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Apartment Complex at Whispering Hills Gets Initial OK

Developers want the 100-unit complex approved by the San Juan Capistrano City Council before they builds out the rest of Whispering Hills.

A sense of urgency was instilled Tuesday into the City Council to approve an apartment complex in Whispering Hills.

The 100-unit apartment complex is Woodbridge Homes' answer to meeting the city's call for low-income housing in the residential track. As proposed, however, the apartment complex is more dense than what's permitted in the Whispering Hills blue prints and thus requires City Council approval.

The City Council voted 4-1 Tuesday, with Councilman Derek Reeve dissenting, to initiate the planning process necessary to give final approval to the apartment complex in the future.

The initial approval came after Woodbridge Homes president Todd Cunningham said getting the planning process going now would be easier than delaying it.

With an agreement to a two-year land dispute —allowing Woodbridge Homes to begin building out the 150-house track—developers said they would prefer to win city approval on the apartment complex before home owners have a chance to oppose it. 

"We need to get it built before people start moving in and show up here in City Hall to oppose it, and we would like to be able to properly disclose to buyers in next 120 days what’s coming," said Cunningham.

Woodbridge Homes is the parent company of Rancho San Juan, LLC, the landowner financing construction of the single family homes. Cunningham told the City Council on Tuesday that he expects to begin building model houses in the next two months, with production to begin shortly thereafter.

Cunningham's point "is well taken," said city councilman John Taylor. "If you wait until you have other homes there, you’re going to have a tough time getting [the apartment complex] done."

, the complex would consist of 100 units, 26 of which would be set aside for residents with moderate to low incomes. It would be built on a four-acre parcel at Vista Montana and La Pata Avenue.

Orrie Brown June 23, 2011 at 01:22 AM
If the future neighbors won't like it and it takes a General Plan Amendment because the property is not zoned for apartments, why build them? How does it benefit our City? It doesn't.
Lon Uso August 12, 2012 at 06:44 PM
And with this project the city is back to normal. Controlled by developers and the same players that have been running this city into the ground for decades. At least i was able to delay it for a few years but for the people that do this type of work it was but a blip on the radar. congratulations!!!!
Lon Uso August 12, 2012 at 07:42 PM
This is the whackiest thing i have ever read. Everybody agrees that if they don't railroad this through quickly that people are going to oppose it once they get wind of it and they are making these comments openly in a public meeting. That takes some big.... I mean a lot of confidence that you are untouchable. It's bizarre, just simply bizarre.
Laurie Summers August 13, 2012 at 06:38 PM
Just what San Juan needs...more Ortega traffic....oh, well, probably just another 100 cars from the apts at the Ortega/ I-5 interchange during the 'rush hours'. And, heck, there is always San Juan CreekRoad that only backs up for 1/2 mile and still has another mile that it can accommodate more backup....no problem! What is happening to this 'country community'?????? Disgusting....
Lon Uso August 13, 2012 at 10:19 PM
Come on Laurie, the drug dealers need a convenient location to access their customers.

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