The Surfrider Foundation South Orange County chapter has raised concerns regarding the proposed new 100-room hotel, restaurant, cafe and spa development in Dana Point, which will be located on the Cannon’s Restaurant site. Surfrider supports the Coastal Commission staff recommendation to ensure adequate low cost overnight accommodations, extension of the public trail on the bluff side of the development as well as adequate parking. This site, as well as the adjacent Dana Point Headlands area, is highly scenic and the trails and public access is an extremely valuable public resource that must be preserved. Due to the constrained nature of the access roads, traffic congestion in this area can limit public access to the trails, viewsheds and the Dana Point Nature Interpretive Center. As such, Surfrider requests the following changes to the Coastal Commission’s Coastal Development Permit:

  1. Include in the special conditions a specific and clear prohibition on overflow valet and employee parking into public parking spaces on the street, in the hotel lot or adjacent locations. While this hotel may be adequately parked for the 100 rooms, it is inevitable that an event or high occupancy may result in increased parking needs. In other locations in Dana Point, this has resulted in use of public parking spaces by valet services – even for hotels that have fulfilled their similar parking requirements. This is unacceptable and would greatly impact the already constrained access on Green Lantern Street. 
  2. Prohibit the use of single use plastics at the facility including the hotel, restaurant and cafe. The Coastal Commission should include special conditions that clearly prohibit the use of any single use plastics – this should encompass guest amenities, restaurant take out and cafe drinks and food. The Coastal Commission recently required a comprehensive marine debris and plastic pollution program for the Dana Point Harbor Revitalization project. The new hotel will be adjacent to the Dana Point Harbor. Avoiding single use plastics at this location may help avoid extra plastic pollution in the harbor and from making its way to our waterways and is consistent with Coastal Act water quality regulations. 
  3. Develop a marketing plan to ensure the low cost rooms are advertised to low income communities. Surfrider supports the Coastal Commission’s requirement for 25% of the hotel’s rooms be set at a low cost. It’s important to ensure that those rooms are advertised and made available for low income people who otherwise may not be able to spend a night on the coast. This is an important matter of environmental justice. There must be assurances that the low cost rooms be made available to those they are intended to serve. 

The California Coastal Commission is scheduled to vote on this hotel on Wednesday, February 10. Surfrider has formally requested that these changes be made to the permit approval. If you’re interested in getting involved, please contact us today! derkeneff@southoc.surfrider.org.