Killer Dana’s killer – development – is back for more – Orange County Register

A long time ago in a land not far away – south Orange County, to be exact – there was a beautiful cove that was home to a fantastic break revered far and wide as one of the premier surfing areas on the planet.

It was called Killer Dana. The cove was Dana Cove, which was below the cliffs in the small and comfortable community known as Dana Point. And I used to live there – in a little house about a block back from the viewing gazebo above the cove.

Each morning I would walk over and check the surf from there. It was a breathtaking location.

This was in the early 1960s. At that time there was a little café on Coast Highway called Mac’s Coffee Break. It was the place where most of the locals hung out for breakfast, surfers and everybody else. A dude named Mac and his wife, Ellie, ran it. The café was in the front and they lived in the back. Now it’s called the Harbor House.

One morning I was happily chowing down my oatmeal when I overheard some of the dudes who worked in the post office talking about the proposal for a new boat harbor. Obviously, that boat harbor is what is now the entire coastline of Dana Point, with only a bit of Doheny State Park left for surfers and non-marina kinda people.

When this whole thing came up, the surfing community was in shock and couldn’t see how it was possible anyone would want to ruin such a beautiful natural cove and world-class surfing spot. But the post office dudes were on cloud nine, as the property values were gonna skyrocket. And when money is involved you can bet the concern for such things as beautiful coves and great surf spots is of little consequence.

Surfers lost, developers won. Progress sets the pace. It’s just that we all have our own version of so-called “progress.”

So now I see the longer-term residents of Dana Point are more or less seeing themselves in a similar situation with what is called the Town Center Initiative. Guys with bucks are wanting big condo buildings and high rises – in other words, ways they can make money. There is that word again. Money.

Didn’t somebody say that the best things in life are free?

Longtime locals are calling for the City Council to consider the consequences. Parking? Views? Quality of living? The list goes on. It’s the harbor proposal all over again, just with a different set of clothes.

It seems the City Council is looking like a lot of other city councils when it comes to progress, or one faction’s version of the word.

Having lived in that area and seen all the changes through the years, I can relate to the squirming going on among many of the folks living there. I do not have the space to get any deeper into this issue, but what I would really suggest is that any of you who live in Dana Point and are not fully updated on this thing take the time to do so. It will directly affect your quality of living.

Sometimes these things happen without you being fully aware, and then when you go, “Wow, how did THIS happen?” you only have yourself to blame. Take the time and find out.

Was the harbor a good thing for Dana Point? Any old-time surfer would say no. A ton of small-boat owners and guys who worked in the post office whose property values went up would say yes. Me? I loved that little cove and have great memories of big south swells.

Boats, smoats. Show me the surf.

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