In 2007, the city of San Juan Capistrano finally saw a comprehensive public high school open within its boundaries, but students from Ladera Ranch and Talega could eventually force city residents back to Capistrano Valley, Dana Hills and San Clemente high schools.
On Wednesday, the Capistrano Unified school board will consider coming out publicly against a proposed 100-unit apartment complex planned for next to San Juan Hills High.
Buried within the recently revised resolution trustees will consider passing are statements questioning the future of San Juan Hills as a home for San Juan Capistrano resident-students.
“Students residing in Ladera Ranch and the San Clemente development of Talega are to have priority access because the community facilities districts in their areas [also known as Mello-Roos districts] contributed the acquisition and construction of San Juan Hills,” the resolution states.
After La Pata is punched through to San Clemente, students from Talega are likely going to be assigned to San Juan Hills, and as it stands now, the school’s enrollment is already over-capacity, the resolution states.
“With the San Clemente development of Talega possibly reassigned to San Juan Hills, provided the [apartment] project proceeds and the district is unable to expand San Juan Hills, then current San Juan Hills students who do not have priority access, specifically, students residing in the city, will be reassigned to other public high schools, including but not limited to Capistrano Valley High School and San Clemente High School,” the resolution states.
The resolution declares the apartment complex “detrimental” to San Juan Capistrano students, who could be forced to enroll in schools outside the city.
In August, the Planning Commission voted to recommend the council deny the project in part because traffic already is congested near the school. That was in spite of an offer the developer made to install a new traffic light above and beyond what environmental studies had recommended.
In December, the council considered taking action on the apartments, but decided staff needed more time to study yet further traffic changes, including restriping to allow two lanes of traffic to come and go at the intersection of La Pata Avenue and Vista Montana.
The City Council is now scheduled to hear the proposal at its Jan. 21 meeting.
The school board is scheduled to discuss the apartment proposal when it meets at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 8, at the district headquarters, 33122 Valle Road in San Juan Capistrano.