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PHOTOS: Small Protest Against Apartments Near San Juan Hills Begins

Demonstrators are encouraging parents to show up at next week's San Juan Capistrano City Council meeting.

Residents protest a proposed 100-unit apartment complex in San Juan Capistrano L-R, Mike Johnson and Trevor Dale talk to Al Scappaticci of Coto de Caza, a parent at San Juan Hills High. Patch photo credit: Penny Arévalo
Residents protest a proposed 100-unit apartment complex in San Juan Capistrano L-R, Mike Johnson and Trevor Dale talk to Al Scappaticci of Coto de Caza, a parent at San Juan Hills High. Patch photo credit: Penny Arévalo

Two men are trying to rally San Juan Hills High parents and taxpayers in Capistrano Unified against a 100-unit apartment complex proposed next to the high school.

Last week, the Capistrano Unified school board unanimously passed a resolution urging the San Juan Capistrano City Council to reject the apartment proposal. District officials said they would like the opportunity to negotiate to buy or trade the property so San Juan Hills High could eventually expand.

The 9-acre site – on which current zoning would allow four homes – is the last buildable, undeveloped property adjacent to school. 

If the school cannot expand, eventually, San Juan Capistrano students may be forced to schools outside their city as residents of Ladera Ranch and Talega have priority enrollment, the school board's resolution states. Mello Roos taxes from those areas helped build the school, giving them legal first priority.

San Juan Capistrano resident Mike Johnson worries that a zoning change to allow 100 units will price the district out of contention and that eventually, the apartments will be built, adding more traffic to an already congested area.

He says protesters will be out again Friday and Tuesday morning near the school. Passers-by asked questions, while some thanked the men for coming out.

The City Council is expected to take up the matter when it meets at 6 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 32400 Paseo Adelanto, San Juan Capistrano.

See past Patch coverage of the Rancho San Juan Apartments:

Donna Fleming January 16, 2014 at 01:08 PM
Will this 100 unit complex provide section 8 housing?
Penny Arévalo (Editor) January 16, 2014 at 01:12 PM
I don't think the affordable housing component has been detailed. SJC has to provide 74 units for those with extremely low income, 73 units for very low income, 104 units for low income, 120 in moderate-income housing units and 267 units for above-moderate-income. Don't know which category these would fall into.
Donna Fleming January 16, 2014 at 02:26 PM
That opens the door to sec 8 housing. Parking, traffic, crime, latch key kids, that is what will happen if this affordable housing is built across from the high school.
shelly January 17, 2014 at 03:25 PM
But why put low income housing under power lines when power lines have been linked to higher rates cancer and leukemia in children?
shelly January 17, 2014 at 03:40 PM
SJHHS is the only public high school in the city of San Juan Capistrano. If the San Juan City Council votes to rezone this land then it is voting against the children of San Juan Capistrano and against the recommendations of the SJC planning committee who are against the rezoning. The current SJHHS students will be affected by the traffic issues but the elementary school children will be affected by the boundary issues. If the land is rezoned there will be no land for the school to expand parking on to free up land for building that is not under power lines. At the last CUSD meeting a speaker spoke about the history of ownership the land. Our city originally owned the land the school is on and surrounding land and sold it to a developer for 2.9 mil. The developer sold it to CUSD for 50 mil. So even if the apartments are not build the rezoning drives up the cost of the land tremendously so if the school wanted it this rezoning would drive up the cost tremendously.
shelly January 17, 2014 at 04:00 PM
I understand that affordable housing must be build in SJC but why pick such an area way out of town that has no current bus routes, no food shopping, no easy way to walk to shopping, next to a street with barreling trash trucks, etc. It is not even a mile from the dump. Why here and not at the other areas that have been considered that would be better for everyone.
shelly January 17, 2014 at 04:03 PM
I will say it again. I do not understand why anyone for any amount of money would put housing under power lines when it has been linked to childhood cancers. The school would be prohibited from building buildings on this land because of this but a developer can put in affordable housing on it? Is anyone looking out for these kids?
shelly January 17, 2014 at 04:09 PM
If they vote for rezoning our city council will be responsible for this rezoning and for allowing children to live under power lines and next to a street that will be extremely busy when La Pata opens up and is already busy with big trash trucks and school traffic. If they vote for rezoning the SJC City Council will knowingly vote against the children of SJC because CUSD is sending them a resolutions telling them this.
Robert Fisher January 17, 2014 at 09:01 PM
Penny- What is considered the minimum and maximum income in Orange County that would allow someone to qualify to live in affordable housing?
Penny Arévalo (Editor) January 17, 2014 at 09:05 PM
I'll have to research those exact numbers for this area. It would be built around the median income.

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