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.
By Brian Park
Carolyn Franks, the owner of Zoomars Petting Zoo in the Los Rios Historic District, will no longer pursue an appeal to keep her controversial dinosaur replica and will instead seek an amendment to her conditional use permit.
The Planning Commission unanimously voted to deny Franks’ appeal in August because she had bit installed the 13-foot-tall, 36-foot-long structure through the proper channels. Franks had the option to appeal the commission’s decision to the City Council, but she has instead decided to amend her conditional use permit for the site.
Under Franks’ proposal, Zoomars would be rearranged into four components, in addition to the petting zoo: a farm area, including signage about San Juan Capistrano’s cattle-ranching history; an Acjachemen Indian village for Native American demonstrations; an Old West town, which would incorporate existing elements; and a prehistoric garden with the dinosaur serving as the centerpiece.
Franks turned in a concept plan last week and will turn in the final site plan Friday, September 28. City staff will review her proposal before sending their recommendation to the Planning Commission.