The latest rendering of Urban Village’s San Juan Hotel & Villas project. Courtesy of Urban Village
The latest rendering of Urban Village’s San Juan Hotel & Villas project. Courtesy of Urban Village

By Joshua Host, Principal of Urban Village

What does it take for a business to get a project approved in San Juan Capistrano? Over the last two years we have had over 300 one-on-one meetings, three community workshops, 10 public hearings, nine hours of ad-hoc committee, a planning commission approval and a 4-1 City Council approval.

We have been roadblocked, delayed and sabotaged since we first submitted the project in February 2013. My partners warned me not to do a project in San Juan Capistrano. They said “San Juan is where good projects go to die.” I explained to them that the city recently approved the Historic Town Center Master Plan (HTC Master Plan) to streamline the process and create economic development downtown. After an amazing meeting with the city where they explained their new “business-friendly one stop” approach, we decided to move forward.

Instead of trying to sell the community on a plan, we collaborated for over a month with more than 100 stakeholders, creating a crowd-designed concept. From that point, we made 16 project re-designs, 127 significant changes and hundreds of minor modifications based on feedback from residents, business owners, various commissions, staff, planning commission and City Council.

From our first submission, we have cut our residential density by 21 percent and our current density is 42.54 percent below the recommended density in the HTC Master Plan. We reduced the two-story portion of the hotel on Camino Capistrano to 29-feet-high and the three-story portion in the back of the property to 35 feet. We have 5 percent more parking than required by the municipal code and 19 percent more parking than required to meet the peak parking demand as found in the city-commissioned parking study. We also added a landscape buffer and pedestrian pathway between the park and the villas.

On Nov. 18, we had a City Council meeting that lasted from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. There were residents and business owners on both sides of the project. Ultimately, 35 residents and business owners submitted speaker slips, of which 30 were in support and five opposed the project. That is 86 percent community support. There were also 25 letters submitted for council review, of which 22 letters were in support and three were opposed. That is 88 percent community support.

So why is such a high percentage of engaged citizens in support of the project? We have signed an operating agreement with Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants. Kimpton is the first and largest operator of boutique hotels in the United States. They design each project around the community.  This project will provide over $1 million in direct revenue to the city annually and $7.5 million in direct revenue for local businesses annually. Further, the 30 villas not only pay for the hotel, but they will reduce the homeless problem, increase vibrancy and insure the downtown no longer closes shop at 8 p.m.

There are two groups currently opposing the project. The first group is orchestrated in part by Bill Griffith, a local developer that is trying to kill the project so he can buy the land and develop 125 condos. This is the group that filed the lawsuit against the project. This is a bogus lawsuit that we will fight vigorously. And if along the way we loose Kimpton because of the delays, you can thank Bill Griffith.

The second group is run by Kim McCarthy and Pam Patterson. This group was absent from the 10 public hearings and they have never met with me to discuss the project. While they were aware our project had no legislative acts and therefore was not subject to a referendum, they still continued collecting signatures for a referendum. Why and for what purpose? These signatures have been collected by espousing outrageous lies to unsuspecting residents. We have recordings of petitioners saying that “the hotel will go in Veteran’s Park,” that “we are putting condos in HTC Park,” that “Forster will be a private, gated street” and on and on. Does Pam, as a newly elected council member, believe this is acceptable? Are they aware that making false statements or circulating false information for the purposes of having petitions signed is a criminal offense?

There have been five hotels in downtown’s history, yet there are currently none. There have been 10 buildings torn down over the last 20 years without a single replacement. I personally know of five long-standing restaurants that are one bad month from going out of business. So when this group says, “I just want it to stay the way it is,” they are doing it on the back of local businesses.

Palms Springs is paying $50 million to get a Kimpton, and San Juan is not paying one dime. Talk about looking a gift horse in the mouth. If this all seems outrageous to you, please get involved.

For any questions, you can reach me at 949.282.7266.

Joshua Host is the co-founder of Urban Village, the developer for the San Juan Hotel & Villas project. Josh lives in San Juan Capistrano with his wife and two young children, and is a board member of the Capistrano Valley Boys and Girls Club.

About The Author Capo Dispatch

comments (152)

  • Steve Behmerwohld

    Something will eventually be developed on this property. I believe Josh’s project is absolutely the best fit for the property and by far what is best for San Juan. It will bring lots of good jobs to locals, will be WAY better traffic wise than 125 condos and bring $700K a year to the City.

    • Please drop the “125 condos” hype and research the facts, Steve. There is no local developer in town who doesn’t know that it’s impossible to build 125 condos on that site under both the City’s General Plan and HTC Master Plan. The General Plan allows 0 residential and the Master Plan allows a maximum of 71 units on a total of 44 acres of Historical Town Center. So how on earth will one build 125 condos on 3 acres of mixed-use land? An out-of-town developer might get confused, not a local one. Read some of the 400+ comments under Sam Allevato’s article to learn some interesting facts about the Urban Village project. If you wade through the insults and personal attacks, you’ll get closer to the truth.

      Many don’t agree that the Urban Village Hotel and Villas are the “perfect fit” for historical downtown because it’s too large and out of scale with the charming village town that we cherish. A small boutique hotel under 100 rooms without the 3-story villas along the park, and away from Egan House is more in scale. Of major concern as well is increased traffic and parking problems, damage to historical buildings from construction, and the water shortage. Again, read the resident comments on Allevato’s article on the impact of the hotel and villas:

      INCREASED TRAFFIC OF 1,662 DAILY CAR TRIPS A DAY — this is almost the same traffic impact from Spieker development on 30 acres! Whatever business you think you will gain from the hotel and villas, you will lose from local residents who already avoid downtown because of heavy traffic.

      POTENTIAL DAMAGE TO EGAN HOUSE AND ESSLINGER — Page 78 of Urban Village Mitigated Negative Declaration, March 7, 2014, regarding the two historical buildings, Esslinger and Egan House: “However, due to their close proximity to the project, direct and indirect effects from construction vibration or differential settlement may have the potential to harm the physical structure and diminish the structural integrity of the two historical resources.”

      SERVICE ROAD ON CAMINO CAPISTRANO — Developer Site Plan identifies the alley between Egan House and hotel restaurant building as the Service Road for the hotel, shops and restaurant; a one-way alley fronting Camino Capistrano that dead ends, and is steps away from the El Adobe crosswalk. Imagine the delivery/dumpster trucks backing up onto Camino Capistrano to exit service road and stopping traffic. Will trash dumpsters be in plain view along Camino Capistrano?

      WATER SHORTAGE — Some feel that water should be our chief concern because the water shortage problem in Southern California has reached a critical point. Water availability is drastically reduced and there should be no additional major construction until the issue is resolved. The Ortega off/on ramps and the Oliva housing project are still under construction on this side of town.

      I’ve been in this town a long time and have seen many buildings, parks, retail strips, etc. developed in my time. Never have I seen the lack of integrity, professionalism, business ethics, and experience that I see in play today. As I wrote in a prior post — I know of someone who had personal experience with STONE EQUITY GROUP, which Joshua Host was CEO. She was one of the fortunate ones who was tipped off on what the company was all about. Since they never returned her calls, she went to their Mission Viejo office and refused to leave until her deposit was returned. Others were not so lucky. Now he has moved to SJC and started a lawsuit war over his project, which many residents don’t want to begin with. The General Plan doesn’t allow residential without an Amendment, plain and simple. I hope the new city council can prevent him from getting his hands on our taxpayer dollars.

      • Shirley,
        You are 100% free to have your own opinion. I hope you have an open mind for new information. Please read the response below.

        CAR TRIPS: A car trip is defined as a car going from point “A” to point “B”. So every time a car comes it eventually goes and that is 2 trips. Make sense?

        In reading the traffic study for the project on the City’s website, here is what I found. The 1,662 car trips are based on the following: 1,043 for hotel, 154 for 33 townhomes (this has since been reduced to 30 townhomes), 77 for retail and 567 for restaurant. Half the trips are coming and half the trips are going. Of the 1,662 trips only 162 are during peak hours. The remaining are off peak hours. So if 567 trips, or 34% of the total trips, are being created based on a restaurant, does that mean we don’t want any new restaurants in town. Also, consider that many of the trips to the restaurant and retail will be from residents.

        The methodology takes existing traffic and then makes adjustments according to new development. Net additional trips can be a little misleading as it does not account for the office vacancy on the site. The site consists of 32,679 square feet of which 5,257 square feet are occupied and thereby creating daily trips. The remaining 27,422 square feet are vacant and therefore were not producing traffic during the traffic counts. According to the San Diego Trip Generation Manual office space produces 10 trips per 1,000 square feet. Based on this widely used measurement that would mean if the office buildings were full they would produce an additional 274 trips leaving a net of 1,388 net trips.

        This methodology also does not consider the number of tourists making day trips to Downtown that would choose to stay at the hotel. One of the major drivers for the hotel is the current unmet demand of tourists coming to San Juan that are staying in surrounding cities. This report does not make an analysis of how many of the daily trips would be from existing trips from tourists staying outside of San Juan.

