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Dana Point Harbor Could Get $100-Million Upgrade

Commerce: County plan to move restaurants closer to water, add shops and double parking spaces is unveiled. One aim is to preserve its small-marina ambience.


A county supervisor on Friday unveiled a plan to redevelop Dana Point Harbor that he said would keep its small-harbor image while moving restaurants closer to the water's edge and creating more commercial space and pedestrian walkways.

The plan calls for relocation of the harbor's restaurants, including the Brig, Harbor Grill, El Torito and Harpoon Harry's, into new buildings next to the water.

The cost is estimated at $100 million.

The move would provide enough space to build two two-story parking structures that would double the number of marina parking spaces to 1,300, Supervisor Tom Wilson said.

The plan was revealed to harbor merchants Friday and will be shown to boat owners at 10 a.m. today at the Dana Point Youth and Group Center. Residents and other interested parties can view the plan at 5 p.m. Oct. 24 at the same center.

Construction is not expected to begin until 2004.

Wilson, whose district includes Dana Point, is hoping the entire cost can be paid through leases and fees and not taxpayer funds.

The county has been trying to revitalize the Cape Cod-inspired marina since 1997. But boaters have been worried that slip fees would double and their low-key marina would go the way of other Southern California marinas packed with hotels and clogged with yachts.

Wilson said he hopes the latest plan addresses their concerns.

Dozens of other marinas were examined by county officials and the county's consultant, Wallace, Roberts & Todd.

The consultant also assessed the harbor's traffic, parking, sewers, pipelines and aging infrastructure.

Dana Point Harbor is a 212-acre marina built by the Army Corps of Engineers in 1971. It contains about 2,500 boat slips rimmed by shops and restaurants. On the western edge is the Ocean Institute, an educational facility that helps children and adults explore the ocean environment.

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