The biggest topic going on in the city of Dana Point right now is the revitalization of our town center or “Lantern District”. For the better part of the last decade, many a soul has worked late into the night trying to develop a strategy to create what should be a good fit for the reputation of our city. While is is widely agreed that everyone wants an upgrade to our dated main strip, how and to what extent seem to be at the heart of much conflict. The city has certain specific zoning areas holding specific height and other building requirements for any new development.
The ‘Majestic Development Project’ (as seen in images below) potentially could look to the city for a “variance” to these guidelines to create a larger structure. While no single project would kill the heart of our community, it is vital we maintain a cohesive look for how we shall collectively see our town represented in the future.
After a lengthy planning commission meeting held at our own community center, the town center developer ‘Magestic Development’, took note from previous public statements and made some adjustments to their original designs. Most notably:
-The exterior was softened a bit and some awnings seemed to appear.
-The center of the residential project was opened up to the public by creating openings between the corners of the buildings..
-A bit more effort was put into the overall aesthetics..
Bottom line is, most of the public appreciated the concessions the developer made, but felt it still had a ways to go. The developer noted that it was still a continuous work in progress and vowed to continue to work with the city and with the public comments.
I personally was impressed with the amount of effort the developer made at the publics’s request, but also feel there is still a ways to go for a final overall agreeable design.. To me which includes no additional height variances. Take a look at the new designs just below along with some images from the meeting itself.
It is pretty apparent to me that a dorm room type building like the proposed project above, is going to fundamentally change the vibe of our city’s look. Also, the proposed height far exceeds what we have now in the books, not to mention the building design itself is just plain ugly.
There’s a lot to consider, since ultimately a lot of people worked hard to try and ensure the city would maintain it’s small town feel while encouraging new development. But if you look at the images above, can you really say you are looking forward to that building? If you never got a chance to go over the created ‘Town Center Plan’, click the link below and give it a read.