Will San Juan Capistrano’s dinosaur get a reprieve?
The owner of is now going through the process at City Hall to get the 13-foot dinosaur approved retroactively.
It first made its BIG impression in heart of the last month. , Apatosaurus (a.k.a. Brontosaurus), volunteers working to preserve the 18th century charm of the area weren’t as thrilled.
Jerry Nieblas, president of the , is leading the charge to have the dinosaur removed immediately and has called it a “mockery of the history of San Juan Capistrano.”
The city sent Carolyn Franks, Zoomars owner, a letter regarding the Jurassic-era replica last week. According to City Manager Karen Brust’s weekly update, the letter provides the property owner 15 days to proceed with removing the dinosaur or submitting a formal application to obtain zoning approval of the dinosaur.
The plans will have to go through the planning process, which includes stops at the city’s Cultural Heritage Commission, Planning Commission and City Council.
Franks said she is taking the city up on its offer.
“We were offered the opportunity to have our animal exhibit reviewed further in order to secure a building permit,” she said. “This decision was based off of our conditional use permit for the petting zoo, in existence for 30 years, and an approved site plan for a play area where the dinosaur sits.”
The city actually presented Franks with several options, she said.
“Due to the positive feedback we have received from thousands of Orange County locals, San Juan residents, dinosaur enthusiasts everywhere and hundreds of children every day, we have decided to take the necessary measures to keep our dinosaur on the property,” Franks said.
For his part, Nieblas said he is happy the city has taken such swift action.
“We commend the city for stepping up and defending the historical integrity, the culture, the character and the families of Los Rios Street and all it represents,” he said.