A developer will ask the San Juan Capistrano City Council Tuesday for permission to convert what’s now Armstrong Growers into a sprawling senior community.
The proposal calls for an independent living component with 415 semi-detached units, congregate care with common dining and recreation areas and skilled nursing on 34 acres along Del Obispo Street, according to a city staff report. Residents would be age-restrict to 60 years old and older.
Currently, the land --which includes the retail outlet and the farmland with greenhouses -- is zoned for “agri-business,” so a switch to senior housing in what’s called “public/institutional” zoning will require a vote of the City Council before detailed plans go to the Planning Commission.
In a letter to the council, Troy Bourne of Menlo Park-based Spieker Senior Development Partners says using the land for agriculture is “no longer a reasonable use” given how the land around it has been developed. He also noted the adjacent Vermeulen shopping center could be made “more vibrant” with “some restorations and enhancement” if some of the building restrictions associated with the current zoning are lifted.
The developer was pursuing a similar project at Rancho Capistrano but has since abandoned that effort.
The council meets at 6 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 32400 Paseo Adelanto in San Juan Capistrano.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The "retail outlet" mentioned above is referring to Armstrong's, not the entire Vermeulen shopping center. While the developer isn't proposing anything for the shopping center, he does indicate in a letter to the city it would benefit from rezoning as well so it can be made more vibrant. Bourne also asked that you all know that no real agriculture is done on the property because plants are grown in pots.