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John H. Hazelrigg, DANA POINT

First of all let me say I look forward to receiving my Dana Point Times each week. I thoroughly enjoy the format and the articles related to Dana Point.

There is a major news story developing in our city that has received little or no attention by your newspaper. I am terribly disappointed that your reporters have not thoroughly covered this story since, if allowed to progress, it will have a major detrimental effect on the quality of life of every citizen and visitor to our wonderful city by the sea.

A firm by the name of Beverly Hills Hospitality Group has submitted plans to the city of Dana Point to build a five-story, 258 room hotel at the corner of Del Obispo (Dana Point Harbor Drive) and Pacific Coast Highway. The City Planner told me that the highest point on this monstrosity would be 87.5 feet—this in a city which has a 35-foot height limit on structures. This proposal is objectionable on so many levels it is hard to know where to start.

Traffic—This corner has to be the busiest corner in town. Commuters going north on PCH are often backed up to the bridge. Those towing boats are entering/leaving the Harbor, beachgoers, campers and those visiting Doheny State Park and the Harbor continually jam up traffic in all directions. Add to this emergency vehicles and sightseers and you have gridlock often under today’s conditions. When you consider the Doheny Blues Festival, fireworks and other events it’s untenable. To exacerbate this with 258-guests turning in and out of the small entryway into the hotel is unthinkable.

Noise—I live directly across PCH from this project. Traffic with motorcycles, fire trucks, ambulances, etc. reach many decibels, but we love this end of town so much we are willing to overlook this problem. Festivals in the park are very noisy but only last two days. This hotel is planning a rooftop swimming pool and bar. Let me translate this for you. Corporations love to fete their employees with getaways to beach locations where they can celebrate with bands, dancing, shouting and in general often make a nuisance of themselves. We can hear bands and laughter and other sounds emanating from the Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa and the beach, but we realize it’s limited and comes with the territory. A commercial hotel such as this one would undoubtedly have functions on a nearly nightly basis. The sound would carry throughout the Village at Dana Point and Bal Harbour communities.

Pollution—The additional traffic would add to the already unbearable amount of soot, tire residue, etc. that covers our decks and patios.

Is this hotel necessary?—There is a Best Western Plus Marina Shores Hotel one block north on PCH. There’s a DoubleTree Suites about five or six blocks south and the magnificent Marriott is a stone’s throw away. If this hotel doesn’t make it financially, we’re faced with an empty eyesore that will blight our city forever.

Aesthetics—The side of the hotel running along PCH is a slab sided wall that is very unsightly. The aforementioned hotels in Dana Point, along with The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel and St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort add beauty and dignity to our city. This thing will resemble the structure of the state prison in Chino.

I could go on, but you get the point. In the face of all these potential problems and the fact that it is illegal from the get-go, I think this project warrants some attention from your staff so that the entire city of Dana Point can be made aware of what’s being proposed that would have an adverse effect on every citizen. An article with drawings and all the aforementioned problems would allow every citizen to voice their opinion on a project that would have a profound negative impact on our way of life here in beautiful Dana Point. Thanks for hearing me out.

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About The Author Dana Point Times

comments (1)

  • This article points to many different directions except the pros of bringing a new property to Dana Point.

    1. This property would replace Dana Point Harbor Inn and it is preferred by most citizens in Dana Point! I’ve heard stories about the Inn being the crack house to a frat house and it is not a structure that should stand for long given the age.

    2. The new hotel will give Harbor Drive a finished look at least on the North Side of a decent view. The old liquor store location is SUCH a horrible view for visitors to Dana Point, its depressing. Not to mention how many homeless transient these old small places attract and scare the tourists.

    3. Even on a small scale, this hotel would give the city of Dana Point more visitors which would help increase the city’s revenue. Isn’t that our goal anyway?

    Are we really worried about debris and tire residue?

    You’ve got to be kidding me with that one, unless you are another hotel or writing for one, you really do not have anything to worry about except paying for a little while to stay at a hotel right across the street from your home! I enjoy amenities at new hotels all the time in the same city/county I live in.

    My 2 cents.

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