San Juan Capistrano city staffers are now recommending the City Council approve the 100-unit apartment complex proposed next to San Juan Hills High School.
The plan has come under fire, from residents in the nearby Valinda tract at past public hearings, the Capistrano Unified school board, which unanimously urged the City Council to reject the project and from parents picketing near the high school.
The San Juan Capistrano Planning Commission voted in August to recommend the City Council deny the project. And when the matter first came before the City Council in December, staff members were in agreement.
Postponed a month to consider additional traffic measures the developer suggested, staff is now recommending the City Council override the Planning Commission and give the apartments the green light.
The council meets at 6 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 32400 Paseo Adelanto, to discuss the matter.
The December suggestions for improving traffic in the area – above and beyond a traffic signal already proposed at the entrance of the apartments along Vista Montana – included two dedicated turn lanes to accommodate more people commuting to and from the school.
City staff has studied the proposals and determined the left-turn lanes from eastbound Vista Montana onto northbound La Pata Avenue would work. However, more land would need to be acquired to accommodate two right-turn lanes from southbound La Pata onto Vista Montana.
Staff suggests the school district pay for that change.
“As demonstrated by the project's traffic impact analysis, these improvements are neither attributable to nor necessitated by the proposed Rancho San Juan Apartments project,” the report states.
Patch is reaching out to the district for response.
Overall, the light and the restriping along Vista Montana would improve traffic, so staff is now recommending a yes vote on the apartments, the report says.
- The property owner’s representative details why a yes vote is needed.
- A school board member details why a no vote is needed.
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