By Jay Van Velzy, Dana Point
In a response to a recent letter to the editor (November 6-12, 2015, “Town Center Initiative Succeeds”), Betty Hill from Capo Beach thanks “thousands” of residents of Dana Point for qualifying the 2015 Town Center Initiative for a special election. Mrs. Hill suggests that the “initiative” contains the entire “Town Center Plan” which was approved by the city of Dana Point and the California Coastal Commission. Furthermore she suggests that her “initiative” supports the same goal, “to create a business district in a village atmosphere with shops, offices, restaurants and parking needs for its success.”
This week I was able to drive up Pacific Coast Highway and then down Del Prado and, thanks to the recently improved elements of the Town Center Plan, I was able to drive up Del Prado and down Pacific Coast Highway, through the area that has been labeled “Town Center” and now the “Lantern District.” In driving this so called “Town Center” I noticed: 13 vacant lots, 17 empty buildings, seven massage parlors, and four drug and alcohol treatment centers. Looking for the area envisioned by the 2008 project, I noticed very few pedestrians walking the area—except for the many drug treatment patients who were walking up and down the area with their counselors. So far the village atmosphere envisioned by the Town Center Plan is far from materializing.
In 2008 after a substantial amount of community involvement and public discourse the city of Dana Point and the Coastal Commission adopted the “Town Center Plan.”
Betty Hill, I don’t understand what you’re trying to save.
You state that your goals are the same as the Town Center Plan. You also state that the Initiative will close developer loopholes and strengthen protections for Dana Point Residents
Thus far, no developer has been successful in undoing these “loopholes” to create new projects in the area, as no new developments have moved in. We do not understand what “loopholes” you are referring to; please be more specific?
It appears there is a plan in place, which was put in motion many years ago. The city has spent taxpayer revenue in hope in seeing a return on investment in new residential and commercial enterprises. Where are those enterprises taking advantage of all those loopholes? Now that the infrastructure is in place, why now does your “initiative” question the plan that was put in to motion in 2008, after years of public discourse and evolution? And please explain how your “initiative” is going to now protect the residents of Dana Point.
Betty Hill, please answer: How is your plan different from the current “plan?” What “loopholes” are you attempting to close? Why are you wasting taxpayer dollars for a special election for a plan that has already been publicly approved and vested by the Coastal Commission?
Seems like a NIMBY argument for someone who hasn’t truly gown up in this town and isn’t truly invested in this community.
Please respond to us, CAVLEBLTR, or Citizens Against Vacant Lots, Empty Buildings and Lost Tax Revenue.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The DPRRD, or Dana Point Residents for Responsible Development, Town Center Initiative can be read online at http://2015towncenterinitiative.nationbuilder.com.