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Planning Commission furthers traffic mess on Ortega.

Thirty-two houses to be built at former equestrian center. Good going Planning Commission. Not enough traffic on the Ortega, is that it? Can't keep it zoned for equestrian - that might be commonsense.
Pam Keith January 15, 2014 at 09:35 PM
It's all about the money
Dan Avery January 17, 2014 at 12:05 PM
Pam, actually if those people had enough money they could keep their horses. Think Nellie Gail and other wealthy, predominately white communities. I once visited Cap Ferrat which has the best weather in the world and is in the south of France. It's where the super wealthy have homes: like the Rothschilds, Keith Richards, Elton John, and so on. They don't have horses. They had their own neighborhood zoo.
Penny Arévalo (Editor) January 17, 2014 at 01:08 PM
The zoning allows the homes. It was already planned. The project will maintain some of the equestrian features with room for 50 horses. So maybe maybe some of the celebs will move to the states? ;-P
Dan Avery January 17, 2014 at 01:16 PM
Maybe Penny. One can hope. Imagine the parties Keith Richards must throw....
Tornado Johnson January 19, 2014 at 02:02 PM
Keith Richards has nothing on those crazy Pepper Tree Bend parties. Besides, who can even understand Keith Richards when he talks these days.
Donna Fleming January 20, 2014 at 02:28 PM
Peter Mayle was considering San Juan Capistrano for a second home in the states, but after long delibertion he decided French building codes were friendlier and less expensive than San Juan Capistrano. Well that, and there are no wild truffles here.
rob January 20, 2014 at 03:51 PM
Doesn't matter what is was zoned for, no need for more homes, congestion, do we have enough water for all the 100's and 1000's of homes being built? No, so why not build more. We certainly don't want San Juan to be known as a people friendly town with open space, etc. etc. Let's turn it into LA? Our city really only gets part of projects done right anyway. Why not take care of the problems that we do have first. No need for more homes. OH I forgot, lets make the sacrifice for more money, that's what it's all about anyway. City really doesn't care about San Juan, just money. I did see a 20 x 20 open space, better hurry up and zone it commercial and build a 10 by 200 foot apartment complex,
Smokey Bear January 21, 2014 at 02:51 AM
This is sad, the equestrian center needs to be left alone. Horses don't permanently reside here, but are often trucked in the the center for youth programs for special needs kids to get in touch with themselves through riding horses, to feel confident, to learn & have that special healing that animal have to offer people. I know someone who gives her whole life to helping special needs kids & thought it was a great thing that they do over there. Please stop building houses & ruining what San Juan history has been for hundreds of years!!! I personally miss the Historical Society riding their horses downtown on a Sunday, all gussied up like the old cowboy days & being able to tie up their horse in the park. I really am sad about this not happening anymore. Please don't take the horses away from the special needs kids, it helps them so much!!
Donna Fleming January 21, 2014 at 05:05 AM
Smokey...it is all about the money. The equestrian center is and was wonderful for the special needs kids. Thirty two homes does not seem as important and one of our renowned and highly honored historical equestrian center here in San Juan Capistrano. Many cities are well known for historical reasons and the communities try to preserve that thing that makes them special. We have the Mission and our old world charm which carried with it the horses and riders of the days before the automobile. Fewer swallows return every year. The building of these homes will never improve or enrich San Juan Capistrano. We need to hold on tight to the culture that made us world famous. People all over the world have heard of all small town because of the Swallows and the Mission. The building of thirty four homes in place of the equestrian center is a stab at the heart of San Juan Capistrano. What next? Should we tear down Los Rios street and build a strip mall? We need to stand together against big development where it destroys our link to the past. renowwidely acclaimed and highly honoredhistorical and
Donna Fleming January 21, 2014 at 05:09 AM
Penny...The horses and mission came before the plan.
Mark Speros January 22, 2014 at 10:04 PM
The Oaks Development is a personal tragedy for all those residents (our family included) that lived adjacent to the area. While I believe in the property rights of every owner, there are some major injustices the city turned a blind eye to (maybe with their hand out stretched?). First - Kudos to the current developer who no longer wants to build on the historically protected open space, as the previous developer wanted. But designating Avenida Siega as the ONLYaccess for 32 homes and the equestrian facility for 50 horses that's also supporting 10 "events" per year (basically one a month) is totally contrary to the property's historic use. The majority of all current traffic enters directly off Ortega (the current "main" entrance is used a handful of times a week). And that traffic could be easily accommodated (through a SIGNAL, no less!) by connecting directly through Reatta park. Walk it ~ it's a straight shot with the loss of 4 parking spaces, slight realignment, and a small 10' tree. No, they want it on Ave. Siega...gate guarded but with only a single lane each way! So the peaceful street Ave. Siega has been for almost 3 decades will now be a huge throughfare for cars, horse trailers and tractor-trailers delivering hay! (All of them waiting to go through a single gate...think of the back up to those 10 homes directly abutting the street, not to mention the gated development closer to Ortega whose homes also back to Siega! And, since there's no signal on Ortega, the accidents on Ortega will be epic (horse trailers turning west bound! Fun). Or, they'll begin taking the back way, along the crowded soccer fields to reach La Novia ~ impacting traffic on all those adjacent neighborhoods! The part I really didn't understand, watching the planning commission's meeting, is why they dropped the requirement to use recycled water within the project. My understanding is that those supply lines will run immediately adjacent the property...they have a huge open space that needs irrigation. And the water they' ll use otherwise take away from our potable water needs (I'm not suggesting it be used for drinking - horses or people). I'm guessing the developer discovered recycled water costs more, and got the city to drop the requirement...but that's just a guess on my part. I took the time to write these and many issues and submit them to the planning commission...and they acknowledged they received it, but didn't even review or comment on it. It will be very interesting to see what occurs when this comes in front of the City Council next month!
Donna Fleming January 23, 2014 at 12:02 AM
Mark, It seems like your concerns are valid. And, you have followed all the rules and communicated your concerns to the planning commission. It seems like the developers always get what they want. Has this property already been rezoned? I do not see how they can have 10 events a year for the horse people. You are probably right about the water use and the cost. That was not a good idea. We have a shortage, they should have insisted on using recycled water for irrigation. Is this a run away train or is there anyway to stop this development?

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