        POTENTIAL DAMAGE TO EGAN HOUSE AND ESSLINGER – The purpose of the environmental document is to state potential impacts. Then it grades the impact. In this case the impact you mention was graded as “less than significant with mitigation incorporated” (Page 34). It then provides two mitigation measures on page 122. People have been building next to historical structures since antiquity. Easy mitigation, not a big deal.

        SERVICE ROAD ON CAMINO CAPISTRANO – The service road will be used for deliveries and trash between the hours of 2am and 5am. How many times do you drive Downtown between 2am and 5am? This really is a non-issue.

        WATER SHORTAGE – If Kimpton doesn’t build in San Juan, they will build in San Clemente or Dana Point. It will use the same amount of water and San Juan will receive none of the benefits. Further, the water quality management plan was approved and includes many best management practices for water conservation.

      • Clint Worthington

        Joshua Host, here is another story that was forwarded to me regarding your track record as a developer. It seems to fit right along with what your tenant has posted about your property management: http://prospect.org/article/there-goes-neighborhood-0


        Another California company, Stone Equity Group, likewise smelled opportunity in Pittsburgh. It buys foreclosed properties for four figures and holds seminars to recruit individual investors, encouraging them to use their retirement funds to buy the houses for around $20,000 apiece. (“Erase retirement poverty” is a company slogan.) Those investors in turn expect to find tenants to live in the houses and ultimately own them, paying $500 down and $500 a month on installment plans.

        Lorelei Kolegue, an accountant from Boston, learned about Stone Equity at her real-estate club. This spring she tapped her retirement funds, which had been withering in the stock market, to buy a 647-square-foot taupe cinderblock two-bedroom across the street from the Campbell residence for $19,900. Its lawn is so overgrown there’s no path to the front door. A water heater sits in the middle of the kitchen floor — a sure target for vandals if this place doesn’t find an occupant soon. Kolegue has never set foot there. She has entrusted Stone Equity to fix up the house and find a contract buyer on her behalf.

        Stone Equity says its contribution is a positive one. After all, the people signing up for its rent-to-own contracts can no longer get mortgages, now that sub-prime lending has vanished. “It’s not about making money,” says CEO Joshua Host, “but about rebuilding communities to help hard-working families own a home, get out of the foreclosure crisis, help build a middle class.”

        But buying the tiny house on Ira Street isn’t likely to vault a future tenant into the middle class. If a purchaser materializes and diligently makes on-time payments every month for 15 years, the deed will be his or hers for $90,000 — to a house Stone Equity bought from a Goldman Sachs mortgage pool for $6,900.”

      • Comrade Clint-Bot, when did you become a bolshevik? I kept reading that story waiting for the kicker. The kicker never came. That’s called American capitalism. They spotted an arbitrage opportunity to acquire cheap properties and bring in other investors so they wouldn’t have to put up so much capital. American capitalism at its finest. If Lorelei was a more sophisticated real estate investor she was welcome to find properties like that herself so she could acquire it at the lower cost. Have there been any SEC complaints against Stone Equity? If they misled people or violated securities laws with these investments there would have been. If there were not its just sour grapes from investors who didn’t like how their investments panned out. No investment is guaranteed … even one in Capistrano Honey. By the way, when was that piece written? it says “her retirement funds, which had been withering in the stock market” ?!?!? The stock market has been on a tear the last several years … me thinks that was from a long time ago.

      • Clint Worthington

        The Registrar of Voters has verified the signatures on the referendum !!! The next steep is that it will appear before the City Council.

        Thank you to all the residents who signed the referendum and volunteers who worked very hard in gathering the signatures.

      • Clint, you are clueless. There was no legislative action on the project and therefore there can be no referendum. The City has now broken the law, but do they care? Do they care that they are subjecting us residents to another huge lawsuit? Obviously not.

        Yes, cheer on Clint. Cheer when you get another special assessment on your property taxes to pay for this new City Council’s illegal actions. It was $6k added to my tax bill for Scalzo, I wonder how much it will be this time.

        And, how do you not care that the new City Council is breaking the law. Oh yeah, your crew is free to break the law, but if Sam Allevato sneezes he should be jailed. So predictable Clint.

        Here is a prediction. City Council broke the law and now we loose another lawsuit. Then watch your amigo Derek and friends get recalled. Then again if they do not find a way out of this mess a recall may be the least of their concerns.

      • Clint Worthington

        Richard Brown. The Orange County Superior Court thought differently when it refused to issue a Temporary Restraining Order this morning brought by Urban Village and is allowing the City Council vote to go forward tonight on the referendum.

      • Clint Worthington

        Richard Brown, the Scalzo lawsuit was because the City had placed 122 conditions for development of the property. Both the Superior Court and the appellate court found this conditions to be onerous. Thank Sam Allevato for spending 1.2 million dollars of our money to fight and lose the appeal. The Scalzo lawsuit has nothing to do with this project as the City has not placed any conditions for the development of the property that compare in any way to the Scalzo property. Don’t forget also, the City reservoir above the Scalzo property was leaking as much as 1 million gallons a month of water onto the Scalzo property. You are welcome to research this in the court documents which are available online.

  • Clint Worthington

    When I googled “Joshua Host Stone Equity Group” it was quite an eye opener. It does not appear that everyone is happy with Joshua Host.

    It appears that you are not aware that you can view the City Council meetings on video. One no longer needs to be at the meetings in person to see the presentation. It is on video and you can watch it from the comfort of your own home.

    Just curious, why is it a requirement for someone to meet with you when you can get all the answers from watching the video.

    Oh, by the way, you can count all of the letters and speakers you would like to, but just keep in mind that more than 2,500 people signed a referendum on the project. Maybe if the meeting on your project was not at 3 am, those people could have spoken at the meeting also.

    • Clint,
      Yes, please Google my name and read all the articles about Stone Equity Group. We were in business 5 years and sold over a thousand homes. The recession began to effect us in 200. I had to start feeding the business financially and in 2010 I could no longer cover the negative each month and had to shut the company down. Notice that many comments while we were in business were positive or replied to. The negative comments are primarily are after we shut the company down. I worked for all of 2010 resolving issues, creating payment plans with creditors and saving my name. Was I the only one with a company that shut down in the recession? I notice you are quick to cast stones at people that dare to risk everything to build companies and add jobs. How many jobs have you created Clint? What have you dared to create?

      Since you are attempting to assassinate my character, would it also be fair to ask that you read multiple pages of posts and find the articles about homes that we gave away to families in need. Or the home ownership program that provided low income families the ability to purchase a home in 15 years for less than they pay in rent.

      I have a question for you Clint. If you are truly the watch dog for government abuse that you would like us all to believe; then why did you turn a blind eye while Pam Patterson lied residents to collect signatures. In fact in addition to Pam we have Kim McCarthy and many other petitioners on tape lying for the sake of collecting signatures. Were you aware this is a criminal offense. You would be amazed the lies that were told for people to sign the referendum. Here are just a few:

      1. “They are tearing out Veteran’s park to build the hotel, how does that make you feel” – 100% False
      2. “They are putting condos in the HTC Park” – 100% False
      3. “The project is in violation with the HTC Master Plan because the hotel is 3 stories” – 100% false
      4. “Planning Commission denied the project” – 100% False
      5. Resident says “I am for the project” the petitioner says “great, then sign this petition”.

      So tell me about these 2,500 signatures Clint. If we have petitioners on tape lying to residents for the purposes of collecting signatures does that make the signatures suspect?

      I realize it is your mission in life to find a boogeyman behind every bush, so why are you not holding the new Council to the same standards that you held the old Council?

      • I think everyone reading these comments would love to see Clint’s response- I hope Clint
        Worthington doesn’t skirt these questions.

      • Clint Worthington

        Joshua Host, I am glad you asked. The Orange County Register did pay for an all expense trip to Switzerland and Austria for the best managed business for myself. I had lunch for with Lt. Governir Reinicke again for one of the best managed businesses. I just sold one of my businesses in November. I have been in the front page of the Wall Street Journal and NBC had a television which aired on prime time based on my cycling adventures. Before I worked for the railroad, I worked my way up in the banking industry to Acting President of a National Bank. In my off time I was a Reserve Fire Captain for the OCFA serving our community here in San Juan for 21 years.

        So yes Mr. Host, I have had several successful businesses that employed people who lived in San Juan and served many years volunteering for our community.

        I gave people the information to check on your background as a developer. They can come to conclusions on their own regarding your character. I did not say anything a out your character.

      • Joshua…You taped conversations without their knowledge? What is this Chicago? That is not legal. At no time did I hear anyone lie or tell someone to sign if they said they were for the hotel. “CA Penal Code 632(a): Every person who, intentionally and without the consent of
        all parties to a confidential communication, by means of any
        electronic amplifying or recording device, eavesdrops upon or records
        the confidential communication, whether the communication is carried
        on among the parties in the presence of one another or by means of a
        telegraph, telephone, or other device, except a radio, shall be
        punished by a fine not exceeding two thousand five hundred dollars
        ($2,500), or imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding one year,
        or in the state prison, or by both that fine and imprisonment. “

      • Rose, if the recordings were made in a public place, like at the front door of the Vons, then they were almost certainly legal. You left out the section of the penal code that defines “confidential”. See below:

        c) The term “confidential communication” includes any
        communication carried on in circumstances as may reasonably indicate
        that any party to the communication desires it to be confined to the
        parties thereto, but excludes a communication made in a public
        gathering or in any legislative, judicial, executive or
        administrative proceeding open to the public, or in any other
        circumstance in which the parties to the communication may reasonably
        expect that the communication may be overheard or recorded.

