City Council to Review Sales Agreement for Riding Park

Urged by critics, the council agrees to enumerate the restrictions placed on the property.

A review of priorities for a city commission which oversees open space turned into an opportunity to discuss the city’s sometimes-maligned deal to purchase the Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park.

After several residents complained too many conditions in the 2010 sales agreement work against San Juan Capistrano residents, the City Council agreed to take a closer look at the contract’s clauses.

Newest Councilman Roy Brynes – who campaigned on renegotiating the purchase with the original owner, the Rancho Mission Viejo company now building its last development just east of San Juan Capistrano – said his motion was only to simply list what the city’s restrictions are.

However, his ultimate purpose, he said could open the door to new talks with the ranch.

“The fact that some dubious conditions were snuck into the contract four years ago doesn’t mean we have to accept them,” he said.

Councilman Sam Allevato, the only sitting councilman who was a party to the agreement, abstained from the vote. But he said he had his doubts.

“Generally the seller and buyer don’t normally renegotiate four years after a transaction,” he said.

Five residents, including those behind the recent “banner wars” protest of a group also involved with the Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park purchase, spoke in favor of the council taking a fresh look at the contract.

Among the restrictions they disparaged were:

  • Limiting the public’s use of the riding park to only a handful number of times a year
  • The construction of a park that will serve Rancho Mission Viejo residents more than San Juan Capistrano residents
  • The fact that the city cannot hold its own rodeo on the site for 50 years
  • An agreement that the city cannot challenge the impacts of Rancho Mission Viejo development, which will place 14,000 new homes and millions of square feet of retail and commercial space off Ortega Highway.

“No more sweetheart deals,” said Melissa Kaffen, who ran for City Council but dropped out before Election Day. “It’s time for our City Council to make our wallets and our quality of life a priority.”

Councilman Derek Reeve said he’s hoping a closer look at the contract will ultimately put the controversy to rest.

“Maybe they’d [ranch officials} be interested in listening to some changes,” Reeve said, “just for goodwill, to put this behind us. For me, I want to look to the future.'

Councilman Larry Kramer cast the go-ahead vote.

“I’m enough in favor to go ahead, and let’s try it,” he said.

