SUPPORT THIS INDEPENDENT JOURNALISM
The article you’re about to read is from our reporters doing their important work — investigating, researching, and writing their stories. We want to provide informative and inspirational stories that connect you to the people, issues and opportunities within our community. Journalism requires lots of resources. Today, our business model has been interrupted by the pandemic; the vast majority of our advertisers’ businesses have been impacted. That’s why The Capistrano Dispatch is now turning to you for financial support. Learn more about our new Insider’s program here. Thank you.
CAROL CHESTEK, San Juan Capistrano
I have been a resident of San Juan Capistrano since 1980. Yes, that is a very long time, and, yes, I have seen many changes. Some I enjoy and some I don’t like, but I realize you can’t please everyone all the time.
I was motivated to write this letter because of the comments made by a candidate for City Council for District 3. I am not in District 3, but if elected, he will serve as a councilmember making decisions for the entire city, so his opinions are important to me.
Specifically, I take issue with his comments regarding “keeping small-town vibes,” “ensuring responsible development,” and “keep(ing) Los Rios Street, Los Rios Street.”
The Inn at the Mission San Juan Capistrano is a beautiful hotel that any city should be proud of, but in my opinion, it doesn’t exude “small-time vibes.”
As to “ensuring responsible development,” I would like to point out that currently the Planning (Commission) has 17 major developments in various stages of approval. One is a four-story parking structure and a two-story building where the Playhouse now sits. I can’t think of anything that would take away more from the charm of Mission San Juan Capistrano, Cedar Creek Inn and the Inn at the Mission hotel than a four-story parking structure.
Additionally, I think it is going to be very difficult to “keep Los Rios Street, Los Rios Street” with the construction of the River Street Marketplace.
This town is being developed into a major tourist destination. Be it the right decision or not, let’s be honest and accept the fact that the ship has sailed for keeping San Juan Capistrano a small town.