      • Wow Clint, all I can say is wow.

      • Wow Clint! others have said you live in a mobile home park. If that is true, then I would have to agree that you must be the most accomplished man in your trailer park by a long shot.

      • That’s phenomenal Clint. What was the name of the company you sold in November?

      • Clint Worthington

        Louis Broddeck, sorry not a true rhumor.

      • Clint Worthington

        Joshua Host, Capistrano Honey.

      • Clint – wasn’t Capistrano Honey your illegal bee farm? If I remember right it got out of control and the neighbors were getting stung by bees. They reported you to the City and the City shut you down for code violations. Sounds like a successful business Clint!

      • Great background Clint, but you didn’t answer Joshua’s question: “. . . so why are you not holding the new Council to the same standards that you held the old Council?”

        Enough “he said, she said.” Let’s find some workable solutions to the mess San Juan is in.

        Joshua, if you have video’s of Kim McCarthy et al. lying to people to get them to sign her/their petition, then why don’t you turn them over to the D.A? If you’ve got the evidence, perhaps we will get a look at her and her group in Jail House Orange.

        Our priorities should be solving the water problem first, then look at what is possible or not possible for a hotel and senior living center.

      • You are funny Clint. Slamming Josh and bragging that you just sold a company. Then you get outed. Is it true the city shut your company down? If so, why?

        I really enjoy reading your posts. Keep it up.

      • Clint Worthington

        Brett, Richard Brown, I would advise you very strongly to check your facts. Capistrano Honey was never cited by the City or shut down by the City.

  • Clint Worthington

    Joshua Host, why did you remove the light poles that we as residents paid specifically for on Camino Capistrano. You rendering is not accurate then is it ? Why is there a block wall in front of the buildings on the right side of the building ? There is presently no block wall. Why does the driveway and parking not show for the Egan House ?

    The artist rendering for your project is not accurate is it Mr. Host ?

    • Great questions Clint,
      I sure don’t know how to operate a train, so I can’t expect you to understand how architects build 3D models. First they draft everything in a 3D software so that all the dimensions are accurate. Then they apply the architectural elements, materials and colors. Once the buildings are complete they select a pedestrian perspective. This is important as a pedestrian’s perspective determines the scale and context of the 3D model. For example, the farther an object is the smaller it appears.

      We will have to replace the sidewalk and new signage and lighting has not yet been determined. Since we did not yet know what the light poles would look like or where they would be they were not added. This is of nominal consequence and does not affect the dimensions.

      As for the brick wall. Please visit the property tomorrow. I can assure you there is a brick wall currently between the Egan House and our project site.

      As for the Egan House parking I would have to check with the architect on why that section is not rendered. Clearly that section of the parking lot is facing the Mercado Village and would not be possible to see the hotel.

      Keep looking for the boogeyman Clint and if you can’t find one just make it up as you go.

      • Josh, just an FYI. As a long time reader of Clint missives the key to understanding him is that he is an EXTREMELY literal person. For example, he actually thinks you stole those light poles. As in you took them down, dismantled them and carted them off. I bet you he went down there this morning to check and see if they are still there. And you better believe he is going to go looking for that brick wall! Here is an OJ Simpson trail missive we can all start using to commemorate the great brick wall-gate of 2015 “If the wall is there, then the hotel is fair!”

      • Clint Worthington

        Joshua Host, thank you for admitting the artist rendering is not accurate and items have been left out that should be there.

      • Clint,
        the dimensions in the 3d model are 100% accurate. We had a licensed surveyor get the exact dimensions of the Egan house. Your group should try being accurate sometime, it pays off. Or they could lie to residents to collect signatures for a fake referendum. Either way I guess.

      • Clint Worthington

        Joshua Host, the artist rendering is in no way accurate. As I stated before, where are the street light poles ? I only took me about five seconds to see what you have conveniently not included. The rendering again is in not way 100 percent accurate.

      • Clint Worthington

        Joshua Host, I found this from someone who stated that she was a employee of yours. It appears that while you consistently say things are 100 percent accurate, she has stated that is not the case. Here is the link and the content of her post: http://www.reiclub.com/forums/index.php?topic=39360.70;wap2

        thejuggernaut:
        i worked for stone equity group for some time and personally oversaw the rehab of several homes through out the country. first i want to say that this company does not care about its investors, home renters,chop buyers, or employees. they are and always will be the perfect definition of a slum lord. i performed property surveys and rehab estimates daily and 75 percent of the homes i saw are only worthy of a wrecking ball. despite my best efforts to have these projects turned down S.E.G. still moved foward with rehab. most of the properties i saw would be estimated for repairs in the 10k to 20k range but seg would only approve 5-8k repairs and have us cut corners with the rest. 95 percent of the homes they buy are in some of the worst neighborhoods and cities in the country. investing with this company is a very bad idea. i only hope i can reach enough people and convince them to stay away. these are the same type of people that ran our country into the shitter. they will take your money and screw you over. trust me.

    • Hey Clint,
      Since we are on the topic of renderings. Should we discuss the false image that Rob Williams created for your group to show residents? And how your group continued to show residents even after they were informed the image had the wrong height, width, scale and context?

      Here is the link to the false image as compared to the approved 3D model:
      https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bz7VPpDlCMJDUjdqTTNqcTVSMVU/view?usp=sharing

      • Clint Worthington

        Joshua Host, who is this group that you keep talking about that I am a member of? What is the name of the group ? Where can I get information ? Who is the leader of this group ? As far as I know, I am not a member of any specific organization. Please stop stating things that are false.

      • Oh Boy! Like I said Josh, just steer clear of Clint on this point. Remember, EXTREMELY literal. Of course we all know the group you were alluding to is Common Sense. Now I don’t even know if Common Sense has a membership list or not, but you can bet if they do that Clint’s name is not on it. Now he may know people that are members of Common Sense, he might on occasion talk to people who are members of Common Sense and heck, he might even write an article/opinion piece for Common Sense publications from time to time but in no way shape or form is he a member and to say otherwise … well that is just not being literal.

      • Clint Worthington

        John Gratten, Community Common Sense is a newspaper, not a group.

      • Clint, are the people responsible for the content of, and for publishing, the newspaper known as Community Common Sense otherwise members of a particular group or organization? Do they know one another? Or are they just random people off the street who happen to show-up one day at wherever it is that the newspaper is put together and published?

      • Clint Worthington

        John Gratten, your question would be best answered by talking to the editorial stafford of the newspaper for your answer. Again, community Common Sense is a newspaper, not a group.

      • Clint Worthington

        John Gratten, your question would be best answered by talking to the editorial stafford of the newspaper for your answer. Community Common Sense is not a political group, it is a newspaper.

      • Well I’m glad we cleared that up! If there is an “editorial staff” then there is a group of people! Well Clint now we can go back and answer those questions you raised above: WHAT IS THE NAME OF THE GROUP? apparently it is the “editorial staff of the Newspaper (NOT A POLITIC GROUP) known as Community Common Sense”. WHERE CAN I GET INFORMATION? Well, according to you information can be obtained by talking to the aforementioned editorial staff. WHO IS THE LEADER OF THIS GROUP? Don’t they go by Kim? Then again I think there are two of them so we’ll just leave this answer as a toss-up.

      • Clint Worthington

        John Grattan, if you knew all the answers, why are you asking me ?

      • What?!? I didn’t know the answers Clint, you gave them to me. I just had to pry them out of you. After all, as you so eloquently stated, we should all “stop stating things that are false.” Your feigned ignorance regarding the “editorial staff of the Newspaper (NOT A POLITICAL GROUP) known as Community Common Sense” is disingenuous at best. At worst it is an outright falsehood on your part when you responded to Josh above. Those who live in glass houses …

      • Clint Worthington

        John Gratten, nice try. I never wrote anything about two Kim’s at Community Common Sense. You must have done some research to get your answer. Which brings me back to the original statement that if you knew the answers, then why are you asking me ?

      • Can’t get one by you Clinty boy! You’re like the doberman guarding the junk yard. Thank god for that chain link fence.

      • Clint Worthington

        John Gratten, you obviously know the answers before you ask the question. Best of luck to you.

      • Well thank you Clint-Bot. And the same to you.