Smokey Bear March 23, 2013 at 04:28 AM
Jonathan Volzke March 25, 2013 at 03:53 AM
Kim and Clint, You both parse words like a politician. Clint,it's too bad voters rejected your bid for Council. They obviously did not care for your policies. I'm sure the agreement allows you to "challenge" the RMV deal to your heart's content. You just can't do it in a court of law, under the agreement. And Kim, as far as your statement that the land can not be built on - that's absolutely incorrect. You can, if you cared about the truth, research the approvals from the county and see that development was approved on the land, which was just one of the reasons the City's purchase made sense. And yes, Clint, it was 4-0, but don't insult anyone's intelligence that the show of citizens was anything other than a planned, coordinated effort.
Kim March 25, 2013 at 05:22 PM
Jonathan, you have lost all credibility by countless attempts at half truths and misinformation. Ho Hum, Giant sigh!
Jonathan Volzke March 25, 2013 at 05:39 PM
Coming from a woman hiding under a fake nickname! Good one "Kim"!
Penny Arévalo (Editor) March 25, 2013 at 05:54 PM
Enough about the names. Plenty of people use only their first names. It's allowed at Patch. There's no indication that Kim is not a Kim. Kim is a common name. I must know a dozen. If you want to question someone's desire to stay anonymous, you may do so, but it's not appropriate to constantly put Kim in quotes. Thanks! "penny"
Jonathan Volzke March 25, 2013 at 06:59 PM
OK Penny, but we all know who "Kim" is, and it's not ... Kim.
Penny Arévalo (Editor) March 25, 2013 at 07:35 PM
Sorry, I have to discourage the "outing" of Patch users.
Jonathan Volzke March 25, 2013 at 07:58 PM
Ho Hum. Giant Sigh. At any point, lest anyone mistake this issue for "news" -- here's an article from OC Weekly from three years ago. Same people, same complaints. http://www.ocweekly.com/2010-04-22/news/brad-gates-san-juan-capistrano-open-space-committee/full/ If you read the story, Kim without quotes, you'll see it identifies what was approved for construction on the site that the city purchased. (I know someone from the CCS group tired to float that it was not buildable because it's in a flood plain, but the house Clint Worthington lives in was built in a flood plain! The developer just trucked in dirt and raised the site 5 feet.) For whatever else good or bad, the open space purchase prevented development on the land.
Kim March 25, 2013 at 08:38 PM
Thank you Penny. As usual, Jonathan is trying to mis-lead readers and feels it is appropriate to constantly put my nick-name in quotes out of frustration. More misinformation that readers see right through.
Clint Worthington March 25, 2013 at 11:54 PM
Jonathan, yes your are right. The voters did not elect me. I spent 2900- of my own money. John Taylor and Larry Kramer each spent just a hair over $50,000.00 each to win a seat. Again, you are wrong Jonathan. You can challenge the Purchase Sale Agreement in a court of law. The City cannot challenge the development of Rancho Mission Viejo. Quite a big difference Jonathan. Again, your usual misinformation. Jonathan, again you are wrong. The conservation easements may not be built on. The conservation easements make up a large portion of the 132 acres. In addition, there is the high pressure fuel line that runs through the property. If you want to get technical on that, there are actually two high pressure fuel lines both at different locations. An old fuel line and a new fuel line. Please Jonathan, show us where the building were going to be built on the conservation easements. Please. The City's purchase does not make sense and continues to not make sense for a large variety of reasons of which there is not enough space here to identify each reason. It is unfortunate that you are against a planned coordinated effort of the residents. You can't control everyone Jonathan.
Jonathan Volzke March 26, 2013 at 12:05 AM
Clint, Please go to this link: http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/sandiego/board_info/agendas/2006/oct/item7/attd.pdf You may have to copy and paste it into the browser. Please look at figure 3 in the drawings. You'll note that a congregate care facility and "residential" were marked on the map in the area the city purchased. The plan was approved as submitted.This took me 2 minutes to find on line. IF you want to continue to argue something you're wrong about, I can spend 10 and find the "final" approval. The land could have, and would have, been built upon if not for the City's open space purchase, Clint. You continue to get it wrong. That just demonstrates the voters got it right. (Derek Reeve did not have to spend $50,000 to win a seat, Clint.)
Clint Worthington March 26, 2013 at 12:23 AM
Jonathan, again, that is not the county approved plan that you keep talking about. That is from the San Diego Regional Water Quality Board regarding water and water run off. It is not an approved plan by the County of Orange !!!! More misinformation Jonathan. You keep stating that the County of Orange has an approved plan. You have failed to show a County Approved plan where buildings will be placed on conservation easements.
Clint Worthington March 26, 2013 at 06:05 AM
Jonathan, nice try again. Nothing in the article in the link you provided shows any type of plan for any building. Nothing. More misinformation Jonathan. Jonathan, I am not quite sure how my home is the subject of this article. My home is NOT in a flood plane. My home DOES NOT require flood insurance. You are stating entirely false information. Please stop stating information that is patently false. Can you please stick to the subject. My home is not the subject. You still have not provided the plan for the development of the 132 acres. Lots of talk and articles but still no approved development plan that you have provided a copy of. Lastly, did you mean "tried" and not "tired"? Unsure of your grammar
Kim March 26, 2013 at 06:11 PM
More hocus-pocus Jonathan....Please provide us with what you say, an Orange County approved plan developemnt for the 132 acres, simple as that! No more fishing expeditions like the tax site you sent us readers too last week that was non-existant.
Jonathan Volzke March 26, 2013 at 07:00 PM
Hocus pocus is a perfect description, Kim. When people don't understand something, they attribute it to magic or hocus-pocus. I don't know how to make it any clearer for you, and you clearly aren't going to do the research yourself. You don't want to believe the truth, no matter in which form it's presented to you.
