By Kristina Pritchett
The Dana Point Planning Commission is recommending the City Council approve a zone text amendment that would allow the use of fully retractable gates in the Strand community.
The amendment would permit the use of retractable gates at the mid-strand beach access point, the central strand upper access point and the central strand lower access point.
The commission voted 5-0 in favor of sending the recommendation to the Council during the public hearing on July 25.
“I think that these gates are a good balance,” said Commissioner April O’Connor. “There are two trails which are 24-hour access [points.]”
Kevin Darnall, President of the Strand’s homeowner association, told the commission the Strand association supports the amendment because there has been vandalism and residents have called the police multiple times.
O’Connor said she believes the addition of the gates would be a way to protect the residents and property and increase public safety.
In April 2016, Coastal Commission staff recommended a settlement agreement, which put an end to six years of litigation over the gates and closing hours. The settlement included an agreement to modify the local coastal development program to include the approval of designated hours of operations for the access areas.
Since it requires a change of city law, the amendment needs City Council approval. If the City Council approves the amendment, it will then go to the California Coastal Commission for approval.