  • I am ‘just’ a resident, not a stakeholder nor do I own a business downtown. I bought a home here years ago because I love our town. Since getting involved in our city government, due to my actions against Laguna Glen, I have been learning a lot & vow to keep closer watch from now on. I was one of so many people against big development & high density in our town because we know how it will change the character of it completely. Other than actively being available for those who felt the same way & who wanted to sign the referendum, I have listened intently to everyone, from the old city council meetings to our current one to all the residents who came to me in front of the stores-including many very long-time residents. Here are my observations: re. Laguna Glen: We did NOT lie. People here are not stupid. They knew what they were signing. When asked, I either read them the exact verbiage or I told them that, with enough signatures, the city council could possibly repeal the resolution to re-zone or it would go to a vote. That’s what every person I worked beside said. So it’s a big mark against anyone who says we lied. Many people came up specifically to sign. The residents here are educated people who knew exactly what they were signing. I also noted how manipulated the council meetings were. Many out-of-owners took the majority of seats hours before the meetings started so there was standing room only for most residents. I was very surprised that our then mayor let all those who were for the project speak first! Concerned residents sat it out for several hours until they could ask (plead) the council to let our input be counted & asked to at least delay the approval. All our comments were dismissed by approving it at meetings end.
    Re Urban Village: I got involved on the heels of the LG referendum, one of a handful of people who decided to work on that referendum as well. I can tell you that it was mostly an entire different group of people, which shows that it isn’t just a “small group of vocal activists!” It sure seems to me that there are a whole lot of us who have a different vision for SJC than developers do! Maybe it’s time to actually discuss with the people who live here how they’d like things instead of getting the opinion of a few who are willing to help try to push it through before the majority realizes what’s happened because they’ve been so busy with their own lives. Personally, I like the concept of a SMALL boutique hotel in town, not necessarily one that will make the most profit for the owner/developer, but will help our business owners & the city as well.
    All the people who served our community by volunteering their valuable time to be a voice for the community through signature gathering should be applauded!

    • Incurable Optimist

      It’s amazing to me how many times you can bring up how horrible it was at the city council meeting of 10/21, all the blue shirts took the front seats, and no yellow shirts were able to sit in those rows. Have you ever seen this picture?

      //www.thecapistranodispatch.com/commission-recommends-denying-retirement-community

      I’m sure many of you were there. It appears that at that time those in yellow shirts knew enough to get to the meeting early to get the best seats. At that meeting no one in blue shirts whined about all the yellow shirts coming early and taking up the front rows. After that meeting it is no surprise that Laguna Glen supporters were smart enough to realize they needed to get to these meetings early enough to get seats.

      • Johnathan you said we were out manuvered. Yes, we were because we were advised that the meeting began at 4:00pm. Troy’s people showed up at 2:30 and class started on talking points. Box lunches and drinks were provided. Still, many residents waited until 3am to speak against Laguna Glen. And, the Planning Commission had voted NO. But, Allevato approved it. YES IT WAS A HORRIBLE display of manipulation.

      • Johnathan, you are not an optimist, just a follower. Only problem for you is ” your bunch” is no longer in power, they have lost. Are you going to jump sides once again to join the winners? It’s your transparent style. But, oppsie, your not invited!

      • Incurable Optimist

        Who’s Jonathan? I’ve never had a “bunch” in power and am actually feeling pretty good right now.

        Rose, everyone was told the meeting started at 4:00pm. After the last meeting, when the yellow shirts took up all the front rows (again, see picture //www.thecapistranodispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/LagunaGlen_PlanningCommission-500×333.jpg
        it appears that the folks in blue understood that in order to get a good seat, they had better show up early. When I entered the building, not in blue or yellow, I was offered a box lunch, as were others in yellow shirts. I heard several in yellow say they “would never take anything from the developer”, and that is their prerogative. Please stop whining about that. There should be a statute of limitations on whining.

        It seems that you go to so many meetings, and say “no” to so many things, that you forget that that meeting went till 11:00 p.m., not 3:00 a.m., as you stated. I think the next think on the city agenda should be helping homeless little puppies, I’m sure you’ll want to be there to say “no” to that.

    • I agree with Mrs. Peeden and I observed the same behavior of people signing both referendums. Some just pulled up in a car, got out, and signed. Some people had drivers who assisted them out of the car with a walker to sign both referendums. And, they all thanked us profusely for sitting at the stores for hours and gathering signatures. All of the volunteers did a great service to the community. Thank you.

  • I am troubled by several of the statements put here.

    How would the villas reduce homelessness? Would the homeless be living in them, and if so, how would they pay for them? Or, would the homeless simply be displaced by the project? If so, then the villas really wouldn’t be solving or curing the local homeless problem, would it?

    Also, taping people apparently without their knowledge or consent? Was that what happened? Depending upon the location and context of the taping, California state privacy laws may potentially have been broken. Obviously, a lot depends upon when and where these alleged tapings took place, the level of “publicness,” and a lawyer may be best to chime in here. However, I’d personally be very careful about taping people without their knowledge or permission. It not only may possibly be illegal, it does nothing to make you and your project appear warm and fuzzy, and will most likely alienate the very people you are attempting to appeal to. Who in their right mind will speak with you or support your project in the future, knowing that you are very likely taping them? Seriously, you can catch more flies with honey, as the old saying goes…

    I signed the petition against your project and against the retirement community because as a very long time resident of over forty years, I cherish the small town feeling of San Juan. I am not against growth and progress, but I want it to be reasonable and appropriate for the setting. I sought out information about both projects, and became well-informed about the pros and the cons of each. In the end, I felt that neither project was beneficial to our community. Please, do not think that everyone who opposed your project was ill-informed or lied to. We residents are more than capable of digesting facts and forming our own opinions. To suggest otherwise is, again, to insult and alienate the very people whose support you so critically need.

    • If they were recorded in public (say in front of the Vons) then there is no legal issue, but you can read the relevant code sections below if you like. If they were recorded in their living room, well that is another matter.

      CA Penal Code 632(a): Every person who, intentionally and without the consent of
      all parties to a confidential communication, by means of any
      electronic amplifying or recording device, eavesdrops upon or records
      the confidential communication, whether the communication is carried
      on among the parties in the presence of one another or by means of a
      telegraph, telephone, or other device, except a radio, shall be
      punished by a fine not exceeding two thousand five hundred dollars
      ($2,500), or imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding one year,
      or in the state prison, or by both that fine and imprisonment.

      (c) The term “confidential communication” includes any
      communication carried on in circumstances as may reasonably indicate
      that any party to the communication desires it to be confined to the
      parties thereto, but excludes a communication made in a public
      gathering or in any legislative, judicial, executive or
      administrative proceeding open to the public, or in any other
      circumstance in which the parties to the communication may reasonably
      expect that the communication may be overheard or recorded.

    • Diane, homelessness is common in Downtown areas. One major reason for this is that downtown areas without residential lack night time populations creating refugees for the homeless. Our project has a live-work

      • ….Live-work component that creates a daytime and night time population which in turn reduces homeless populations and crime in that area.

      • Clint Worthington

        Joshua Host, homelessness has been going on here in San Juan for the past 30 years that I have lived here. It is nothing new. However, the disrepair of your property, shutting off of electricity as your tenant reports only exacerbates the problem.

      • Then, all you’re doing is moving the homeless population, in effect displacing them. You aren’t actually solving the homeless situation locally. In fact, your project would not, “reduce the homeless problem,” to use your very ow words, just move it. Okay, so the homeless move a few blocks away. They’re still in San Juan. What now? Please don’t try to sell your project by claiming that it will reduce homelessness locally when its just sweeping it a bit under the rug.

    • Diane. The villas will not help the homeless. They continue to be ignored. I hope we can do a better job of helping the homeless instead of trying to rid them as if they were cockroaches. They are people fallen on hard times. Money has been spent by our city for signals and repaving and lots of projects but the homeless are neglected. It is cold outside.

  • Like I said, a lot depends upon context and location. However, even if the taping was legal, that just leaves a really bad taste in my mouth. I wouldn’t be in the mood to support anyone nor their project who taped without my knowledge. I wonder what snippets of personal conversation may have been picked up? Its just a very poor thing to do, and it doesn’t shine a favorable light on the perpetrators.

    • I understand Diane, but it is also distasteful if the petitioners were lying to obtain signatures. If the recording was legally made in order to document lies told to induce people to sign the petition then in that context I would not have a problem with the recordings. In fact, the recordings would be evidence of the crime those above refer to in connection with signature gathering on these political petitions. As you said, a lot of IFs here. In any case, if there are recordings then the answers to those IFs is readily available.

    • Clint Worthington

      Diane Morgan, you are absolutely right. Taping private conversations leaves a bad taste in my mouth also and speaks volumes about the developer and how they act and what they think of our rights and the residents themselves, What other private conversations did this developer tape that we don’t know about ?

      Secretly recorded conversations is wrong.

      • Clint, if it turns out that the law was broken by the petition collectors, and the recordings were legally made and are evidence of that, are you willing to take a different viewpoint? I don’t see why so many are so willing to close their mind to both possibilities before all of the facts are in and have been considered.

      • Clint Worthington

        John Gratten, and if the recordings were illegally made of private conversations, then those people would be guilty of a criminal offense and could be subject to jail time, would they not ?

        We already know that Sam Allevato is a great friend of Joshua Host. Sam Allevato is also the Mayor who has the distinction of being the only City in the United States that has a restraining order against it to make sure the people have the opportunity under the First Amendment to read the newspaper ! The only City. That was of course when Sam Allevato had illegal meetings behind closed doors in violation of the Brown Act that he originally denied ever having the meetings, but when confronted with the irrefutable evidence, the City had no choice but to admit the illegal meetings happened.

