LWV League of Women Voters of California
Smart Voter
Orange County, CA November 5, 2002 Election
Measure CC
Whispering Hills Rezoning
City of San Juan Capistrano

Majority Approval Required

4,422 / 43.7% Yes votes ...... 5,694 / 56.3% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Results as of Nov 12 4:00pm, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (32/32)
Information shown below: Yes/No Meaning | Impartial Analysis | Arguments |

Shall an ordinance providing for the rezoning of 356 acres of real property known as Whispering Hills Estates (located on the west side of La Pata, just north of the Prima Deschecha Landfill) from the Growth Management District ("GM") to Planned Community District ("PC") for the purpose of allowing a high school and construction of 175 residential units be approved?

Meaning of Voting Yes/No
A YES vote of this measure means:
A "yes" vote would be to approve the Whispering Hills rezoning ordinance.

A NO vote of this measure means:
A "no" vote would be to disapprove the rezoning ordinance.

Impartial Analysis from City Attorney
This ballot measure asks City of San Juan Capistrano voters to approve, or not approve, a rezoning ordinance for certain real property commonly referred to as "Whispering Hills" to allow the development of a high school and 175 residential units on approximately 356 acres of land.

The Whispering Hills property is located on the west side of La Pata, just north of the Prima Deshecha Landfill. On June 18, 2002, the City of San Juan Capistrano City Council approved rezoning ordinance 865, which rezoned the Whispering Hills property from the Growth Management ("GM") District to the Planned Community ("PC") District. Rezoning ordinance 865 represents a planned unit development form of zoning which specifically would allow the development of a high school on approximately 43 acres in the East canyon area of the project site. 160 single family detached residential homes would also be permitted in the East canyon area. Traffic access to the East canyon area for the high school and residential lots shall be from Avenida La Pata. 15 estate homes (30,000 minimum square foot lots) would be permitted in the West canyon area. The West canyon is located immediately south and adjacent to the existing Hidden Mountain Estates project. Traffic access to the 15 estate homes in the West canyon shall be from an extension of Avenida La Mancha.

The Whispering Hills rezoning ordinance contains numerous zoning requirements relating to residential development standards such as lot sizes, setbacks, and lot locations, traffic circulation, parkland, equestrian trails, preservation of open space, ridgeline preservation, public utilities infrastructure.

A referendum petition was filed with the City on July 18,
2002. The petition requested that the City Council repeal rezoning ordinance 865, or in the alternative, place the rezoning ordinance before the voters at a regular municipal election. In response to the referendum petition, the City Council on July 30, 2002 voted to place the question of whether to approve the Whispering Hills rezoning ordinance before the voters.

  Opposition to Measure CC http://www.sensiblegrowth.com

Opposing viewpoints on Measure CC
Support for Measure CC http://www.yesoncc.com

Support for the passage of Measure CC
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Arguments For Measure CC Arguments Against Measure CC
.....: YES on Measure CC for San Juan Hills High School.

Children in San Juan Capistrano have not had their own high school for 40 years. They are split between three overcrowded high schools outside the city.

YES on Measure CC will set aside 45 acres of prime land for a new high school in San Juan Capistrano for the students of our city. The school will be fully equipped with the latest teaching technology and built to the highest earthquake and fire safety standards. The Capistrano Unified School District Board endorses Measure CC.

YES on CC protects Ridgelines and Open Space.

Measure CC guarantees that 72% of land at Whispering Hills Estates will be permanently dedicated to public ownership for educational, recreational, equestrian, and open space uses. There will be no building or roads on ridgelines and Measure CC will not extend San Juan Creek Road.

Yes on CC Means $88 Million For Our Kids and Our Community.

Your YES vote on Measure CC will guarantee San Juan Capistrano a new high school paid for by $80 million in voter approved school bonds and state matching funds. Whispering Hills Estates will be required to contribute an additional $4 million towards the building of San Juan Hills High.

$3.8 million in repairs and safety improvements at Ambuehl Elementary School will be made as a result of Measure CC. Current temporary buildings will be replaced with new earthquake and fire safe classrooms.

