By Dennis Parks, DPHAC Secretary
The first DPHOAC meeting of 2024 was focused on two important presentations; Supervisor Foley’s update and a report by committee member Diane Wenzel regarding re-envisioning the Orange County Sailing and Event Center at the Dana Point Harbor.
Supervisor Foley opened by bringing the committee up to speed with respect to the anticipated start of the Phase I parking garage scheduled to break ground in January. The Supervisor reported that the financing for Phase I has been approved and that final permits for the electrical work have been obtained and that the water district permits should be signed off this week clearing the way for construction to begin. Supervisor Foley then introduced Christian Gagne as the Dana Point Harbor Project Oversight Manager. Mr. Gagne has worked in the County of Orange Real Estate Department and the private sector overseeing complex projects similar to the Dana Point Harbor revitalization. He will be responsible for making sure the Dana Point Harbor makeover proceeds according to the development contract/timeline and to provide transparency to the public and the harbor stakeholders about the process.
Diane Wenzel’s presentation focused on three primary areas regarding the OC Sailing and Event Center. First, she illustrated the existing building space and dock utilization by the current users of the facility. Second, she outlined short term solutions to better utilize the existing space to accommodate more storage for users such as the Outrigger Club that will be impacted by marina construction in 2024. And third, she provided suggestions on how to rework the Center’s east and west docks to be more efficient for the center’s stakeholders as well as becoming ADA compliant. In addition, she presented ideas on how the future OC Sailing and Event Center could be utilized to better benefit of the residents of Orange County. Ms. Wenzel was then asked by Supervisor Foley to organize a team of the dock’s users to meet with Michael Wilson of the County of Orange Parks department to develop specific plans for the use of anticipated state grant money earmarked to reconstruct the facility’s east and west docks. Supervisor Foley and the committee will be briefed on these plans at future meetings.