It's that most wonderful time of the year again! We Dana Point boaters are enjoying the spirit of the holiday season, spending more time with our families and close friends and counting our many blessings. We're very lucky; as we do live in paradise here in Orange County. At this time of the year it's an especially fitting to pause and reflect on that, as well as those other things that are really important; and of course to say thank you. It's also time to remember the needs of the less fortunate, as well as our young soldiers who are separated their families while they fight to keep our country free. God bless them all!
Speaking of paradise, our thanks go out to all those boaters who are participating the 2012 Dana Point Harbor Boat Parade, making wonderful and family-fun event a bit hit again this year. We were in the Harbor Friday night and what a show it was!
If you haven't seen the boat parade yet, no worries. There's still time as the parade is on again next Friday and Saturday nights, starting at 7:30 PM. Most any place within the harbor near the water will provide a great view but get there early to avoid the last minute rush. An aside, for the 5th year DPBA is pleased and honored to be sponsoring one of the participant prizes. It's an engraved winner's plaque together with a picture of the boat and a check for 250 dollars. The prize is to be awarded to the skipper of the boat displaying the "most spirit" and to be completely honest, picking a winner this year is going to be very tough!
In closing, speaking for the officers, directors and advisors of the Dana Point Boaters Association, we want to wish all boaters and landlubbers alike everywhere, their families and friends near and far, a joyous and fun filled holiday season.
Merry Christmas to all!
LAND SIDE RECONSTRUCTION STATUS UPDATE
As you know from our prior DPBA Boater Blasts, the process of engineering design and preparation of permitting documents for the land side of Dana Point Harbor (the Embarcadero and Commercial Core) reconstruction is now well underway.
The first visual signs of change should begin to appear as early as December, 2013. For sure by the end of the 1st quarter of 2014. That's when new traffic signals will be installed at both the temporary Commercial Core main entrance on Casitas Place and the new permanent Embarcadero boat yard main entrance on Puerto Place. Lane creation and intersection widening work will also be done during this project.
The actual ground breaking for Commercial Core reconstruction is still at least two years off; contingent upon completion of Coastal Development Permit (CDP) applications by The County of Orange and approval by the City of Dana Point (and the California Coastal Commission too if there is an appeal). The City of Dana Point is the Local Coastal Plan (LCP) designated local governmental agency designated with responsibility for the local review and approval process.
Note that DPBA still is working with other stakeholders to resolve certain boater issues we've discussed in the past here and will keep you posted downstream as appropriate. Give us a call if you need more information now.
SEIR VOTE EXPECTED BY OC BOS THIS TUESDAY
It's taken more than 6 long years since we formed the Dana Point Boaters Association.
There have been countless hours spent by hundreds of dedicated Dana Point Boaters. We've spent thousands of hours of subject matter research and published hundreds of detailed study reports. There's also been (literally) hundreds of meetings held with local, regional and state and federal agencies; typically attended by least a couple and usually several DPBA directors and advisors.
Yes, it's been a long journey to get boaters to where we are now. But it's been worth it!
The water side Subsequent Environmental Impact Report (SEIR) is finally scheduled for review by the County Board of Supervisors this Tuesday, December 11th. Yes, that's tomorrow. As you may know, the SEIR is the document needed for the County to approve the plan for reconstruction of the Dana Point Harbor docks and related boating improvements, as well as Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) dictated dock access related modifications. Once the SEIR is approved by The County, it enters the State agency approval process, with ultimate approval required by the California Coastal Commission.
As most Dana Point boaters know all too well, the original County proposal called for many design features which were decidedly not in the best interest of recreational boaters. Included was reconfiguration of the West Basin docks like the East Basin, narrowing of the main channel by 40 feet, permanently eliminating several hundred slips as well as the eliminating almost 1200 slips under 30 feet. To make matters worse, if that was really possible, this all was proposed to occur after several years of delay, while tens of millions of dollars was being spent on extensive design / engineering and government agency stipulated planning documents.
As you may know, DPBA was instrumental in determining the specifics of what has instead thankfully become the final SEIR plan proposal. DPBA submitted a detailed proposal for change-of-scope in the fall of 2011, which in turn became the genesis for rethinking the final version of the SEIR. (Click here to view that DPBA proposal:
The good news for boaters is that the SEIR submitted for approval calls for a Full Dock Replacement program (not a redesign!) and retains the existing dock footprints for both the East and West Basins. The SEIR no longer proposes to narrow the main channel and the proposed engineering redesign is to be limited to addressing boater desired facilities improvements and modernization, as well as federally mandated ADA compliance. Estimates of the associated costs and delays are significantly reduced as a result.
Those 1200 boaters with slips less than 30 feet won't have to leave the harbor either. In fact there will be no loss of slips except where individual slips are to be displaced by new ADA accessible dock entrance ramps. (DPBA study has determined that the impact may be about 19-22 lost slips.) There will also be about 80 temporary slips added near the bait barge to accommodate boaters displaced while their docks are being replaced. We should add that DPBA is hopeful that actual experience during the several-year-long reconstruction period may clearly demonstrate that these docks are safe and practical as well as desirable. This means therefore that the number of permanent slips available for recreational boating use could actually INCREASE down the line! (This may be a surprise to some who have heard "the sky is falling" humors elsewhere but it's true.)
Last and certainly not least, because the reconstruction is now proposed to be done in place, dock-by-dock, rather than by reconfiguring the entire harbor (shifting the placement and dimensions the East Basin docks too), there will be no need for significant displacement of boaters from the harbor during the several year period of mass construction required by the original plan. It is likely in fact that there will be little or no need to displace any recreational boaters outside the harbor. (Another false rumor.)
Here's a link to Tuesday's OC BOS meeting agenda:
The DPH SEIR is agenda topic # 25. (Subject to change if topics are added or deleted.)
There are quite a few documents associated with this agenda item, including a Staff Report, recommending approval, as well as the SEIR itself. Here's a link:
Your DPBA leadership team will be there and plans to speak in strong support. Please plan to join us.
At the Dana Point Boaters Association, our mission is to advocate for the preservation, enhancement, and expansion of affordable recreational boating. We strive to improve the family-friendly atmosphere and breadth of water-oriented activities we all enjoy in our harbor. As Dana Point boater advocates, our strength comes from your support and participation. We are proud of the achievements we've made together on behalf of our boating community, and we won't give up. But we can't do it without you. If you haven't already, please become a DPBA member. Join here.
Questions should be directed by email to (Officers@DanaPointBoaters.org). Or call us at (949) 485-5656 and leave a voice mail and we'll get back to you soon.
The Dana Point Boaters Association advocates the preservation, enhancement, and expansion of affordable recreational boating resources. We work to improve the family friendly atmosphere and breadth of water-oriented actives we all enjoy in the harbor. We serve as the watchdog by ethically protecting the rights of all boaters and representing them when collective action is most effective. We actively gather information and communicate our views to educate boaters, external interests, and public officials. We build and maintain constructive, working relationships to achieve common goals with other harbor stakeholders. We will pass on our harbor to the next generation of recreational boaters in better condition than it is today.