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By Allison Jarrell
The San Juan Capistrano City Council is set to adopt a resolution tonight determining the future of the Spieker Senior Development. After a petition with at least 1,751 valid signatures was recently verified by the Registrar of Voters, the council must now choose whether to repeal rezoning for the Spieker development or allow voters to make that decision with a special election referendum.
A group of residents trying to halt Laguna Glen, the incoming Spieker Senior Development, filed a petition late November with almost twice as many signatures as needed. The group collected 3,458 signatures in 20 days before submitting the petition to the city. They needed at least 1,751 valid signatures—about 10 percent of voters in San Juan Capistrano.
The petition comes after the council approved rezoning for the development on Nov. 4. At that meeting, Mayor Sam Allevato and then-councilmen Larry Kramer and John Taylor voted in favor of rezoning the 35-acre plot of land off Del Obispo Street from agricultural to business use, while Councilmen Roy Brynes and Derrick Reeve opposed the project.
A majority of members on the new City Council have voiced opposition to the Spieker project, causing concern among some residents who were assured by petitioners that their signatures would help achieve a referendum. If the council does choose to approve a referendum, a special election conducted by the Orange County Registrar of Voters is estimated to cost between $105,248 and $115,071.
The registrar has also notified the city of the cost to verify the petition’s signatures—$7,136.60. City staff is recommending the council reduce the city’s facilities operations fund by $7,200 and increase the general fund to cover the cost of verifying the signatures.
Tonight’s meeting begins at 5 p.m. at City Hall, located at 32400 Paseo Adelanto.