Kim March 26, 2013 at 08:49 PM
Mr. Worthington gave you the facts, and I read the articles you posted that do not support what you are dishing out at all. Where is the County approved plan development for the 132 acres that you keep referencing? Plain and simple.
Kim March 26, 2013 at 10:21 PM
Still waiting Jonathan.
Jonathan Volzke March 26, 2013 at 11:42 PM
Ah, Kimmie ... you need a hobby. Bee keeping, maybe? A dog grooming salon? I wanted to make it easy for you, and I know you like pictures. If you go to this website: http://pcpw.ocpublicworks.com/civicax/filebank/blobdload.aspx?BlobID=9264 And scroll down to page 171, you'll see Tentative Tract Maps 17053 and TT 17055 with roads and plots drawn in. Scroll back to the very first page and you'll see the plan was approved by the Board of Supervisors. Those are two of the parcels now protected from developer forever under the Open Space Purchase. As I said earlier, those parcels were going to be a congregate care facility and something undefined in zoning called an Urban Activity Center. If you want to really catch up, go to this link: http://pcpw.ocpublicworks.com/civicax/filebank/blobdload.aspx?BlobID=9252 And find the page (oh, I'll help: Starting on page 65) that says buildings in the UAC can be 45 feet tall! Wow! Can you imagine a 45-foot tall building out there? I can't. That's just another reason I'm happy our City leaders bought the 132 acres for generations to come! Are we done?
Jonathan Volzke March 26, 2013 at 11:57 PM
Page 17 of the appraisal (certified) used in the open space purchase also lists the approved development for the parcel, of course. There's no pictures, though. And Clint, when you publicly correct someone's grammar, you should spell "grammar" correctly.
Clint Worthington March 27, 2013 at 01:00 AM
Jonathan, as usual, you have sent us on so many wild goose chases on links that either do not work, or do not provide the information that you stated. You said the information is available on the internet and only takes 10 minutes to look up. Where is it? Or, is this just another wild goose chase?
Clint Worthington March 27, 2013 at 01:01 AM
Jonathan, another wild goose chase. Neither of these links will download.
Jonathan Volzke March 27, 2013 at 04:55 PM
They both work for me this morning, Clint. One is a very big file, so be patient. If you want to find them yourself (I'm surprised you haven't read them, as much as you write about the Ranch and the Open Space), find the Orange County Community Development home page, then click on "planned communities" (first little picture box), then click on "documents library" in the "Most Popular" Section. You'll learn a few things.
Kim March 27, 2013 at 05:37 PM
Jonnie boy, please, no more bibble-babble and dead end links....you are void of a response. Your OC link, which you first directed us too, puts Brad Gates in a bad light as a "negotiator" for the RMV sale, odd for you or perhaps you now see the light There is no County approval for the 132 acre site because no County is going to allow houses to be built on convervation easements or near to high pressure fuel lines. Conclusion: The PSA reads like a very expensive lease rather than a purchase. Sad for us residents who pay for it and our children to inherit the debt.
Whiskey Bent March 27, 2013 at 09:13 PM
Volzke, I find your obsession of trying to find out who "Kim" is entertaining. We all know it's your third ex wife.
Jonathan Volzke March 27, 2013 at 09:15 PM
Sorry, SJCP -- my third ex-wife is much smarter than Kimmie. And she knows how to read plans and staff reports.
Penny Arévalo (Editor) March 27, 2013 at 10:24 PM
Stop with the insults or I will close this thread. You are to discuss the merits of the information contained in the story, not try to out each other or take swipes at each other. Thank you.
Clint Worthington March 27, 2013 at 11:10 PM
Jonathan, it has been four minutes. Your links do not work. Just a wild goose chase.
Kim March 27, 2013 at 11:13 PM
Bibble-babble, try and stay on track. A simple review of some of the more restrictive clauses in the PSA of the RMV is a good thing for both the citizens of SJC and the Ranch. I believe the Ranch will come to the conclusion that "Laws control the lesser man, right conduct controls the greater one". And, we can put this all behind us. Publius SJC... His mastery is amazing, didn't know he count that far?
Clint Worthington March 27, 2013 at 11:28 PM
Jonathan Volzke, you must be talking about the appraisal that was prepared for the seller of the property, Rancho Mission Viejo. Would you purchase a home with a appraisal from the seller? No, you obtain your own independent appraisal. The City never obtained an independent appraisal prior to the sale. Any good quality appraisal contains a search of the title for easements any any other defects in the title. This appraisal did not take into consideration the Rancho Mission Viejo conservation easements which take up a fair portion of the property. Nor did it take into consideration that there is a high pressure (in fact two, one new and one old) fuel lines running through the property. Nowhere in the appraisal is that mentioned. Nowhere. Yet, Kinder Morgan has an easement for it. Just to correct your misinformation again, appraisals are not certified. You can have an appraiser who is certifed. But not an appraisal. Keep in mind, there are many places that an appraiser can become "certified". They truly don't mean squat. Very similar to the City joining an organization, and each organization it joins, it receives an award. Did you forget the Award Winning Intersection, or the Financial Reporting award San Bernardino received and then the next year the City files Bankrutpcy? Our City received the same Financial Report award. Nice. Do you ever stop providing incorrect information?
Clint Worthington March 27, 2013 at 11:36 PM
Kim, you are exactly right. It reads like a lease. The City does not even own the water rights. The water pumped from the well on the property is monitored by RMV as a requirement. Naming rights to a rodeo held on public property for fifty years. Come on. The seller, RMV dictates everything about this property. It is as if it was never sold to the City. Just leased.


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