        So when Joshua Host has the good friend of Sam Allevato, it would not surprise me for one second if illegal recordings happened. Keep in mind, Sam Allevato is the same City Council member who voted on a contract for his employer, again being illegal. So with Sam Allevato’s track record and Joshua Host being his good friend, nothing would surprise me.

      • They would, and I believe I said as much in the posts below this one. Believe me Clint, nothing would surprise me but I am at least willing to reserve judgment until the facts are in. Why aren’t you?

      • By the way Clint, you didn’t answer the question. Would you be willing to change your viewpoint if it turns out the recordings were legal and the petition collectors violated the law? Am I asking too much of you here to answer that?

      • Clint Worthington

        John Gratten, with the repeated history of illegal activity that surrounds Sam Allevato time after time, it is difficult to reserve judgement when history blatantly repeats itself with Sam Allevato. Much like a child that has continually broken the law time after time after time after time and you no longer have an open mind that your child is not guilty.

        In fifteen short days, the Court of Appeals will hear the oral arguments regarding the illegal water rates that the Superior Court has already ruled illegal. The illegal water rates could cost the City as much as 30 million dollars.

        If you would like to continue to have an open mind on Sam Allevato, that is certainly your choice, but the court has a different view on that and it is that opinion that counts.

      • I didn’t ask you to have an open mind on Sam Allevato. I asked you to have an open mind on the fact that the recordings might be legal and might be evidence of a crime. I take it you just deflect to “Sam Allevato” when you don’t want to answer something?

      • Clint Worthington

        John Gratten, no need to deflect. I answered your question.

      • Really? Would you mind paraphrasing your answer again because I’ve re-read the above and all I see is “Sam Allevato this …” “Sam Allevato that …”. I was expecting something more along the lines of, “breaking the law is wrong, and if they did break the law and these recordings are legal and evidence that then I sincerely hope the recordings come to the light of day so that anyone who broke the law has to suffer the legal consequences of their actions”. Seriously if you want to try and answer again, go ahead.

      • Clint,
        If a petitioner is speaking with residents in a public setting then it is not considered a private conversation. According to the law it is a criminal offense to lie verbally or in writing for the purposes of inducing a signature on a petition. So if recording petitioners lying to residents leaves a bad taste in your mouth, I understand, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth too.

      • Clint Worthington

        Joshua Host, recording someone on private property is not legal. Yes, it is on public property, but not recording on private property.

      • I am incorrect on what Clint? Please be more specific. If you are referring to the referendum we have had our attorney spend significant time on this. You can also read the Cease and Desist Letter we sent to the City on this link that explains in detail how there was no legislative act and therefore can be no referendum. If the County Registrar certifies the referendum then the City has broken the law and we will move accordingly. Here is the link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bz7VPpDlCMJDQkRhX1FRb0pYblE/view?usp=sharing

        So if we have Pam Patterson on tape lying and the City is currently processing an illegal referendum what do you think the legal exposure for the City will be Clint?

      • Clint, you are wrong. Can you point me to where in the code in makes a distinction based on public versus private property? Read it closely and I believe you will see (actually I take that back, any objective reader would see) that to be an illegal recording there has to be a “confidential communication”. A “confidential communication” … excludes a communication made … in any other circumstance in which the parties to the communication may reasonably expect that the communication may be overheard or recorded.” There are private properties where a conversation is likely to be overheard. Likewise there are public properties where a conversation is not likely to be overheard. So Clint, please stop stating things that are false.

      • Clint Worthington

        Joshua Host, the City and the Registrar of Voters did not pay attention to your Cease and Desist as it is without merit. Again, there is case law regarding your Cease and Desist. It is unfortunate that your attorney did reference that case law for you. Again, you are welcome to research that information. To answer you question before you answer it, it is not my job to cite the case law and do your work for you.

        It appears you are accusing Pam Patterson of lying, just a suggestion, if you are incorrect, the court could find you guilty of liable.

        By the way, Mr. Host people keep sending me more information about your past experience of development. Heck even your current tenants post on here about the deplorable conditions that are currently happening.

        Here is a link and post that was sent to me regarding your Stone Equity that you were CEO of: http://www.yelp.com/user_details?userid=6sZw4t6e_cjcGUc-elpaQw

        I was completely scammed by these guys. Joshua Host is the CEO and convinced me to buy 2 properties in a neighborhood in Texas. He assured me that Stone Equity Group was also buying properties there. He promised me that I could use the proceeds from something called “cost segregation” to pay me back for the initial investment. Stone Equity Group pulled out of the project (if they were ever even in it) and never purchased any of the properties. The cost segregation never worked and I’d love to find a good lawyer to help bring a class action lawsuit against these liars. They also set me up with a fraudulent property management company that stole thousands of dollars from me and rented my units out to drug addicts who completely trashed my properties. Thanks Stone Equity Group

      • Clint, someone just sent me this link regarding Stone Equity Group. Complainant has documentation to prove her claims: http://serenity4suzanne.blogspot.com/2010/11/stone-equity-group-misrepresentation.html#comment-form

        I allege that Stone Equity Group misrepresented the market value of the property they sold me and failed to perform necessary repairs per their CHOC program. The property was guaranteed to be “rent ready” and they sent me a list of repairs that supposedly were made. The photos of the property submitted by the company were not true photos of the condition of the property.
        Their property manager attempted to collect $650 for clearing the yard of trash. There wasn’t any trash there, which my father-in-law verified.
        I hired my own property manager and she was unable to find tenants due to the poor condition of the property. This was in spite of about 20 showings over a three-month period.
        I became concerned and decided to visit the property. What I found was horrifying. The property was uninhabitable due structural defects, an inoperable heater, leaking plumbing (when I flushed the toilet, the basement flooded), no electricity in the bathrooms, used carpeting that was dirty and not tacked down (in fact it didn’t even reach the walls), unrepaired holes in several walls, raw wood exposed around doorways, broken windows and code violations.
        Additionally, Stone Equity’s program provided for up to six months of “rental reimbursement” to cover the income loss due to vacancy. Through the U. S. Mail, I received 4 checks totaling $1600, with the stated intention of providing money for up to six months to cover lost rent while waiting for a tenant.
        In actuality, the checks perpetuated their ability to delay exposure of the true condition of the home, thereby enabling them to extend the period within which I would not be able to detect their misrepresentation.
        I have had to hird contractors who are repairing the house so that it can be rented. The cost of the repairs will total about $30,000 by the time they are completed.
        I have extensive documentation regarding this manner that I can submit.

      • Clint Worthington

        Shirley Ward, I am glad that you found the same testimonials that I did. Some are as recent as 2013. Thank you.

    • Yes Diane, a bully bad taste in everyone’s mouth…Keep it up boyz, your PR is failing miserably, and you are simply adding fuel to the fire.

      • Don’t think any fuel is needed. We like to demonize developers in San Juan and then hammer them into submission. Question for you Betty. Where would you live, work, shop, eat and go to school if there were no developers? Something to chew on.

      • Clint Worthington

        Richard Brown, nothing wrong with a legal development at the right place that fits the area. I am all for that. Aren’t you ?

  • Then, I’m sure that they can submit those tapes to the DA, if they exist and were legally recorded. If they can’t or won’t, then that pretty much would sum it up. Since I haven’t read where they have been submitted to the DA, then that makes me do big, “Hmmmmm…”

    • Diane, I agree but I doubt decisions on these matters are instantaneous. You may have to reserve judgment on that until more time has passed. I am also not familiar at all with the code sections regarding political petitions and who/what entity enforces it.

    • Diane, you could also make the opposite inference. If the recordings were made illegally (such as in their living room) then that is a crime and we would expect the victims of that crime to have submitted the matter to the DA. If they haven’t or won’t, then we can conclude the recordings were legally made.

      • Clint Worthington

        John Gratten, one cannot report a crime yet as there are no victims. No recordings have been released identifying people. Without recordings released, there is no crime and no complaint to file. As simple as that.

      • Beg to differ Clint, you have people making direct admissions here (against their interest I would add) that they made these recordings. That sounds actionable to me. So act away!

      • Clint Worthington

        John Gratten, no need for me to “act”. I am not a victim.

      • Ugh! Clint, so literal … I wasn’t talking to you. I recall someone saying they have recordings of Pam (or maybe it was Kerry, I don’t remember) saying these things. There is your victim. For the sake of clarity, they may act away!

      • Clint Worthington

        John Gratten, I guess when you start the sentence “beg to differ Clint”, I should have known your comment was not addressed to me. Oh, my bad !

      • Yesh Clint, sometimes I think you are one of those Internet bots I read about that try to approximate human interactions on the Web. I can just see you reading some of these comments with smoke emanating from your ears while you mutter, “does not compute, does not compute”

      • I disagree. They can only report it as a crime if they know that they are the ones tape recorded, when and where. Since Mr. Host allegedly has these recordings, only he allegedly knows these specifics.

