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North Beach Is a Priority, Park Not So Much, Committee Says

The General Plan Advisory Committee, tasked with planning the city's new zoning maps, forwarded its suggested development priorities to the council; advocates for a park at North Beach speak out at the meeting in favor of a park.

Although many members of the public at the General Plan Advisory Committee meeting Wednesday night favored a park at North Beach, few members of the committee thought it was a good idea.

Wednesday night, the committee rated its priorities for development as requested by council.

Even after , the issue remains contentious. Arguments in a case brought by the developer are scheduled for court Thursday—

Those are pushing the General Plan Advisory Committee and the city to take tangible steps forward, while remain opposed to a park.

and an advocate of an plan, and Gene Gilbert, who has a more extensive park vision for the area, both spoke at the meeting, as did several others in favor of a park.

Others urged the committee to make renovating thea priority, while at least one resident wanted the city to keep parking the way it's now configured next to the .

Many on the committee remained unconvinced, however.

“After the Measure A election, I was open to the idea of a park,” said Bill Hart, a committee member and “Here’s my problem right now: I didn’t hear any unified mandate that said, ‘We voted against Measure A so we could have a park.’ ”

Citing a column in the San Clemente Times by park proponent and former Councilman Wayne Eggleston, Hart called the park idea another “political football.”

Committee member Jim Ruehlin was worried about the cost for installation of a park and the ongoing cost of maintenance.

“One thing that’s been lacking from every park discussion is … how we pay for it and how will we continue to pay for it,” he said. 

The point may be moot anyway, because the committee has no authority to change zoning laws and is tasked only with advising the council on general land use.

The 21 members who were present went through an exercise to mark priorities for development. Members placed marks on charts next to their top priorities chosen from a list. The photos that accompany this article show the charts.

Most wanted the North Beach area and South El Camino Real west of I-5 to be priorities for development projects.

The triangle site at North Beach was also under discussion—most said the patch of land now encompassed by the parking lot should remain part of the parking lot or be used for something other than a park. Only two members marked that there should be a park at the site.

Overwhelmingly, fixing the Miramar Theater and a vacant lot on El Camino Real were the committee’s priorities for development at North Beach.

Jeff LEWIS November 08, 2011 at 06:16 PM
The North Beach and surrounding area of Northern San Clemente are an embarrassment to the entire community. What does it take to get action from our elected officials to create a plan for transformation? We missed the opportunity with Playa del Norte due to lack of proper information being passed to the citizens of the city. The revenues generated from that, or a similar project along with increased taxes from higher property values will go a long way towards enhancing the city budget. It will also give notice that our community is business friendly and forward thinking. Come on elected officials, get it together and make something happen this time!! jeff M lewis
Lindsey Hanson November 08, 2011 at 09:27 PM
Jeff you are full of it. Is your random out of no where comment on an age old article give us reason to believe the Sadeghi propaganda crew is back in force. Get a hint we voted against it. And to hell with you for talking down on my town! The Miramar is the only eyesore at NB. Quit with your lies already.
Lindsey Hanson November 08, 2011 at 09:29 PM
AH HA! it is true. A quick check of your profile tells me you just registered to find this old article and spat your lies. Give it up NB is beautiful! FIX THE MIRAMAR NOW and NB will be complete.
steve hopper January 01, 2012 at 07:40 PM
Though I'm not pro-development for it's own sake, I feel that some type of development in NB is a given. A park is an on-going financial liability for the city and ultimately makes no sense. And, the GP Advisory Committee agrees. So, what type of development would you like to see? NB is "Beautiful?" Really?.
Lindsey Hanson January 01, 2012 at 08:13 PM
Steve Hopper NB is beautiful

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