Dana Point Becomes a City

The seaside resort of Dana Point on Sunday officially became Orange County’s 28th city.

During a ceremony aboard a replica of the brig Pilgrim, which carried 19th-Century author and namesake Richard Henry Dana to what he called “the only romantic spot in California,” Dana Point’s City Council was sworn in and Councilwoman Judy Curreri was voted temporary mayor by her colleagues.

In a referendum June 7, three-quarters of the voters approved cityhood for the community of 26,000 between San Clemente and Laguna Beach. The new city includes the 393-room Ritz-Carlton Hotel, the 350-room Dana Point Resort and the planned 1,126-room Monarch Beach resort, which are expected to yield millions of dollars in hotel bed taxes.

A consultant estimated that first-year revenues would be about $9 million--more than enough to provide existing services.


A cannon blast--actually, a 12-gauge shotgun blank--commemorated the birth of the municipality Sunday as a red Orange County Sheriff’s Harbor Patrol boat chugged up the channel toward the ship, its sirens wailing and five jets of water spraying high.