        Just saying that one has tape recordings doesn’t mean that those taped can file a complaint. They would need to know a whole lot more, which is why Mr. Host should put his money where his mouth is and take the recordings that he says contain instances of criminal behavior to the DA and let the chips fall where they may. To do otherwise is just to stir the pot and not really solve or address anything.

        Also, I will reiterate what I said earlier. If he doesn’t take these tapes to the proper authorities, then I personally don’t believe they exist. If they do exist and contained what he claims, then I’m sure the proper authorities would already be looking into things. However, since we’ve heard nothing about this, and Mr. Host won’t commit to telling us whether he’s turned them over to the DA or not… Well, the public can draw its own conclusions.

      • Diane, it sounds as if neither of us are government prosecutors so we don’t really know how it would work do we? Where our opinions seem to differ is that you want to make a rush to judgment and make-up your mind now. I’m willing to wait until more facts are available and to see how this plays out. So Diane, same question to you that I asked Clint, if it turns out that (1) there are recordings, (2) they were legally made and (3) they are evidence that the laws regarding petition collecting were broken, will that change your viewpoint? I get the impression that some posters here feel the petition collectors are above the law, that regardless of whether they broke those very specific laws or not, they should avoid punishment. I find that to be a rather extreme position. Would you not agree with that?

      • John, I couldn’t say one way or another without first hearing what is on these alleged tapes. All we have right now is Mr. Host’s unsubstantiated claim of what’s on the tapes, nothing else. I’m not going to commit to anything until I hear what’s actually on them – if they exist, at all. All I’ve said is that I don’t trust anyone who would tape without the knowledge of others. it leaves a bad taste in my mouth, and it will only alienate the very people whom Mr. Host needs to support his project – the reasonable, intelligent, fair minded people of San Juan.

        And no, I’m not a prosecutor, but I do know that the DA would be the best person to determine if the alleged tapes contain criminal violations. Therefore, Mr. Host can put his money where his mouth is – he can turn the tapes over to the proper authorities for investigation, or he can stop harping about them. You see, if he keeps talking about them but never produces them, then the average person will simply believe that they don’t exist. Period.

        There’s no rush to judgment there, John. I’m simply saying that in order to prove his point, Mr. Host has a simple method readily at hand. If he fails to take advantage of it, then that’s his failing.

      • Diane, Thank you for answering the question. Your view point is a very reasonable and a justified one in my book. Just like you, I am reserving judgment until all of the facts are in. If we differ ever so slightly on something; it would be that I believe it could take some time for those tapes to come out. For all we know they already have been turned over to the DA. Who knows? I doubt the DA would make a public announcement that it was reviewing tapes like that as those on the tapes might take that as a cue to destroy other evidence! In any case that is my pure conjecture and I only make it to illustrate the point that just because you or I don’t see something happening doesn’t mean it isn’t being advanced through the proper channels. I also must point out that in answering the question directly (and without a reference to Sam Allevato I might add) you have shown a capacity for nuance and understanding that seems to exceed the capabilities of Clint-Bot. Perhaps he needs a software update.

  • Steve Behmerwohld

    Clint, Rose, Diane, & Cynthia, Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I happen to believe that Laguna Glen is the best possible use for the Vermuelen property and I believe the Urban Village project is the best use for the Oedekerk property. Something will eventually be built at both locations (unless someone is willing to buy the properties and just leave them alone). You can’t just say NO forever. What would you like to see at these locations? A parochial school or residential at Vermuelen’s would be far worse for traffic and contribute much less in the way of jobs for San Juan residents and $ to the City’s coffers. I believe Josh’s project is absolutely the best fit for the Oedekerk property and by far what is best for San Juan. It will bring lots of good jobs to locals, will substantially help every downtown business (& a lot of businesses that aren’t downtown), will be WAY better traffic wise than 125 condos and bring $700K a year to the City. I know that no one has said (publicly) that they’re going to build condos downtown, but it’s certainly a possibility. Again, what would YOU like to see at these two locations and if the answer is “NOTHING”, how do you propose that be accomplished? The lawsuit that City paid the Scalzo’s is peanuts compared to what lawsuits could possibly cost us over bad decisions made by the current Council over these developments. I, for one, would prefer that San Juan not need to claim bankruptcy. I’m sure that Clint & Co. will come after me for “being in cahoots” with developers or being a paid shill. Maybe I’ll be able to get new tires for my house. I am not pro development, pro Josh or Troy. I sincerely believe that these projects will be the best for our town.

    • Clint Worthington

      Steve Behmerwold, you are the same guy who takes photos of people on the beach. I am guessing that you are also secretly recording private conversations as indicated in these posts. Others have called you creepy. I would agree with them.

  • Mr. Host-

    I find very troubling the following numerous complaints about your business practices, listed in the links below. I had originally posted these under Councilman Sam Allevato’s Guest Column, but then realized that you too have written a Guest Column so they are more appropriately posted here.

    As I stated in my earlier post, I realize that anyone can post anything on the internet without verification, but there are so many complaints from different states over a span of 5 years that it calls into question whether these could all be simply “made up”. The poster on Yelp (see link at bottom) stated he was considering a class-action lawsuit against you and your firm. I am interested in your feedback on these complaints.

    I am re-posting my comments from the other column here:

    1. Jan S
    January 6, 2015 at 9:58 am #
    I took a previous poster’s advice and googled Joshua Host and Stone Equity Group. The complaints listed in the links below are similar in nature and also similar to the complaint posted previously by “Pat Simmons” about lack of maintenance, shutting off electricity (which I am quite sure is illegal), etc. at the commercial building here in sjc.

    The complaints are alarming and if they are true, this man is not someone I would do business with, let alone allow to develop and manage anything in our historic town center.
    Here are a few links:

    http://www.reiclub.com/forums/index.php?topic=39360.70;wap2
    http://www.businessconsumeralliance.org/complaints/stone-equity-group-100037042
    https://www.trustlink.org/Reviews/Stone-Equity-Group-205956991
    http://prospect.org/article/there-goes-neighborhood-0

    Jan S
    January 6, 2015 at 3:02 pm #

    Here is one more link to a Yelp review from someone claiming he was “scammed” by Joshua Host and Stone Equity Group: http://www.yelp.com/biz/stone-equity-group-mission-viejo

    I realize that anyone can post anything on Yelp (or anywhere on the internet for that matter) but there are so many complaints from people in several different states over a span of about 5 years that it makes them difficult to dismiss.

    If these claims are true, this is very troubling for our town.

    • Clint Worthington

      Jan S. Everyone should read those links. I can understand if there was just on disgruntled person, but there are many. Some of these comments are very recent. Comments made even as Mr. host was putting together Urban Village. Some appear to be former employees who backed up everything the people who were making the comments were stating. Why so many, many unhappy people all saying the same thing.

      It would be interesting if these people were alerted to the City Council meeting and came to the City Council meeting to speak about their experience with Mr. Host and confronted Mr. Host.

    • Jan S,
      if you are not Bill Griffiths wife then reveal your real name.

      • Clint Worthington

        Joshua Host, did you just say “then reveal your name”. Wow !

      • It is the height of arrogance to order anyone to reveal their name in a public post.

        Your response to my question has confirmed for me what the complainants have stated about you. I feel sorry for anyone who has done or will do business with you; you are obviously unscrupulous, unethical and if the complainants are to be believed, operate in an underhanded and illegal manner to get what you want.

        And not that you deserve it, but I will state emphatically that I am not “Bill Griffith’s wife”. I don’t even know Bill Griffith or his wife.

      • Easy there Jan. As Clint pointed out before, making libelous statements can be injurious to your financial well being. I doubt yelp reviews are admissible evidence in a court of law.

  • By the way, I should point out in reference to your statement “most of the complaints were after we shut the company down in 2010”, that a number of the complaints date back to 2009 and are similar to complaints made after you shut the company down.

    In light of the stories from people who claim that your company left them in financial ruin, I find particularly disturbing your comment above that “I worked for all of 2010 resolving issues, creating payment plans with creditors and saving my name”. If the complainants are to be believed, their “issues” were not resolved.

    • Clint Worthington

      Jan S. You are absolutely right. Apparently it is new to Mr. Host that one may have to pay in additional capital to keep the business going. It does appear that Joshua Host did leave people high and dry after he closed the business according to what the people who have posted have stated.

  • If I may bring this conversation back around to the content of this Guest Opinion – Getting a project approved in San Juan… it seems to me that the Urban Village went above and beyond by presenting their project for all to see and learn about for over 2 years; it was ultimately approved and now a group of people that didn’t get it their way are trying to stop all development that wants to come to SJC. Why? Don’t you know our city will die without new development – and this project is exactly what downtown needs. All I hear from you “no growth” people is that SJC will not be the same charming city it is now. Look around at the vacant signs on the buildings – you will be seeing more of those if we don’t bring projects like the Kimpton Hotel and Villas here. How charming is empty buildings? A project that was approved after 2 years of working with the city and it’s citizens is in now jeopardy of not being built??? Sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen and we all know SJC can’t afford another lawsuit!
    As for taping those gathering signatures in a public place – why are you so afraid of these recordings? If you collected signatures using the truth you would not be afraid of what was said, but if you used lies to gather signatures maybe some of your supporters will start to question YOUR integrity? And maybe, just maybe it was a CONCERNED CITIZEN that recorded the lies being told to gather signatures and turned over the recordings to the developer… hmmmm

    • Clint Worthington

      Ellen, exactly how will the city die without development ? Under your scenario, development becomes a pyramid type scheme that a city must have continued development to survive, which is entirely untrue.

