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OPINION: Dahl, Mortenson would Stop Three-Story Ban that Hurts Business

The head of the San Clemente Commercial Property Owners Association wants the downtown to be not only charming, but profitable.

The following is an endorsement by the head of the Commercial Property Owners Association of San Clemente Jim Eckel.

San Clemente needs City Council Members who possess the aptitude, experience, and conviction to help lead it into the future. A very important area of our City is our charming Downtown!

As a property owner and former Downtown business owner, I can tell you that maintaining our Downtown charm is a top priority of both business and property owners.

As a resident of twenty years, I can assure you there were times when our Downtown may have appeared charming, but it was definitely not profitable for business or property owners. As with any Downtown area there has been and will always be turnover, which can be a healthy exercise in regeneration.

However, it was not that long ago that the word “charming” was not your first thought when describing Downtown. For most of the nineties, our Downtown barely limped along and business turnover was very high. Fortunately, in recent years, beginning with Dave Donaldson's Beachfire Grill Restaurant, the Downtown has thrived with the additions of Nick’s, The Shore, Mimosa’s, and South of Nick’s.

However, there are challenges ahead for the economic viability of Downtown in the form of increased retail competition from the future Marblehead Outlet Mall. We need to encourage sensible business development for Downtown by resisting heavy handed measures such as building height restrictions that would halt our upward momentum and sabotage our chances for sustained growth.

Mike Mortenson and Jim Dahl are two City Council candidates who have been endorsed by the San Clemente Chamber of Commerce, the San Clemente Downtown Business Association, and the Orange County Register for one important reason; they understand that business is an important part to maintaining our Downtown vitality. From bartenders to board shapers, San
Clemente runs on business! A City Council comprised of individuals who are aware of this reality is essential for a strong, fiscally responsible city.

Mike and Jim will have my vote this coming November 6th and for the future sake of our much-loved Downtown, I'm asking you to do the same.

Dan Bane October 24, 2012 at 03:34 AM
I think the endorsement talked about exactly what I said above. That we need to maintain flexibility downtown for the property and business owners. The CUP process and system has been in place since the last general plan update almost 20 years ago. I don't see glut of three story buildings proposed. And no one is saying "We HAVE to grow." People are recognizing that we HAVE grown and that we will likely continue growing. Land use is all about flexibility. We need to maintain it; especially where a particular process has been in the books for decades and property/business owners have relied on it. I believe the blanket three story ban is a myopic approach and is horrible public policy. But to be clear, I have never heard Mortenson or Dahl say that we HAVE to grow or even that they want a ton of three story buildings downtown (I don't want that either).
Kathleen Ward October 24, 2012 at 02:44 PM
It is attempting to come up with reasons to endorse them that it is contrived. Just saying someone is more flexible is contrived. Bob Baker goes by law and property rights. I've seen him rule over the planning commission in favor of personal property rights. If someone had the right to do three stories because they meet all the requirements, he's going to look at it in the same way any of the candidates are. It is ridiculous to say that Chris Hamm or Bob Baker would have a preconceived idea of a project before it comes before them. As a council memeber for 4 years, he has never done that. Check some of the endorsements, those say we have to grow and we can't limit development. There are those out there that say we have to grow or we'll die. Sorry, that statement is not true if it means the buildings have to be bigger and better to be something.
Moonshine October 24, 2012 at 03:12 PM
At least Mortenson's endorsements are honest and authentic. I know of at least one prominent SC family pictured on Bakers website, who was also on his mailers, that does NOT endorse him. In fact, not only have they asked Baker to remove his family's picture and name from his "supporters" list, as a member of the Chamber of Commerce, this same person VOTED TO ENDORSE MORTENSON and DAHL. Just another lie from the Baker/Hamm/Eggy camp. Mortenson has SEVEN former/current council members endorsing him, to Baker's 2, Mortenson has banners on downtown businesses that support him as well as the Chamber, DBA, OCRegister, OCGOP and many more. I'm not going to argue with commenters saying these are "contrived" I just hope readers do their research and see for themselves just how many local people and businesses are behind Mike Mortenson. www.mikemortenson.com
Bill Hart October 27, 2012 at 05:31 PM
Moonshine you forgot about the three or four attempts to list various fictitious versions of the Tea Party on BB1's web site. But this is a hopeless discussion. None of the Bob BAker supporters here are business people. In fact they would rather vilify anyone who pursues profit rather than try to understand how enlightened self interest led to improvement in our downtown. It doesn't matter that the merchants and small businesses are mostly owned by locals. They must be punished!
Kathleen Ward October 27, 2012 at 09:56 PM
I rather like profit.

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