By Allison Jarrell
The downtown San Juan Hotel & Villas project will come before the San Juan Capistrano City Council for one last public hearing on Tuesday, Nov. 18.
The developer of the project filed a lawsuit against the city of San Juan Capistrano on Nov. 3, challenging the decision that a general plan amendment is required to move the development forward. Joshua Host, principal of Urban Village, said after years of work, nine public hearings and Planning Commission approval in May, city staff said the residential element of his project did not align with the city’s general plan.
A general plan amendment failed to pass in August with a 2-2 council vote. Councilmen Roy Byrnes and Derek Reeve voted in opposition, and Councilman John Taylor recused himself because of his proximity to the project.
Host said the lawsuit filed Nov. 3 was “in no way malicious,” adding that Urban Village has “every intent to try and work on an amicable solution.” Host said they’ve never had to file legal action against a city before.
“We believe in this town. We’ve dedicated a lot to be here, including moving my family here,” Host said at the council’s Nov. 4 meeting. “We believe this is a beautiful project. We’ve now lined up the largest and first operator of boutique hotels in the U.S. and have all our funding together, and hopefully we can find a solution to move forward.”
The final public hearing for the boutique hotel and villas project will take place at the Nov. 18 City Council meeting, beginning at 6 p.m.