      • Yes, obviously Ellen was trying to say development is a pyramid scheme?! Do you read your own comments?

      • Yes, your right Clint. No development needed for the city to survive. We can just add more thrift shops. And ask Kerry, if the businesses would stay open downtown then people would come. So it’s the business owners fault for not staying open. Wait a minute. I was one of two people in a restaurant last night at 8pm. Maybe that logic doesn’t pencil. Easy to make theories when others carry the financial burden.

      • Clint Worthington

        Richard Brown, to state that a community must keep building and building on every single vacant lot to survive is entirely not true. Thousands and thousands of communities survive financially very nicely without continued building on every single lot available to build on. To say that a community must continue to build on every single lot available for a community to survive financially is really then just a pyramid scheme.

        Why not just have a City. Hall that lives within its means so it is not dependent on future development. That is just plain fiscal responsibility.

      • Wow Clint, I am noticing a pattern of you putting words in people’s mouth. Please read my post again. Where did I say “that a community must keep building and building on every single vacant lot to survive”? I will give you a hint… Nowhere. I didn’t say that, you did. For the last two decades we have been trying to get a hotel downtown and why? Because a hotel is a critical piece of infrastructure for a City. Especially a City that depends on tourists to go to the Mission, weddings and equestrian events. I am so disappointed that you can’t see the forest through the trees. I don’t understand how you don’t see how important this is for our mom and pop shops.

      • Clint Worthington

        Richard Brown, I did not state those were your words. I am sorry for your confusion.

    • Ellen, The problem with the hotel down town is that they developer wants to add 30 condos to the hotel. This is against the master plan of our historical city. Then there was a mistake by the city in 2012 and another plan was made which conflicted with the old plan. Most people would have gone along with a small boutique hotel. They want permanent residences and a hotel on the same site.
      Regarding the ‘aledged’ recordings it could have been anybody. I helped at Vons and Ralphs and I heard no such wording. It could have been staged for all we know. You know how lawyers sometimes photoshop evidence to present in court to win a case? Thinks like bank statements are photo shopped and produced as discovery. This could be the same thing. I honestly never heard anyone lie to a person about either project.

      • Rose your comment shows the innocent side of spreading misinformation. Have you ever read the Historic Town Center Master Plan?

        I attended some of the Master Plan meetings in 2012 and have read the master plan. Your statement that residential is not allowed in the master plan is incorrect. In fact when they put together the master plan they created an development plan example on the Oedekerks land. The master plan shows three different types of residential buildings on the property.

        It does not sound like you were not maliciously giving wrong info to residents, but signature gathers should be responsible for knowing the facts Rose. Do you agree?

      • Donna Burton, why do you persist in posting under the name Rose Stone when everyone already knows it is you?

      • Richard, In answer to your question. Do you agree? Yes. But, this error by the city discovered in 2012 was just brought to light on this blog of 400 comments. See Steve O’s comments about the error at a city council meeting in 2012. None of the signature gathering folks even knew about this error until Sam wrote his letter and everyone is chirping in on “What is going on?”
        Apparently, there are two plans. The zoning does not match. Steve brought this up after the referendum. So conversations telling people there are two conflicting plans would not have happened during the signature gathering. We also do not know if Steve was the owner or the developer. Most folks just knew they did not want a hotel with condo’s downtown. And, 3500 residents did not want Laguna Glen on the Vermulen property. You can read the 100’s of comments on here which mostly support the comments made in city hall. Allevato has a big Ego, he thought he could roll over us again.

      • Rose, So you were not spreading wrong info before, but you are spreading wrong info now?

      • Incurable Optimist

        Rose, please quit spouting about the number of referendum signatures gathered. As I mentioned, The Distrito La Novia referendum got about the same amount of signatures as you got against the care center , and yet when San Juan residents were allowed to vote on La Novia they approved that project overwhelmingly. Hmm…seems like all those signatures didn’t really represent the majority of this city’s’ residents at all.

      • Rose I don’t doubt your statement, but were you there every minute that signatures were being obtained? I’m not saying that people deliberately lied, but rather that virtually everything being said here appears to fall in the “he said, she said” hearsay corner. It is possible that some of the gathers did lie, just not in your presence.

  • I’m not an activist nor a instigator, but you all should know what the conversations I had with Josh Host were about. First of all when he first came on to the project he was adamant about getting me out of my Barber shop ( of which I have been on this property for 45 years) because he said he was breaking ground in 6 months . That was over 2 years ago. I knew the City does not move that fast so I elected to wait it out.

    I have never had any problems with Steve Oedekerk, but when Josh took over the property , plants,lawns and janitorial services ceased, When the other tenant and I complained about weeks of pilling leaves in the parking lot, Josh said he was in a transitional stage of finding a new gardener. Who , managing property would let the current gardener go without securing a new gardener before hand?

    When I came to work about three months ago the building lights were turned off .Why? I pay for my own electricity. Josh said the homeless put their own lock on the electricity room to keep their belongings there and they must have done something. Pretty ingenious if the homeless thought of that …do you think? My lights were turned back on , but the building remained dark and my customers had to use the bathroom upstairs with no lights and the door propped open. I was then given keys to use the other bathroom in the next building. Really? A few weeks later after Josh had secured his own lock on the electricity room , the lights were again turned off to my business. How could this happen again? I called SDG&E and Josh and told him they were on their way. He came down and met them. Evidently someone had turned the Main breaker off to the building. How could this happen when the room was locked?

    When the former Staff of City Council met for their meeting in December, they passed the Hotel condo project, as you all know at 3:00 am. Then the following Thursday I received a 30 day notice to Quit from Josh. I said “Really Josh ? you give this to me one week before Thanksgiving and want me out 5 days before Christmas?” He said I had 2 years to move and again he was ready to break ground in one month. I asked him about a pending law suit or a referendum and he said that it would never happen. I was verbally given one more week till January 2nd.

    I sought legal council and my lease states I should have been given a 90 day notice to quit and Josh immediately then gave me a 90 notice to quit on December 20th 2014

    On December 31, , while Frank was at the barber shop, he was met from a man to turn off services. The man was surprised someone was working and said he would not cut off services. Wow again? This is what I’m dealing with…just thought you would all like to know.

    • Clint Worthington

      Thanks Pat for the update. Your comments mirror those that are on the internet regarding Joshua Host. It sure does seem as if Joshua Host has taken over the property.

      The referendum collected over 2,500 signatures that were delivered to the City Clerk. The Registrar of Voters is in the process of verifying the signatures. It should not be too long before an answer is received from the Registrar of Voters. Joshua Host sure was wrong about getting enough signatures on the referendum.

      There are few businesses in town that have been around as long as yours. I know Capistrano Plumbing has been here over 50 years. Thank you for supporting our town all of these years. I am sorry that after 45 years in the same location that you are being treated this way.

      • Yes Clint Worthington, amazing how one can get so many signatures when they blatantly lie to people. By the way Clint Worthington, how is there a referendum if there was no legislative action?

      • Clint Worthington

        Joshua Host, unfortunately you are incorrect and case law supports this. You are free to research this yourself or pay an attorney to do this for you.

    • Pat. We are being lied to again. Sounds like Josh is stuck with you for 90 days to me. But contact an attorney.,

  • Mr. Host; I am interested in your feedback on the numerous complaints posted about you as outlined above. I note that you have not yet responded other than to state that “most” of the complaints were after your previous company went out of business. But that does not explain the similar complaints that were filed in the years following your company’s demise (as recently as 2013).

    In light of Pat Simmons’ complaint about the electricity being shut off to his business in a building that you apparently manage, this is a troubling trend. I for one am interested in hearing your explanation. Thank you.

  • Joshua Host..are you calling the good citizens of this town that spent hours and hours of their time gathering signatures, “liars?” Huh, not a way to win people over, and just plain bad PR….Responsible adults who sign papers, their tax returns, referendums, etc. have a responsibility to READ what they are signing, it’s all in black and white. If I tell you to put your head in a hot oven, are you going to do it? Your pathetic attempt to sway public opionion is backfiring, and not in your favor.

    • Betty, you are totally right, if you told me to put my head in the oven I would say no way. On the other hand I went to Ralph’s and a signature gatherer told me that he was a Veteran and asked how I felt that they were tearing out Veteran’s Park to build the hotel. I heard this with my own ears. For folks that are not familiar with the project that is pretty scary and could easily induce an unknowing resident into signing the petition.

      I for one believe that if you are going to collect signatures you have a duty to be informed and not give wrong information or worse lie to people. If you were out there collecting signatures and told everyone the truth, that is great. My experience with a signature gatherer a few weeks ago was anything, but truthful.

