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MICHAEL LAUX, San Juan Capistrano

There has been a lot of discussion lately about what exactly we will get with a commercial shopping center on the nursery property at 31825 Los Rios Street.

We are familiar with the environmental impacts: the additional 2,700 cars on Del Obispo; reducing outbound Paseo Adelanto into one lane for left and right turns, which will back up traffic into the Los Rios neighborhood; the noise, the congestion and a loss of quality of life driving out the residents next to the mall.

The developer will promote the project as being about “Connection. A connection to the past, to culture, to community and to place . . . by embracing our cultural diversity and eclectic spirit, to create a place where people come together . . . in agrarian roots.”

That really sounds like San Juan, doesn’t it? But it’s not written just for us. This is the sales pitch by the developer for his project in Ontario and also Whittier. I believe it’s a formula that he’s using across Southern California. He seems to be using the same pitch in San Juan that he has presented to numerous city councils across the Southland.

So like here, without specific restrictions by the cities on who the mall tenants will be, he goes with the chains that he’s used in the past. The reality is that we will get whoever can pay the rent. Don’t take my word for it. Check it out yourself. Here’s a link to his Ontario project:

You’ll see that it’s got the Red Barn, The Marketplace, the Water Tower, etc. It looks just like the River Street Marketplace project.

The oldest neighborhood in California deserves something much better than just another cookie-cutter mall.

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