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DP logoBy Robert K. and Cyndi E. Elders, Monarch Beach

We have been residents of Dana Point for 17 years. During our time in this city, we have seen many changes—some were welcomed, others took some getting used to. But never has a more important choice, with such an impact on our beautiful city’s future, been presented before us as the one on the June 7 ballot. Unfortunately, the critical issue has proven to be equally confusing. What is best for our city: Measure H, or Measure I? 

We want to thank longtime Dana Point resident, Craig Alexander, for providing clarity to the issue in his piece in the Dana Point Times May 6-12 issue. We cannot contain our excitement for the wonderful, family-friendly downtown atmosphere that will be brought to Dana Point through the Town Center/Lantern District project, and we now know that we will be voting no on Measure H and yes on Measure I, to protect the vision the residents of this city—ourselves included—established almost a decade ago.

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comments (16)

  • Long-Time Resident Reply

    Vote yes on H and no on I if you would like to see downtown mixed-use development stop, which will result in fewer people moving to the area.

    Vote no on H and yes on I if you would like to see the downtown area developed, and tens of millions of dollars in added revenue to the city from developer fees, increased property taxes, and increased sales taxes.

  • Vote Yes on Measure H and No on measure I. Measure H will allow our downtown to be developed as the citizens of DP have envisioned, for MORE than 10 years. The citizens of DP had measure H put on the ballot by shear will and determination, one signature at a time. Power to the people. A HUGE HUGE thank you to the save Dana point crowd!!!! Way to go!!!! I loved seeing you on the streets with your signs and hearing all the positive feed back from the locals!!!! Simply awesome!!
    Let’s develop this town as WE the people have agreed to in 2008.
    Measure I , please stop stealing our signs!!

  • Robert and Cyndi ,

    Call Measure I what it is: a power grab by the City Council to go against the vision of the people . How did you ever get that I is the vision of the residents when it is the exact opposite . It is a vision of windfall profits by developers that will lay this beach town to waste and and create the next overcrowded traffic choked tourist infested Huntington beach . If you want to get through Dana Point in a decent amount of time you already have to go around the downtown via the residential streets . Measure H merely preserves the agreed to plan . That so much taxpayer money was put into in the first place. Let’s make this a city for the residents and not the the developers.

    Long Term Resident you are full of crap. You are a coward with a hidden agenda. Tens of millions in revenue ? Over what period of time the millennium? Why do you want every vacant lot filled right now ? They will build out vacant lots when there is a great business plan matched with responsible growth , NOT just high density apartments without parking. The city is buying parking spaces because they know there is not enough , this is not right and it is bad and shameful. Also it doesn’t matter what you do, there are vacant lots owned by Chinese investors that have no intention of developing them anytime soon.
    Long Time Liar put your real name up so we can see your true motivation!
    Why would this City need to increase its revenue so immediately ? To spend more on signs, bocce ball courts? Or find a new way to line the pockets of developers ! More legal fees for litigation to protect developer interests??Thereby secure campaign donations?
    Measure I means that our Dana Point real estate lawyer, property managing group , or otherwise called The City council will continue to give sweetheart deals for developer buddies and themselves .
    By the way shouldn’t Muller be forbidden from votes to do with anything in Town Center since he manages so much property within it; total conflict of interest.


    • Long-Time Resident Reply

      I detailed the calculation before, but here it is again. It’s probably way too complicated for you to understand though:

      Assuming 30 years for full build-out increasing linearly each year, using $4.45 million in one-time developer fees, $673K/year in increased property and sales tax revenue at full build-out (Keyser Marston report), and a 60 year life of the Lantern district improvements gives total revenue of,

      $4.45m + (30+1)/2*$673K + (60-30)*$673K = $35,071,500

      You can change the numbers, then just plug into the above formula.

    • Long-Time Resident Reply

      60 years, the life of the LD development. You’re only off by a factor of 17, you people are real geniuses.

  • Dear Mr. and Mrs. Elders,

    I truly appreciate your love of Dana Point and the desire to see it developed the way the residents envisioned when they approved the 2008 Town Center Plan. If you look at the details, you will see that Measure H preserves that vision by endorsing the actual provisions of the 2008 Plan. Please see my Letter to the Editor in this edition of the Dana Point Times entitled Yes on H for the Town Center we all Envision.

    The City Council changed your Town Center Plan in September, 2015 pending the approval of the California Coastal Commission. Measure I is confusing because they claim to improve public parking when the details, which they don’t provide, drastically reduce the parking requirements for new development. In 2014 the City Council approved a major project in Town Center that did not follow most of the requirements in the Town Center Plan. Only Measure H promotes the community’s hard fought plan that I believe you want to see implemented.

    Please reconsider and vote YES on H.


    • Dear Betty,

      Can you explain to me how Measure H is the intention of the 2008 Town Center Plan? When I look at the original plan, Measure H actually CHANGES the plan completely. It seems to me that there was a reason that there was a small amount of “wiggle room” for the height, as the citizens and those putting the plan together knew that it may not pencil, so you have to be flexible. That is the INTENTION of the 2008 Plan.