  • Well Richard, that’s your story and not what I was told when I signed it. I was told exactly what the paper stated and read it all. This is just a big hipe on Host’s part to figure out an angle… more hocus-pocus ho hum nonsense.

    • Lying to collect signatures doesn’t seem like non-sense to me. I have been tracking this project so I knew enough to call BS when he said the hotel was going in Veteran’s park. It will be really funny if they vote the project down based on signatures gathered through questionable practices. I wouldn’t be surprised though.

      “Host” said it right in the article “San Juan is where good projects go to die”. I am surprised they haven’t packed up and left yet. I wouldn’t put up with this much non-sense.

    • I agree with Richard 100%, breaking the law is not a “ho hum nonsense matter”. It is an extremely serious matter and it can result in jail time. To trivialize it shows a disrespect for our society and its laws. We don’t get to pick and choose which laws we comply with. I am willing to withhold judgment until all of the facts are available but your rush to judgment speaks volumes. You seem to be blinded by your cause.

      • Prove it!

      • Prove what? That you should keep an open mind and avoid a rush to judgment? Prove that you are so blinded by your cause that you are willing to overlook possible criminal behavior? I think I already proved that.

  • Richard, I was not referencing lying as non-sense. It was simply Mr. Host’s weak attack in trying to make people believe they were duped. No one is duped into signing something they did not want to sign, plain and simple. Regarding his project, perhaps he should move on as it is clear the residents don’t want a large Kimpton here. Perhaps a 60-75 room boutique hotel, but, certainally not what Kimpton wants here. However, now Host’s problem is he has lost credibility with residents in San Juan, it’s a tough climb back up that hill IMO.

    • Betty, the problem is that people were duped. I seriously doubt I was the only person that was lied to. And another thing I didn’t mention was the images the guy showed me were totally bogus. Again, I went to the hearing on the 18th so I knew better. So in addition to lying about Veteran’s Park he showed me 2 fake images. Were you shown images of the hotel?

      Also it is a little off putting when you stated “resident’s don’t want a large kimpton here.” I am a resident and I want the Kimpton Downtown. I am curious, did you go to any of the hearings? I did. At the last hearing there all but a handful of the speakers were in support of the project.

      • Clint Worthington

        Richard Brown, are you surprised that at 3am the speakers that were there are the people that are in support of the project. They stand to make millions off of the project, so of course they are going to be there. The residents who have to earn a living and find babysitters to watch the kids can’t find that on a Tuesday night/Wednesday morning at 3am.

      • Clint, are you saying the people that spoke in support of the project did so because they had a financial interest?

      • Yes we were duped when we voted for open space in 08 and Sam went shopping for land in Mission viejo for his Equestrian Events associate. Now every property tax payer in SJC pays 400+- every year for a private enterprise. I am angry about this. And, so are 35,000 other residents in San Juan Capistrano. Sam bought land and stuck us with the tab. This veterans park thing is some lobbyist (hello Johnathan) attempting to divert folks from the real bad guys in town- those property owners who fire gardeners and turn off the power to get tenants out. J Host you owe your tenant of so many years restitution.

      • Richard…your statement “At the last hearing there all but a handful of the speakers were in support of the project.” is not true. Many people could not wait to speak against it. The last few CC meetings have been over crowded with residents, not enough seats, and meetings long into the night. I suspect you are a coffee chatter and have come on board to support big development in town. Residents were not duped. People have grown angry over the city management over the last two years. If residents feel duped it is because of the Allevto machine. The water, the land deal, connected to our city council, John Grattin said,” breaking the law is not a “ho hum nonsense matter”” No it isn’t, so let’s go after the real law breaker. Not residents collecting signatures on a referendum, come on. Residents were not on anyone’s payroll. Steve Od said someone at a fundraiser through their arm over his shoulder and said, “come on we can own this town.” This is what we need to go after legally. While sitting in those long cc meetings people did chat… some said, parphrasing, a small hotel or B&B is okay but why a Kimpton and the condo’s? No on that for a million reasons. I have always agreed to a small hotel downtown, but not a Kimpton. We are Old California, we are quaint and charming. A Kimpton does not fit with the character of San Juan Capistrano. Again, this chatter about the veterans park is a diversion. There is always talk as you sit gathering signatures, Gee, who is having an affair with whom? Did they collect that too?

    • Incurable Optimist

      I am so tired of people telling me what the residents of San Juan want! It’s easy to sign a petition in front of a grocery store, especially when the signature gatherers are saying “don’t you hate traffic in San Juan? Well then sign here”. It’s much harder to not sign and wait for your voice to be heard when the issue is voted on by the entire city. Oh wait, that option was taken away from me. I just read that the Distrito La Novia referendum got about the same amount of signatures as they got against the care center , and yet when San Juan residents were allowed to vote on La Novia they approved that project overwhelmingly. Hmm…seems like all those signatures didn’t really represent the majority of this city’s’ residents at all.

      • I think we have seen what the residents of San Juan don’t want by voluminous CC votes and referendum signatures on big, inappropriate projects that don’t fit here….. big business that makes no sense…hummm. Try J to figure it out. Move to Irvine, it’s more your beat and you will love it.

      • Incurable Optimist

        Betty, I imagine those who gathered signatures against the La Novia project thought they knew what the residents wanted when they obtained over 3000 signatures. I imagine they were completely shocked when it was defeated overwhelmingly on a ballot. Too bad the residents were not given the chance to express those same feelings against this referendum. Please keep those facts in mind when you insist on telling me how most residents of San Juan feel.

    • And perhaps the one’s who organized the signature collection against the hotel have lost credibility too?

      I believe in everyones right to their own opinion and that there are people who truly do not believe this project is right for SJC. But I also believe some of those that signed and some of those that gathered signatures were told untruths by their “leaders”. If the only way you could get enough signatures was by making untruthful statements to both your volunteers and SJC voters then does it count?

  • My intent is not to debate you, you have your story, I have mine. In addition, my intent is not to polarize this, but, to come to common ground if possible. And yes, I am educated on the subject and attended the CC meetings. BTW, just so you are aware, after I signed the referendum, I asked my husband, family, friends and neighbors who were opposed to sign it. None were told your wild story, just facts about the project as who would believe in our great country that a Veteran park would be demolished. Come on… again makes no sense.

  • Hi Betty.

    I agree with all you have said here. I believe all this chat is about getting in a small hotel, mitigation, that JH knew nothing big would be allowed, so wanted us who live here to approve a small restaurant and hotel so he could proceed. Now that I read about him, he is not that smart so my mind is changed, what do you think?

    • Hi there Sammy, Can you elaborate on JH’s diabolical scheme? I love conspiracy theories, especially about evil developers.

      • Clint Worthington

        Richard Brown, just google “Joshua Host Stone Equity” and you can read what the experience is from other people regarding Joshua Host.

  • Sam..with these folks anything is possible, but, you bring up a great point, a new prespective. Anything is posbible when $ is the motivation, and, not the concern for residents who live here.

  • I was one who was in front of the stores to collect signatures. Those who say we lied & misrepresented the facts are trying to discredit us. It is a very common way to fight the opponent of one’s cause. It’s easy, too, to just throw that out to make some people question the results. I have no concern about whether or not I was recorded. I not only told the truth at all times, I often suggested to people to log on to our city’s website to look up the proposed Urban Village project.
    Also, there was no “group.” There were only a handful of people who worked on both referendums. We were all united in not wanting to see over-sized developments in our city.
    Sorry you don’t like it & stop trying to discredit our honest efforts!

    • Cynthis, you can read my story above where a petitioner told me that urban village was putting the hotel in Veterans Park. If you told the truth that’s great, but that is not the case for all the petitioners.

      I don’t know about the recordings, but I know I was lied to by a petitioner. Worse though is Pam Pattersons reckless actions. Pam is a council member and attorney so she should understand the difference between adjudicat and legislative actions. I read the cease and desist that Urban Village sent to the City Council and it is pretty cut and dry. There was no legislative action and the state constitution restricts use of referendums to legislative actions. If the City Council overturns the project based on the referendum that w p uld be an illegal action and expose us residents to another expensive lawsuit. We are currently paying about $ 6k in extra property taxes for the Scalzo lawsuit. Why does Pam believe she is above the law?

    • The reason people are trying to discredit your honest efforts is because your peers were blatantly lying while collecting signatures for the recent referendums. When I went to Ralphs back in November I was told I should sign so the city residents could vote on whether they want the retirement community AND downtown hotel. One referendum for two unrelated developments?? I did not sign because I have some common sense.
      Later I found out that if I had signed it would not guarantee a vote of the people.

      Weeks later when I saw another group collecting signatures again- I pretended to talk on my cell phone to avoid hearing more lies.

      • I experienced the same thing. After receiving a paper delivered to my home about the hotel I researched some of the statements and found them to be untrue. I then had the unfortunate need to do some grocery shopping and found Pam Patterson at Vons standing in front of a poster with the same untrue statements collecting signatures – and she was wearing her city council badge! If she believed she was representing true facts perhaps she should have attended as many cc meetings as the rest of you all.

Comments are closed.