The Defeat of Measure CC Will Not Save Tax Dollars. It Just Means Our School Dollars Will Go To Other Communities.

San Juan Capistrano schools stand to lose millions of dollars in state and local bond funds. Other communities will get new, modern, safe schools paid for by our tax dollars.

Vote YES on CC for Our Kids. For Our Community. For Our Future.

Rebuttal to Arguments For

  • This project is not a high school issue; it is a traffic and development issue. It's about adding traffic to already burdened roadways in our City by re-routing that traffic, with little physical improvement; adding more homes and granting unnecessary ridgeline exceptions.
  • Back in the 70's, Capistrano Valley High School was touted as the school for SJC's children. What happened? Attendance boundaries are subject to change by the District every year. How long before boundaries are redrawn to split SJC's children amongst 4 high schools?
  • We can build a high school without 175 homes or filling canyons by over 100 feet. There are alternative plans with a high school that are more sensitive and safer for our children.
  • The defeat of Measure CC still allows the $80 million to be available for our children and community unless the School District decides to stop serving the needs of SJC's children.
  • The Developer profits from selling the land to CUSD
    -it is not being given to CUSD. The District has the ability to build this high school with the voter approved bond money, without the developer.
  • We need to deliver a message to the City Council, the School Board and the Developer: Fix the traffic and manage the growth -- do right by our residents and our children, keep them safe and give them a project with a high school that we can be proud of.

Vote NO because the project doesn't adequately address the 6000 daily trips added to area roads.

Vote NO because our General Plan and policies don't advocate the cutting down of hillsides and filling of canyons by over 100 feet.

Vote NO because we shouldn't grant a ridgeline protection exception for a parking lot.

Vote NO because we don't preserve SJC's rural and equestrian character by passing ordinances allowing homes to be built a mere 12 feet apart.

Vote NO because 175 homes is more than the 131 allowed under our City's Slope Density Policy without exceptions.

Vote NO to building over wetlands and disrupting natural habitat for endangered species.

Vote NO because traffic generated by the project could create a need to extend San Juan Creek Road to La Pata.

Why were these two separate developments artificially combined? A NO vote tells the City and the School Board that we want a proposal for a high school that doesn't include a residential project that ignores or requires exceptions to our City policies. We don't want to teach our kids that "the ends justify the means."

The developer is getting paid millions of dollars for providing this land to the school. Taking into account monies being paid, he is really only "giving back" to CUSD some of the money he's being paid. We don't yet know the total school cost to the taxpayers.

If this ordinance was first and foremost about a high school, why did the Council and School Board reject a compromise of building the school with no ridgeline exception, 118 homes, parking only for 12th graders and public busing down Ortega? Can it be that this is really more about building 175 homes than insuring a high school is built? Just vote NO.

Rebuttal to Arguments Against
Opponents of Measure CC Are Not Telling the Truth About Traffic

The 6,000 daily trips opponents talk about are already on our roads. Thousands of students and parents are currently commuting to and from schools in Mission Viejo, San Clemente, and Dana Point. Building a new local high school will reduce the time they are on our roads.

Measure CC Strictly Complies With Ridgeline Protection and Environmental Laws

The project fully complies with the City's Ridgeline Preservation Ordinance and all laws that protect endangered species and the environment. The high school will be 150 feet below the ridgeline and the parking lot will not be located on a ridgeline. Homes will not be visible above the ridgeline.

Measure CC Provides the Ideal Location and Funding For a New High School

The Capistrano Unified School District has determined that Whispering Hills is the only site in our city that meets their strict criteria for the construction of a high school # all other sites were rejected because of geological and safety issues, costs, availability, or location. Fees paid by the developer and existing school bonds will provide all funding for the construction of the high school and much needed repairs and safety improvements at Ambuehl Elementary.

Measure CC Opponents Have No Alternate Plan For a High School

Our children have not had a local high school in 40 years. We can't afford to wait another 40 years.

Vote YES on CC. Endorsed by the School Board, local teachers, parents, and community leaders.

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Created: December 6, 2002 03:14 PST
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