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DP logoBonnie Wellbaum, Dana Point

A statement made by City Manager, Doug Chotkevys twice in the April 8-14 issue of the DP Times is completely incorrect. The same statement was made by Mayor John Tomlinson in the April 15-21 issue.

The statements referring to Strand Beach as previously or formerly a private beach are completely incorrect.

Strand Beach has never been a private beach.  It has been a public beach for the 40 years I’ve lived here.

Is there any way you can print a correction or something to let the people of Dana Point know Strand Beach has always been public?

EDITOR’S NOTE (updated): The confusion regarding the public/private status of Strand Beach comes from the interpretation of the word “beach” and the work “private.” When speaking of Strand as a formerly private beach, the mayor and city manager were correct, but only in reference to the land on the inland side of the mean high tide line. Public access to the land from the mean high tide line to the water (wet sand) received added protection (to that provided previously by the California State Constitution) in 1976 when the California State Legislature passed the California Coastal Act. Before the beach (from the high tide line inland) was dedicated to the county as a public park as part of the Headlands Development and Conservation Plan (certified by the California Coastal Commission in 2004), beachgoers accessing Strand Beach through the area—formerly occupied by a mobile home park, now the site of the Headlands at Strand development—were crossing through private land.  The dedication of the private land to public use by Headlands Reserve LLC was a condition of approval for the development. Even though the beach was technically private, county lifeguards patrolled the area—adjacent to the county operated Salt Creek Beach—as it was often utilized by surfers and other beachgoers. 

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