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Zoomars Petting Zoo owner Carolyn Franks with the apatosaurus replica she purchased and installed in June. Photo by Brian Park
Zoomars Petting Zoo owner Carolyn Franks with the apatosaurus replica she purchased and installed in June. Photo by Brian Park

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.

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