bill Brough’s paid for vote of the Majestic project! They have since purchased and renovated a building in the Lantern District and are conducting a thriving business which we hope readers will patronize at the corner of Golden Lantern and PCH. How dare Mr. Brough call out a company that happened to display a Yes on H sign, in this despicable manner? Who’s the real bully here?
    People, don’t mistake our enthusiasm for bullying!

    • Well said, Sandie! I wish the Times had published this. Measure I managed to get several supporters to cry ” bully” at City Council and point fingers at Measure H using a pretty obvious campaign tactic to smear the opposition. There’s a big difference between a private citizen telling a business they choose not to patronize them because they’re siding with developers over citizens ( their constitutional right, by the way) and the serious incidents you outline above. Hopefully this will set the record straight. I’ve witnessed lots of H rallies and have seen supporters at stores and community events. I haven’t once seen anything other than enthusiastic smiles and waves and an honest effort to educate the public. Let’s remember that none of this contention would have arisen had the Council not interfered in the democratic process in the first place by creating a completely unnecessary sham Measure to compete with a bond fide citizens’ initiative. Let’s hope they’ve learned not to mess with the will of citizens. I suspect their actions angered enough people to push Measure H over the finish line next Tuesday.

  • VOTE YES ON H! Tired of government telling me what to do with my vacant lot. Vote Trump! Stop the GREED! Dana Point City Council are corrupt as well.

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