      As I look at Measure I there is only one change from the original, the parking. Which actually in the originally plan, there was no parking standard and called for those standards to be set when it was time. In September 2015, that is what the City Council did, so they actually….FOLLOWED THE PLAN! I have a copy of the original 2008 Town Center Plan, and it astounds me the changes that Measure H wants to make, as they say they “don’t want to make any changes and get it back to the original plan”, which is not what Measure H is doing.

      If Measure H was only concerned about what the Citizens wanted with the original Town Center plan of 2008, then it seems that they would not be changing it, but ONLY changing the parking. How can I as a voter, after signing your petition to get it on the ballot, which I was lied to when signing the petition and I should have done my research (that is my fault) trust anything that “Save Dana Point” says?

      So please tell me this one thing: How is Measure H what the Citizens wanted, when they were lied to when signing a petition (which the court agreed this happened), and when it, in fact, is the measure that is changing the original plan that was approved and worked on by the Citizens? That is an honest question, as it has still not been answered.


      Concerned Voter

      • “Concerned Voter”, you say you’re asking an”honest question” and yet you can’t even be honest about your identity. You’re wrong on the original 2008 Town Center Plan. It called for a parking plan to be developed, and that this be done even before roadwork was contemplated. Why did we build this expensive cart way before we sized up the horse? A Parking plan was never submitted to the Coastal Commission. It’s not a “new” plan, it’s the only plan, and it’s a day late and many dollars short.

        Measure I people pound their chests because they built Lantern District without debt, but what kind of accomplishment is that when they’ve taken almost every unassigned cent out of our City coffers and provided no parking? A cardinal rule in any development, whether residential or commercial, is that “thou shalt provide adequate parking”. How could our City Council have been so obtuse as to leave this basic ingredient to the very end? And now they’ve given away most of the development impact fees, and reduced in lieu fees so drastically that there’s no funding left to pay for parking even if we could find some.

  • I would be interested in seeing a simple comparison of both proposals to other coastal communities. This is very time consumimg for an individual to do and I would assume council would have done this at some point. I am inclined towards measure H right now if for no other reason than the emotional non fact based rhetoric I have been getting in the mIl lately asking me to support H. Trial lawyers? Money grab? Name names or don’t bring that stuff up. Spread sheet based projections have been tossed about as fact and that I learned a long time ago how meaningless those can be.

  • Lantern District Resident Reply

    I second Claire Underwood’s statement regarding stolen Measure H signs. I’ve personally had 2 stolen from my premises and also seen multiple signs removed from Selva.

    These people have no shame…

  • This is our chance to develop our downtown, boost our towns revenue, increase jobs, a wonderful opportunity for growth not regression! It would be a complete waste of years that people have fought over and over again! Not to mention our money!! Wouldn’t it be amazing to spend more money, and time in our own town not neighboring beach communities and have a place to dine, shop, and unify our residents? We don’t need anymore narrow minds effecting our towns growth! We have a chance to finally see the vision come to life and bring neighboring communities to Dana point not the other way around. We have gone through this rebutted dispute long enough! Stop fighting tooth and nail over a few issues instead of coming together and increasing buiseness revenues nearby! The restaurants in town should be full of people, Why would anyone want to visit a rundown area with empty lots? They built the strand, we have gorgeous hotels nearby why not create a beautiful, upscale downtown that reflects it? They’re has to be people living in the town center for the downtown to thrive! The businesses in the downtown aren’t reaching their potential! Doesn’t make sense, just like the beautiful hotel that they tried to built in our gateway to Dana point that would’ve taken over the hazerdous eyesore vacant hotel that poses a public threat, full of drugs, vagrants, and increased theft and crime that looks so much better and does so much more for our community doesn’t it???!!!!

  • Angered Long Time Resident Reply

    When will our community get to benefit from a beautiful, revitalized town that brings people together, creates jobs, boosts our economy, help increase home values, keeps growing to bring neighboring communities to our coastal town and creates an upscale environment. We deserve that! We’ve had enough of your ridiculous setbacks that only hurt our community! Get out of the way of progress!

  • long time resident Reply

    We had family in town over the holiday weekend, as we were driving into Dana point from Laguna they said “what happened to all the people it looks like a ghost town around here” so sad that our businesses and towns lost revenue have to suffer. A real shame that they have truly ignored to establish a thriving downtown for so long, because of all of the loopholes that try to keep growth and development out of our town. Shame on you for trying to stand in their way, Let them build and continue progress!

  • If we keep challenging investors and city council soon enough they will be pushed away and discouraged to build at all. No one will want to continue fighting over these issues that have already been fought over for years. Your only hurting the existing businesses on Del Prado, and our residents by spitefully disagreeing with a few issues.Look at the whole picture our towns future is at stake.

  • Measure H is a pathetic attempt to destroy the Lantern Project and deter businesses that might consider locating in Dana Point. I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of seeing everyone go to Laguna Beach or San Clemente instead of spending money right here in Dana Point. Get with the 21st century folks. Vote for measure I.

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