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Zoomars Appeals Dino Decision to City Council

Juan has one last chance to gain approval.

Juan the dinosaur has one last chance to make his plea to the court – the court of city officials, that is – before he faces extinction.

The downtown Apatosaurus statue has been at the center of a storm of controversy ever since he made his first appearance at Zoomars Petting Zoo in June.

Zoomars owner Carolyn Franks did not get prior approval for his placement, which has upset some locals, especially those who want to keep San Juan Capistrano’s historic downtown firmly planted in the 17- and 1800s.

As Juan has worked his way through various channels at City Hall, he’s mostly received thumbs down, most recently last month from the Planning Commission, which liked some of Franks’ plans for an educational center but not Juan. 

According to a city staff report, Franks has appealed that decision to the City Council. A hearing date has not been set.

The Planning Commission will consider approving the rest of Franks’ proposal, including shade structures, fossil dig areas and Native American huts, known as kiichas, at its Tuesday meeting.      

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