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The Capistrano Dispatch

On Nov. 9, San Juan Capistrano City Hall was filled with bidders interested in purchasing two of the city’s redevelopment agency properties—what’s known as the Lower Rosan Ranch, located off of Stonehill Drive near San Juan Creek, and the property along El Camino Real that has been home to a local nonprofit, the Camino Real Playhouse, for more than 26 years.

Assistant City Manager Jacob Green said in an email that when the state “dissolved” redevelopment agencies, the city of San Juan, like other agencies, was required to develop a plan to “prepare for disposal of agency-owned property.” Green said parcels used as public parking and other government uses are not required to be sold, which leaves the Lower Rosan and playhouse parcels for the city to sell. Green said proceeds from the sales will be shared with other taxing agencies under a state-mandated formula.

Tom Scott and Beverly Blake, president and vice president of the Camino Real Playhouse, said they have worked with a local architect and developer on a bid to purchase the property and create a project that includes a playhouse, office space and parking. Scott and Blake are hoping to be able to keep their theater troupe in town and are asking residents to speak in support of their bid during oral communications at the Nov. 15 City Council meeting.

Green said “the City Council is encouraging an open, competitive process that would provide a beneficial use for the community,” adding that “possible purchasers are encouraged to look to the City’s General Plan Land Use Element, Historic Town Center Master Plan and Zoning Code in developing their proposals.”

Closed bids on the parcels are due on Nov. 16 at noon. City staff will review the proposals and consult with the Council on the next steps for selecting a bid.

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