SUPPORT THIS INDEPENDENT JOURNALISM
The article you’re about to read is from our reporters doing their important work — investigating, researching, and writing their stories. We want to provide informative and inspirational stories that connect you to the people, issues and opportunities within our community. Journalism requires lots of resources. Today, our business model has been interrupted by the pandemic; the vast majority of our advertisers’ businesses have been impacted. That’s why the DP Times is now turning to you for financial support. Learn more about our new Insider’s program here. Thank you.
By Steve Stewart, Dana Point
Roxanna Watrous’ letter in the Feb. 27, DP Times raised a lot of questions about the $20 million just spent on road work, sidewalks and trees in the hope that commercial and retail business would be attracted in to the Town Center. It looks like what Dana Point residents got for their $20 million was a more congested Pacific Coast Highway. I think most people would call that a very bad investment.
There is no evidence of retail or commercial developments springing up as a result what has been done. To be fair, that trend, if it ever happens, might take some time to develop. Our $20 million should have been expended in phases, as originally proposed, and spent over time based on results rather than hope and hype. Instead it was spent at once, without waiting for any evidence that it was having the desired effect. It will be a long time before the city accumulates enough funding for the other areas of our city that badly need investment.
Perhaps the only way to make this outcome worse would be to amend our Town Center plan to allow more dense residential development in place of the retail development that did not come. That would add to the traffic congestion we have just created. It would negate the original Town Center conception of a tasteful mixed-use commercial/residential area downtown. If that happens, you can say good bye to casual beach atmosphere and hello to four-story condos and difficult parking. Believe it or not, that is what is on the agenda in our city planning department now.
We all need to step up and make our voices heard by the City Council. We want what we had and not what they are intent on bringing us. Tell them to stop.