The Whispering Hills builder, Rancho San Juan Development, sued the school district in 2009 over the last payment it said the district owed for the land that eventually became the school. The school district said it was planning to make the $6-million payment with proceeds from special taxes, known as Mello Roos fees, raised by the Whispering Hills residents. Then the economy went bust and there were no homes into which new residents could move.
In May 2011, the school district settled the lawsuit, promising to pay back the landowner from the Mello-Roos taxes collected. The agreement also included a land swap to resolve a boundary issue that kept the high school’s football stadium from being built with the rest of the school, which opened in 2007.
Fast forward to March 2012, when the first homes at what’s now called Valinda went on the market.
The agreement with developer requires the school district to issue the bonds when 70 homes have been sold, said Clark Hampton, deputy superintendent of business services. That time has come.
Of the about $10 million in bonds to be sold, $6 million will go straight to the developer, said Lori Raineri, a consultant with CUSD. There will be little, if any, proceeds the district can use to construct additional school facilities.
The rest will go to the city of San Juan Capistrano for providing various municipal services to the new development.
“The developer is saying it’s time to pay me back,” Raineri told the Board of Trustees at last week’s meeting. The two parties are working cooperatively, she added.
The school board will authorize the sale of the bonds at its Sept. 25 meeting and they are scheduled to be sold Oct. 31, Raineri said. The developer will receive the payments in increments, with the first one totaling $2.8 million.
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