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No development in San Juan Capistrano? Who's the real culprit?

Let me start by saying, my clients are owners of commercial buildings and land, so sharing my opinion may not make me popular...but, popularity is over rated!

It is easy to blame members of the City Council for the lack of development in San Juan Capistrano. After all, they are the one's who keep voting down development projects - right? WRONG!

Give me a moment to answer  "Who is the real culprit?", it may surprise you.

The value of an owner's land is worth the value of what can be built upon it. In the case of land development, the land owner's value is directly tied to what and how much a developer can build. Common sense will tell you, the more a developer can build on a site, the more money he will make, and the more money he can pay the land owner. Simple!

The Historic Town Center Master Plan and Form Based Design Code are the points of control limiting how much a developer is allowed to build on a site. When a developer knowingly submits a project that does not meet the criteria of these important tools and proposes to build far too much on a site, the City Council has a responsibility to everyone in the community to reject it. They should be commended for their courage! The real culprit is the developer, and perhaps to a lesser degree, the land owner. They are responsible for the failure of the project because how much is squeezed into a plan starts with how much the developer must pay the land owner for the land. It is simple, the higher the land price, the more the developer has to build on the site to make the deal work.  

Sam Fazio July 03, 2014 at 05:49 PM
You two should get married!
shelly July 03, 2014 at 05:53 PM
Gus Gunderson, Maeve asked you to copy and paste the comment where she lied. You have not done this. You both agree that this development at the scope requested by the developer is not good for SJC. Maybe you should put aside your personal feelings for Maeve and advocate for what you actually want to occur in SJC, for the good of SJC.
Maeve Mcdonough July 04, 2014 at 01:23 AM
Thanks shelly, for once again attempting to point the conversation back in a more productive direction. I hope it sticks this time.
William S Dean July 08, 2014 at 02:00 PM
The problem with too many (not ALL) developers is that they believe that philosophy of "Common sense will tell you, the more a developer can build on a site, the more money he will make, and the more money he can pay the land owner. Simple!" It's not so simple - a empty strip mall, for example, is not only a public eyesore but what if some historic property has been destroyed to build it? You don't get a do-over for that. Trying to cram as much as possible on your land for quick profits makes for over-crowded chicken wire and paste apts and condos that are so cheaply made their value is well over-inflated which then is re-valued downward every year. So who wins? The community? I think not.
William S Dean July 18, 2014 at 11:51 AM
Look, SJC has one and only one enduring "asset": The Mission and environs. Why not go the full Monty and have EVERYTHING from the Mission down to the Rios BE "Old San Juan"? Why not move that hideous obtrusive parking structure down several blocks and make the whole "new" Old Town area pedestrian only? Take a cue from many Euro and US cities that have the downtown be Old Town (but for real, not Disney Old Town).

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