An early artist rendering of the proposed Laguna Glen senior living community in San Juan Capistrano. Courtesy of Spieker Senior Development
An early artist rendering of the proposed Laguna Glen senior living community in San Juan Capistrano. Courtesy of Spieker Senior Development

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.

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comments (6)

  • Councilman Reeve and Brynes previous NO vote was one of the few times I agreed with them. We already have six (6) senior facilities here in San Juan Capistrano.

    Given that we have MAJOR traffic problems and an overstressed water supply, the last thing we need is to generate population growth.

    There are numerous things we could do to resolve some of our problems here. One is make our streets more pedestrian friendly, especially for the disabled. Little consideration has been given to our aging population and/or disabled. Spend a day in a wheel chair roaming San Juan. Narrow sidewalks with light or traffic sign poles in the middle of the sidewalk, does not make for a fun experience if you are wheel chair bound. Furthermore, our pedestrian crossing lights DO NOT meet ADA standards. If you are blind or visually-impaired, you can’t see the Walk/Do Not Walk lights. ADA requirements include an audio equivalent of the Walk/Do Not Walk lights.

    We could also mandate that all new construction (residential and business) be required to include solar capable of producing at least 50% of their estimated energy requirements, as well as recycling of grey water from sinks, showers and laundry, utilizing the water to flush toilets. It has been demonstrated that a family of four can reduce their annual water usage by 35% with a recycling system. This would reduce our demands on our already overstressed water supply.

    And, oh, before you tell everyone the drought is over, understand that the recent rains are are not going to do much to alleviate the drought. Heavy rains produce mud slides and flooding, with the bulk of the water being lost to runoff.

    So, for now, we need to consider avoiding projects that will grow our population. Resolve our traffic and water issues first, then we can consider new housing projects.

  • So this notice comes out 3 hours before the meeting.

  • Be careful what you wish for…the new city council, that some people were so happy about, has just taken away our ability to express our beliefs in an election. No matter what Kim McCarthy or Kim Lefner want us to believe, people who read Common Sense, and believe it’s rhetoric, are NOT the majority in SJC. We should ALL be able to have our voices heard.

    • I am certainly not a kim McCarthy fan, but I, along with many others, signed the petition with the clear understanding that the new council would effectively support the Planning commission’s rejection of Spieker’s plan by reversing the previous council’s decision to ignore the planning commission. This option was described on the petition.

      The previous council did not bring the issue to the voters but voted their (and the planning commission’s) preference.

      The citizens voted by electing a new city council.
      Maybe a new plan or a new location will end up solving this for all of us.

      • Just wanted to modify my previous comment. The current council (not the previous council) voted their (and the Planning commissions) preference.

        Sorry should have re-read my comment before the pushing the reply button. So easy to do today.

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