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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: The Dino Revisited

No matter how Zoomars tries to win approval for Juan, the Apatosaurus, the Capistrano Historical Alliance Committee is not on board.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The author is responding to reports that Zoomars Petting Zoo, route: {:controller=>"listings", :action=>"show", :id=>"zoo-mars-petting-zoo"} --> owner Carolyn Franks is trying another tact to get her dinosaur statue, known as Juan, city-approved. She has applied for a permit that would allow the 13-foot-tall Apatosaurus now that t, like it or not. Could Zoomars conceal the dinosaur to appease us? No.

Cal Grimes September 18, 2012 at 09:20 PM
Weren't dinosaurs here long before the hunters, gatherers, ranchers and vaqueros?
LS September 18, 2012 at 11:11 PM
They were on the planet before the hunters, gatherers, etc. but not in this area. When the dinosaurs roamed, this area was all under water.
Alberto Barrera September 19, 2012 at 02:26 AM
According to Google maps, Zoomars is on River street/Private street. Google knows everything, therefore, Zoomars is not on Los Rios. Continuing with that logic, all Zoomars must do is change their listed address to River street and presto! Problem solved.
Penny Arévalo (Editor) September 19, 2012 at 02:30 AM
You're cute, Alberto! The Los Rios Specific Plan covers that whole area, even ancillary streets to Los Rios Street. All of it is part of the Los Rios Historic District and has special zoning laws.
Max Power September 19, 2012 at 05:18 PM
I can just hear him yelling "...and stay off of my lawn" at children.
Frank E. September 19, 2012 at 05:24 PM
The only issue here is whether the presence of the dinosaur is consistent with the Specific Plan. I believe the Planning Commission said it wasn't. Why doesn't Ms. Franks simply seek to have the City Council amend the Plan?
wschrimp September 19, 2012 at 05:31 PM
Penny I suggest you get your facts straight. The ZOOMARS property is two separate lots and Alberto is right, it is on River Street. The dinosaur and the petting zoo are in the "Historical Commerical" zone, NOT the Residential one which is regulated differently. You should be more responsible and do your research to inform your readers when addressing such important issues on behalf of the Patch. Ms. Franks is well within her right to grow her business and has always been respectful of the area and her community. From what I've seen, she is not doing anything more than what they've been doing there since it opened.
wschrimp September 19, 2012 at 05:40 PM
The city should apologize to Ms. Franks and then return every cent Zoomars has had to pay them to keep the dinosaur. The city still has not been able to produce one single violation of any city statute. MS. FRANKS HAS NOT BROKEN A SINGLE LAW MR. NIEBLAS. YOU NEED TO GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT. I would have loved to see the city try and evict the Zoo over a statue! At a time when there are so many more important issue facing our city, is this really an issue? Funny how after the city is paid over $8000 and many more thousands have been spent, now they seem to may be ok with it. Why did Zoomars have to spend nearly $20,000 to have a "STATUE" approved on their own property? The Historical Alliance Committee needs to be disbanded or replaced. If not then they need to be tasked to do what other Historical Societies do across the nation, exterior construction and paint colors, that's it. There is now way that their ancestors could have told them stories about dinosaurs, since their ancestors were not alive then and dinosaurs were not first discovered until the late 1800's. The Los Rios District is an eclectic display of San Juan Capistrano History, there is no reason that Prehistoric California history cannot be included. Oh, that's right the mommies and daddies of the historical alliance committee members did not tell them about the dinosaurs. What a joke.
wschrimp September 19, 2012 at 05:52 PM
Mr. Nieblas. The only "self serving" agenda, as you put it, that I see is your committees need for control. Heaven help us all if your committee does not approve of something in this town. So why were you let go from the Mission? The mission does not just tell the history of San Juan Capistrano now does it! It tells the story of California. So why can't a small piece of the Los Rios District do the same? You have forced the city staff to spend countless hours on this issue, when there are many more important issues addressing this city they could be working on. Do everyone a favor and just step aside.
Jennifer Maracle September 19, 2012 at 06:08 PM
Perhaps before condemning Zoomars for adding "4 MORE plans to their entertainment agenda" Mr. Nieblas should inquire what exactly they plan to do with those areas. As the OC Register reports it they are "reorganizing the zoo to include a Farm Area, and Old West Town and an Acajchemen Indian Village" in addition to the proposed prehistoric garden. Well let's look at this, Mr. Nieblas, shall we? A Farm Area, as a petting zoo that seems to be what most of the property consists of in the first place. I would hardly call that NEW. The same goes for the Western Town. After all they already have the mining and train ride, I would assume that is to be a part of what they intend to classify as the town. The dinosaur, although much debated and at the heart of the issue, already has a home at the zoo and the purpose of the amendment is to make him a legal part of the property and permit. Lastly, and most interestingly, is the Acjachemen Indian Village. Are these not the very same hunter/gatherers you mention as being so important to the city of San Juan Capistrano and the Los Rios District in the first place? I find it hard to believe you can find fault with Zoomars wanting to pay homage to these indigenous people in a way that is so respectful of their culture and the history of the city. You are upset that the dinosaur was installed without permits (which have yet to be proven as needed) yet now you are complaining that these "new" areas are in the amendment too? Shame on you, sir.
wschrimp September 19, 2012 at 06:13 PM
Bravo! Very well put. He seems to be a "Historical Bully", and what do we do with bullies?
Penny Arévalo (Editor) September 19, 2012 at 06:18 PM
wscrhimp, Perhaps you should read my reply again. I didn't say Zoomars is on Los Rios. I said it part of the Los Rios Street Historic District and falls under the Los Rios Specific Plan. I didn't say it was residential. Where are you reading these things? I'm also NOT offering my opinion on the matter. Thanks!
wschrimp September 19, 2012 at 07:58 PM
LS, You are correct, San Juan was underwater 150 to 154 million years ago, when this dinosaur lived. However this dinosaur did roam parts of California. Zoomars should be allowed to show another part of California History?
Lon Uso September 19, 2012 at 10:16 PM
heaven forbid that someone might want to do something a little different to help their business, these people are hysterical, not historical

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