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Town Center Initiative

October 7, 2015



Save Dana Point is proud to be a supporter of the 2015 Town Center Initiative.  The Initiative will give Dana Point registered voters the opportunity they deserve to vote and decide the future development of their city.

The 2015 Town Center Initiative provides that new development follow the requirements and intent of the community's Town Center Plan which the Coastal Commission approved in 2011.  The Plan calls for a commercial district with shops,restaurants and convenient parking in a central location. There are also critical stipulations that new development be only three stories and 40 feet in height.  Although the area is designated as"mixed use",with residential use allowed, the Town Center Plan states that businesses are the preferred use even on the upper stories. 

Last month, 4,240 signatures were submitted to the City Clerk in support of the Initiative.  Those signatures must be kept strictly confidential.  According to procedure the names, addresses and signatures will be verified by the County Registrar of Voters.  The City Clerk will then report the number of qualified signatures by October 27, 2015.  

To qualify for a ballot measure, approximately 2,053 signatures are required.  To qualify for a special election, 3,080 signatures are required.  We are anxiously awaiting the results. A special election could be called early next year.

Please stay informed about what is really happening in Dana Point. Save Dana Point will continue to keep you informed and be looking out for the best interests of Dana Point residents.

August 12, 2015


The 2015 Town Center Initiative has been overwhelming received by Dana Point residents.  Signatures are being collected throughout the City, at major events, in the neighborhoods and at grocery stores.  Just look for the Save Dana Point signs.  People in Dana Point deserve this chance to vote on the future development in Town Center. (See details below.) 

The City's proposed parking plan will be coming before the Council next month for a required second vote for approval.  An acceptable parking plan should: encourage development responsibly; treat residents fairly; promote business success; and account for the future. The proposed plan isn't good enough and needs major improvement.  These are just a few of the issues: 

·         The zoning changes proposed go too far, reducing the parking requirement by over 50%, including restaurant parking to 2 spaces per 1,000 square feet; developers are also being given the option to use "shared parking", in lieu parking,valet parking,tandem parking and stacked parking, not convenient for customers or businesses.    

·         Where's the parking? A working parking plan should be in place before considering a reduction in the zoning requirement that increases the demand for public parking.  PCH has lost most of its street parking. Current parking problems already exist and businesses are suffering. 

·         Projects are underway in Town Center, including several restaurants, using the zoning allowed in the Town Center Plan. Zoning should not be changed at this time.

·         The zoning reductions transfer the parking burden from developers to Dana Point taxpayers and hinder business success.

  • City should follow the Town Center Plan for a pedestrian friendly, village atmosphere
  • Create dining and retail with convenient parking
  • Close developer loopholes and follow the approved Town Center Plan
  • Allow residents to vote on Town Center Development              


The 2015 Town Center Initiative fully supports the approved Town Center Plan and wants to see it implemented.  The primary goal of both the Initiative and the Town Center Plan is to create a pedestrian friendly commercial center with shops, restaurants and convenient parking.  Both want to preserve Dana Point's small town, village atmosphere.

The City Council and the City's Community Development Department approved a major project that allowed many exceptions to the Plan's requirements. The City is now proposing more changes to the Plan. However, the Plan was a product of many public meetings and hard fought community compromises, such as a three floor limit and an extra 5 feet of height from 35 to 40 feet for retail purposes.

The Initiative fully supports that community effort. It closes developer loopholes that have been used to circumvent the intent and requirements of the Plan.  For example, the City allowed a variance for a fourth floor of condos, elevator towers 19 feet over the allowed 40 limit and numerous parking concessions including in lieu fees of 15,000 per parking space while the estimated cost to the City is 40,000 per space.

The 2015 Town Center Initiative wants the City to stick to the Plan and developers to follow the rules.  Most importantly, it gives Dana Point residents the chance to vote on the kinds of projects they want to see in Town Center and determine the future of Dana Point.

For more information go to: