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Especially for Gaz
#30155 Especially for Gaz 13 år, 7 månader sen Stoke: 2

Inlägg: 228

Monday, January 30, 2006
Work under way on Dana Point Headlands project
The Orange County Register

DANA POINT - The land slotted for open space at the Dana Point Headlands project isn't much to look at right now - chain-link fences surround the plots, dead and dried-out plants hug the dirt and crumple when they're walked on, and a few beer cans lie among the brush.

But open space and parks at the headlands project are slowly blooming as restoration biologists work to clear invasive plants and restore the land to its natural state.

While grading is under way to carve out land for 118 homes here on the headlands' 121 acres, workers are also sprucing up and creating more than 68 acres of habitat on the promontory. On a clear day, views from these cliffs stretch along the coast south to La Jolla and north to the Palos Verdes Peninsula.

In about a year, a walking trail will rim the 120-foot cliff. (A fence will reassure those afraid of heights.) Picnic areas and benches will sit by lookout points facing the Pacific Ocean, where on any day gray whales or dolphins may make an appearance. And beachgoers will get down to the sand via Orange County's first outdoor elevator, called a funicular.

Plans are also in the works for a nature center, built by the developer and owned by the city, at the 29.4-acre Conservation Park, an area set aside for the endangered Pacific pocket mouse. Docents will lead tours focusing on coastal species found here.

The Center for Natural Lands Management will run the nature building and maintain Conservation Park. The private, Newport Beach-based Harry and Grace Steele Foundation bought the land for $12 million in December from Headlands Reserve and then turned it over to the management company. A public announcement of the purchase is expected today.

"It's such a great gift to the community, for generations of Californians, that we have one piece of the California coast that won't be developed," said Sherry Teresa, executive director of the Center for Natural Lands Management.

The nonprofit management company oversees 49,000 acres of open space in California. This is its first in Orange County.

Planners have been looking to Newport Beach's Peter and Mary Muth Interpretive Center in the Upper Newport Bay as a model for the Dana Point nature center, though the latter would be a smaller version, said Kevin Darnall, vice president for developer Headlands Reserve LLC.

"It's going to be a great place for kids. It's a place they can come to and see the variety of wildlife we have left in Orange County," Teresa said.

More towel space along the coast is also on the way: Headlands Reserve plans to dedicate 5.4 acres of private beach back to the county within the next year.

Just how much land should stay open space here was a matter of heated debate for about 25 years, spawning legal challenges and a voter initiative. At one point, a then-owner planned several hundred homes and a 400-room hotel. The final plan, approved last year, calls for 118 homes, a 90-room hotel and an acre of commercial space.

Environmental advocacy groups followed the development closely because the process mirrored a balancing act the Transportation Corridor Agencies is facing in its proposal for a 16-mile toll-road extension. Both the headlands and the south-county area where the extension is planned contain endangered and threatened species, including the pocket mouse and the California gnatcatcher.

Experts say there are only four remaining coastal areas where the pocket mice live, including Camp Pendleton and an area near the proposed toll road.

Dan Silver, executive director of the Endangered Habitats League, said the headlands are well-designed for helping the animals.

"The set-asides are one way we can make development compatible with the natural world, if you can't save everything," he said.
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#30160 Svar: Especially for Gaz 13 år, 7 månader sen Stoke: 28

Inlägg: 2613

Hej I'm still pissed rom when they destroyed Dana Point break and made the pleasre boat harbour in 1963
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