By Allison Jarrell

The City Council has a packed agenda on Tuesday, May 16, with items ranging from updating old development agreements to introducing new policies.

The Council will kick off the meeting with two public hearings—the first regarding whether to amend a development agreement for the Distrito La Novia – San Juan Meadows project and approve a four-year extension to June 7, 2021. The 154-acre mixed use residential and commercial development project was first approved by the city in 2010. In 2011, the project became subject to a referendum, which overturned the Council’s decision to grant a general plan amendment. When the project was brought before voters, the majority voted to reaffirm the Council’s previous approval. The developer is now seeking an extension in order to continue processing the project, according to the agenda report. On April 25, the Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend that the Council grant the four-year extension.

The second public hearing is to consider amending the Plaza Banderas Hotel development agreement and granting a one-year extension for that project through Aug. 3, 2018. Developer Bill Griffith dropped plans for a new hotel at the Plaza Banderas site across from the Mission last September. Griffith has not officially announced whether he will revert to building the Plaza Banderas Hotel with its previously approved entitlements. Griffith’s son and Mission Commercial Properties development analyst, Jake Griffith, said via email that the company has been working with Marriott International and its Autograph Collection to “evaluate moving forward with the approved Plaza Banderas project.” City staff also reported that the project is moving forward and Griffith needs additional time to complete construction plans. The Planning Commission voted unanimously on April 25 to recommend that the Council grant the one-year extension.

The Council will also review its priorities for the current fiscal year, which were initially discussed during a planning workshop in January. The Council reviewed the resulting list of priorities on April 4, but the Council voted to table approving the list due to disagreements over a few of the items, such as prioritizing improvements to the riding park. City Manager Ben Siegel has said that creating a list of goals for the fiscal year helps staff prioritize their time and resources.

Another item on the docket is adoption of a resolution to approve a Council policy that requires the city to provide email accounts to all City Council members, commissioners and city employees, and requires that those accounts be used for city business.

The Council will also consider approving a resolution to put an ordinance on the Nov. 6, 2018 general election ballot that will ask voters whether they want to establish a two-consecutive term limit on City Council seats with a two-year “cooling off” period.

During the Council’s closed session, six items are slated to be discussed, including the sale of the playhouse property. The Council held a workshop last month to receive public input on four favored proposals. The Council then discussed the sale of the land during its May 2 closed session but did not report any decision out of that meeting.

Tuesday’s meeting begins at 5 p.m. at City Hall, located at 32400 Paseo Adelanto. The Council’s closed session begins at 3 p.m. and members of the public wishing to speak on any closed session items can do so at the beginning of that meeting.

To view both agendas, visit www.sanjuancapistrano.org.

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