It has been more than two years since a proposal for a 258-room hotel in the heart of Dana Point generated hundreds of letters and emails in opposition, but the project is back in the public spotlight.
A preliminary environmental-impact report for the Doheny Hotel is posted online for public comment until Sept. 6. The comments, along with responses from the city’s EIR consultant and staff, will be incorporated into a final report, said Ursula Luna-Reynosa, Dana Point’s director of community development.
How to weigh in
There are two ways you can send comments about the draft environmental impact report for the Doheny Hotel proposal:
Erica Demkowicz, senior planner
Dana Point Community Development Department
33282 Golden Lantern, Suite 209
Dana Point, CA 92629
Comments are due by Sept. 6.
The report – prepared by UltraSystems, an Irvine-based environmental management and planning firm – concludes that the development would have “significant unavoidable environmental effects,” particularly related to aesthetics and building height and expanse.
The proposal calls for a two- to five-story hotel on 1.5 acres at Dana Point Harbor Drive and Pacific Coast Highway. The hotel would include 258 guest rooms, conference rooms, a restaurant, rooftop bar and pool areas, a 275-space underground parking facility and 50 offsite parking spaces.
The land is occupied by a Jack in the Box restaurant, a vacant building and the Dana Point Harbor Inn, all of which would be demolished for the project, according to the environmental report.
The land is private property; the application for the project was submitted by Michael Draz, chief of Beverly Hills Hospitality Group.
The application initially was studied by UltraSystems on behalf of the city in 2011, but after a series of public meetings it was determined that an environmental-impact study was needed, Luna-Reynosa said.
The project also would include enhancements to the city’s adjacent gateway to help welcome visitors and residents, according to the report. The enhancements would include landscaping and a new harbor sign.
Of the hundreds of comments the city received during the initial study, concerns were expressed about the hotel’s size and its potential effects on traffic, neighborhood parking and aesthetics.
Residents pointed out that if the hotel were allowed to build up to five stories, it would not conform with the city’s 35-foot height limit.
Residents interested in the report can find it on the city’s website, danapoint.org (click on “City government,” then “Community development,” then “Planning,” then “Environmental documents”). Comments can be submitted to Senior Planner Erica Demkowicz.