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Dana Point Considers Doheny Hotel Proposal

The City of Dana Point spent a lot of money on its entry monument and pedestrian bridge over Pacific Coast Highway.  Unfortunately, motorists entering the city from the South (which includes most of the traffic coming from either direction on the 5 freeway), pass through the monument and are greeted by a vacant lot, an abandoned building and fast food restaurants.  Not exactly the kind of greeting the Dana Point Chamber of Commerce prefers.

Dana Point Gateway (image credit: Google)

A development company has acquired contiguous parcels encompassing 1.5 acres, including the older 46-room Dana Point Harbor Inn and the Jack in the Box on PCH as well as the aforementioned abandoned building.  The developer, Beverly Hills Hospitality Group, is proposing a 258 room boutique “Doheny Hotel” on the site.

Site of Proposed Doheny Hotel (image credit: Google)

The proposed hotel would be located on Dana Point Harbor Drive and would offer 258 rooms, including “business/conference rooms, a restaurant, a rooftop bar/lounge, and rooftop pool and deck area.”  Parking for 275 vehicles would be available in an underground parking structure, with parking for 50 additional vehicles provided off-site.  Below is a rendering, taken from the Final Environmental Impact Report prepared for the City of Dana Point.

Rendering of Proposed Doheny Hotel (image credit: Final EIR/City of Dana Point)

The EIR describes the hotel project as follows:

The vision for the Doheny Hotel is to be a standalone, gateway project that welcomes both visitors and residents to the City of Dana Point. It is intended to have unique architectural and design features as a modern counterpoint to the homes and businesses in the community at large. Both a celebration of the modernization of hospitality in Southern California and an update to the amenities found at the corner of Dana Point Harbor Drive and the Pacific Coast Highway, the Doheny Hotel project intends a positive contribution to the City’s trade and tourism.

Here are additional views of the project site, excerpted from the EIR:

Site Views for Proposed Doheny Hotel (image credit: Final EIR/City of Dana Point)

And a map view, showing the location of the proposed hotel:

Map of Location for Proposed Doheny Hotel (image credit: Final EIR/City of Dana Point)

Although on its face, the proposal seems like a profound improvement to Dana Point’s downtown, the hotel is not without some controversy.  The developers are seeking a height variance from the City’s 35 foot limit.  The hotel would reach up to 60 feet tall.  Last week, poles were erected on the property to demonstrate the height of the building envelope.  Planning Commissioners visited the site this past weekend, and the Dana Point Planning Commission is considering the proposal today at 6 PM, although no vote is scheduled.  A public hearing is scheduled for December 9, 2013.

The Dana Point Times has an article about the proposed hotel here, and an article about the height variance controversy here.

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