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Dinosaur Likely One-of-a-Kind in SJC

Zoomars' Apatosaurus may be the first that has ever graced the area, mayor says.

Juan the Zoomars dinosaur is all alone in San Juan Capistrano. And that’s probably how it’s been since time immemorial.

The Apatosaurus made a splash when  owner Carolyn Franks . While , he’s to those who want to keep the old-town feel of the , circa 1800s.

One of his fans, Pamela Schuler of Dana Point, showed up at City Council Tuesday to plant the thought that this vegetarian might have dibs on San Juan Capistrano long before Juaneño Indians or Father Serra ever arrived.

“Ten years ago, they found dinosaur bones at Monarch Beach,” she said. “There must be dinosaur bones in Capistrano, too.”

But Mayor Larry Kramer said he doesn’t think so. Because of the archeologically sensitive nature of many sites around town, the city has had experts on hand when excavation is done, to protect Native American artifacts and burial grounds.

“We do a lot of digging around here,” Kramer said. “I’ve asked if we’ve ever found any dinosaur bones, and the answer I got is ‘zero.’ ”

Franks is asking the city to make Juan legit. His first jurassic hearing before a city commission is Aug. 14 in front of the Planning Commission.

wschrimp July 19, 2012 at 05:39 AM
I have spent a few hours here and there around Zoomars in the last few weeks and have yet to hear one person gasp in horror over the site of the dinosaur. To the contrary, young and old alike have marveled at Juan. Many have commented about bring friends or relatives to town to see him. Lets look beyond the few small minded that only see San Juan Capistrano history for the "split second" in time that it has been on the map. The Apatosaurus was on this planet for 4 million years. I think it wins the who should be here contest, but is this even the point? This is not a building, or structure of any type. It is a statue, and some will say a piece of art. Since when do we need to have yard art and sculptures approved by the city? That is what this is, a large sculpture. It is not the tallest thing in the area either. If Juan is not allowed to stay where it is and be treasured by young and old alike, then the city must venture out among the streets of our city and historic district, and I bet they will find many other sculptures and or buildings that would be deemed not historically accurate. So will they take action against them? At a time when people are trying to limit governmental control, it seems very hypocritical that some of these same people are asking our city to do just the opposite.
Doug w July 19, 2012 at 03:48 PM
Lived in SJC since 71 and have noticed two things about some residents...1) they think they have the right to tell others what to do (golden advice); and 2) they can make a mountain out of the smallest mo-hill. Personally I hear nothing but good things about zoomars and if they like dinosaurs that is their business.
Doug w July 19, 2012 at 03:54 PM
It also reminds me of a similar story about a meeting I attended in DP about a whale statue they were considerint (it was later harpooned). A local politician lady did not like the idea saying "I don't like the negative connotation" I turned to the person next to me and asked "what negative connotation...fat chicks?"
Steve Behmerwohld July 19, 2012 at 05:04 PM
I spend time in the Los Rios area at least once a week, and I too have heard zero negative comments from anyone there. Every week, at least a few families ask, "where is the Dinosaur?" or "Where is the Mini-farm"? The Mini-farm draws a lot of visitors (and their $) to town every week. These visitors then go on to spend their money at the Mission and local restaurants. I still haven't heard exactly what specifically, the Dinosaur violates in regards the Los Rios Specific Plan. If Ms. Franks is willing to go through the red tape with the City and has the overwhelming support of the vast majority of the people of San Juan, I think Juan should be allowed to stay.
Tim Mathiesen July 21, 2012 at 04:12 PM
I visit Zoomars with my grandchildren often and now that the dinosaur is there, that is the first place that want to go. I think that it is a great addition to the park. You can hardly see it from anywhere outside and it is perfectly placed. I wonder how many of those against it have actually visited Zoomars to see the children and adults enjoy the Dino? Millions of years ago, these beast lived where you live now. Embrace it and enjoy the Dino!

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