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By Emily Rasmussen

With nearly a one-month gap between San Juan Capistrano City Council meetings, the meeting on Monday, June 11 is expected to have a hefty agenda.

The June 11 City Council meeting—which was rescheduled from June 5 because of the statewide primary elections—is expected to include big agenda items. According to the city manager’s weekly update published on May 31, the next City Council meeting will touch on the 2018-19 and 2019-20 budget adoption, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) law enforcement contract, consideration of a luxury hotel incentive program and the second reading of ordinances to approve the farm specific plan tied to the Vermeulen property.

The adoption of the 2018-19 and 2019-20 budget will determine the financial future of San Juan Capistrano for the next two fiscal years. According to a city staff report from a May 7 special meeting where residents were given an opportunity to provide input on the budget, the city’s proposed total revenue for 2018-19 is $28.2 million and for 2019-20 is $29.9 million. The proposed expenditures for 2018-19 is $28.1 million and for 2019-20 is $29.8 million, according to the report.

The OCSD law enforcement contract comes at a pivotal time, as the city—along with 12 other nearby cities that contract with OCSD—await the findings of a study looking into the rising costs of law enforcement contracts.

The Council last discussed the possibility of a luxury hotel incentive program at its May 11 meeting, which drew controversy from Council members and residents who spoke on the item. Some claimed the program favored specific developers or ongoing hotel projects, whereas others argued that the incentive program would attract business.

The farm specific plan, along with the history of the Vermeulen property, was discussed in length at the May 15 Council meeting. Applicant Vermuelen Ranch, LLC, gained approval of a general plan amendment that switched the land use of its property from agri-business to specific precise plan, which the Council passed unanimously. The specific farm plan, a proposed plan to be considered for a second reading at the June 11 meeting, asks for 180 single-family units, a 0.5-acre park and a public trail.

The City Council agenda is subject to change. The Capistrano Dispatch will be reporting on the June 11 City Council meeting, so keep an eye out at for our coverage.


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