By Katrina Foley
I’ve loved learning all about the Dana Point Harbor community, meeting local boaters, business owners, and nonprofits that support the many educational activities and events in the harbor.
I’ve spent the past five months learning about and digging into the contracts and planning for the Dana Point Harbor revitalization plans. I’ve met with many constituents, county staff and Dana Point Harbor Partners.
The Dana Point Harbor plays a key role in our county’s local economy, ocean conservation, community recreation, and law enforcement efforts. The state of the harbor must reflect the importance of this county asset to our local boaters, local businesses and residential communities.
My office recently held a town hall to provide the public access to the county and Dana Point Harbor Partners, clear up any misinformation, discuss future plans for Baby Beach and Ocean Institute, and listen to community feedback on ways to improve their experience at the harbor.
During the town hall, we received updates on the commercial revitalization from Bryon Ward with Burnham Ward, the hotel revitalization from Bob Olson with RD Olson, and the marina revitalization from Joe Ueberroth with the Bellwether Financial Group.
My office uploaded the town hall online in case you missed it.
I announced my support for Ocean Institute as a valuable partner, and to keep Baby Beach and the sailing center as publicly run amenities by OC Parks. I’ve requested a deferred maintenance and improvement plan for future upgrade funding allocations.
Prior to and during the town hall, we collected questions from the community. We asked and got answers to nearly 100 questions. The three main areas of concern raised among the community included:
- Slip and other boater amenity fees
- Removal of dock boxes
- Construction funding, timeline and impacts
I remain committed to finding alternatives to reduce the fees and allow for more gradual increases over time instead of the hammer approach currently utilized. One of the first tasks of the new Dana Point Harbor Oversight Committee, which starts in July, is to review a few options related to fees and storage and provide me with recommendations.
I expect a report back by September.
The committee will meet monthly and prepare public reports each month describing the status of the incoming revenue of DPH, the funding for the project, construction schedule and phasing status, as well as notice about any anticipated closures or impacts.
Working with the oversight committee, county staff and DPHP will help me as your county supervisor ensure transparency and confidence that the revenue generated benefits the needs of a public harbor, and keeps the community informed on all phases of this project.
My advisory oversight committee will inform my office’s approach to this project and will ensure that businesses, county staff, and the community have a voice in the process. Our selection process begins this week with the oversight committee members announced in June.
The harbor remains decades behind in maintenance and ocean conservation best practices. I’m excited about the future revitalization. We must continue to move this project forward as we work out some of the community’s greatest concerns still not addressed.
If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Additionally, I will provide updates on my newsletter every week and continue to update my Dana Point Harbor page at d5.ocgov.com/dana-point-harbor-updates. Subscribe at d5.ocgov.com/newsletter.
Elected in 2022, Katrina Foley represents the Fifth Supervisorial District on the Orange County Board of Supervisors. She was previously elected to serve the Second District from 2021-2022.
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