LWV League of Women Voters of California
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Orange County, CA November 5, 2002 Election
Measure DD
Sale of Lower Rosan Property
City of San Juan Capistrano

3,208 / 31.0% Yes votes ...... 7,137 / 69.0% 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: Arguments |

ADVISORY ONLY. Should the San Juan Capistrano Community Redevelopment Agency sell 13.22 acres of undeveloped real property, commonly referred to as the "Lower Rosan property" located north of Stonehill Drive between the railroad tracks and San Juan Creek, to the Home Depot Corporation for 9 million dollars?

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Arguments For Measure DD Arguments Against Measure DD
Dear Neighbor,

We have an opportunity to provide much-needed funding for additional police and fire protection services, street improvements/maintenance and local organizations and projects by selling this property to Home Depot. The $9 million purchase price and sales tax revenues of up to $250,000 per year will help secure the city's financial future. Other benefits include the creation of approximately 100 new jobs with minimal effect on local business.

The property, near Costco on the City's southern border, is designated in the City's General Plan for large commercial uses like a Home Depot - This designation is the result of a community-wide planning process that followed a nearly two-year building moratorium.

Home Depot has already proposed plans for building and landscaping that is sensitive to our "old town" quality of life and exceed the minimum architectural guidelines. Landscaping will provide a large "buffer area" between adjoining properties.

Other government agencies have already approved and funded traffic improvements in the area and a city-commissioned study shows that the Home Depot would generate approximately one-half of the traffic anticipated for the area in the General Plan.

This project has been closely scrutinized by expert planners and traffic engineers selected by the city.

Home Depot has a national reputation as a good corporate neighbor that regularly contributes to local causes and encourages employees to be involved in the community.

According to Orange County Taxpayers Association President Reed Royalty, a San Juan Capistrano resident, "The state will reduce its contribution to local government. Cities need new sources of sales tax revenue to fund local government services."

Your vote will help improve city services and create jobs for local citizens. Please vote YES on Measure DD.

Rebuttal to Arguments For
The Home Depot offer states "equal" to $9 million for the property on Stonehill, and has asked the City in previous documents to contribute 2.4 Mil in public assistance to the project. What does "equal" mean? There is no promise that Home Depot will pay for all needed improvements for roads and intersections.

A Stop Light on Stonehill, between Del Obispo and Camino Capistrano allowing 5,720 cars per day (7,300 on weekends) to enter and exit the Home Depot parking lot, would negatively affect the already congested Stonehill, Camino Capistrano, Del Obispo and several already overloaded intersections. The city Traffic & Planning Commissions unanimously rejected the plan, since it could not be sufficiently mitigated.

The building design is totally out of character for San Juan Capistrano, and the 7 day 6AM til 11PM operations, including beeping sweepers, delivery trucks all hours, and night lights, will negatively impact 5 residential neighborhoods in the area surrounding Stonehill.

According to the Economic Study, 27 businesses will be affected, with 35-55 jobs lost. Some of those will be higher paying positions, to be replaced by Home Depot with part-time, lower paying jobs. In a small town, small businesses should be preserved, and not jeopardized by large, tax-dollar assisted enterprises.

Alternate plans (like an RV storage area) would create virtually no traffic or noise, but would generate equivalent annual income to San Juan Capistrano.

The sale of the City-owned land to Home depot should not be approved for following reasons:

1. Tremendous increase in traffic, the 5,700 cars daily, will negatively impact residents of San Juan who exit I-5 at Camino Capistrano, or drive on Stonehill, Del Obispo and Camino Capistrano.

2. Existing small businesses in town will be hurt and some driven out of business

3. "Big Box" retail stores do not fit with the character of San Juan Capistrano

4. Alternative uses, such as RV storage, can generate at least 2-4 times more revenue annually than that projected for Home Depot, and the City would still own a valuable asset - the land.

5. The Home Depot offer states equal to $9 million. The equal is the issue. In the offer of $3.5 million in 1997 they wanted $2.4 million public assistance money from the taxpayers. They stated it's a bad location - we agree it still is.

6. It was wrong for the City Redevelopment Agency to have originally pressured a private citizen to sell her property under threat of eminent domain for another private company, Solag. They actually said they needed it for public use (emergency access to properties on Avenida Aeropuerto and for relocation of the City's Water District yards and City corporate yards. And now to sell it for a private use which was denied the original landowner is wrong.

7. The land should be used for necessary public needs, such as RV storage (now that RV street parking is banned) or for much-needed Affordable housing/apartments.

Rebuttal to Arguments Against
We urge citizens to vote YES on Measure DD based on the facts:

  • Financial Advantages to City and Residents

The State cannot be relied upon to provide current levels of funding to the city. This sale will help ensure San Juan Capistrano can take care of its needs, including traffic improvements and increased police and fire protection. The $9 million purchase price and the substantial annual sales tax revenues will make a real difference in the city's ability to provide services to residents and provides millions more for the city than any other potential use.

  • Located in an Industrial/Commercial Area

The property near Costco and adjacent to an industrial area and car dealerships was designated for large commercial uses after a thorough review of the City's General Plan. The site plans are sensitive to our traditions, the environment and to our neighbors by providing a completely landscaped buffer the width of a football field.

  • Home Depot Will Pay for Traffic Improvements

Traffic is expected to grow in this area, with or without Home Depot. Home Depot has committed to pay for the construction of the improvements to the streets and intersections as required by the City that will improve the current traffic condition on affected roads.

  • Cities have few opportunities to solidify their finances

As the State slashes funds available for cities to address their most urgent needs, we should take advantage of this opportunity now.

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Created: December 6, 2002 03:14 PST
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