Nancy Ferruzzo, San Juan Capistrano
I was extremely disappointed with Evan Marks’ evasive response to the opinion piece submitted by former Mayor Carolyn Nash in the March 13-26 issue. The major portion of his response delineates the previous activities of The Ecology Center, which are not pertinent to the concerns expressed by Ms. Nash, as her objections are not to the existing activities, but to the proposed development. Two-thirds of the way through the response, Mr. Marks very briefly addresses the proposal, but incredibly states that new proposed structures will take up no more than 1% of the total farmland. It would be interesting to know how he arrived at that figure, as I have seen the proposal and cannot imagine how he could have calculated it. In addition, he seems to think that leaving all of the new parking lots unpaved somehow makes the loss of crops more palatable.
In any case, if The Capistrano Dispatch wishes to be viewed as a valid journalistic enterprise, then I suggest that for the benefit of your readers, you print a map of the parcel as it currently exists, with an overlay of the parcel with the proposed development.
In my 40 years as a resident of San Juan Capistrano, I have watched with dismay as commercial development has been allowed to take over every bit of “open space.” Ms. Nash is correct that the people of this city agreed to pay their tax dollars to purchase the farm so that it would remain as row crops—not restaurants, art studios, commissaries, camping facilities or a school. While these may be otherwise admirable activities, they should not usurp the open farmland that our citizens agreed to purchase in 1990.