CR&R Trash Expansion

More pickings from the dumpster...

Ian Smith

It was announced at the SJC Council Meeting on Tuesday February 1 that CR&R is planning on constructing a new facility on La Pata just south of Ortega Highway. This new facility will house a new transfer station for the trash trucks which collect from all homes in San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano and other local areas. You might well ask what the concerns are. This is to be a huge 70,000 sq. ft facility, to be built on a road where the only other major user at this time is our new San Juan Hills High School. Most parents now drive to the school as the bus service is very limited. The only traffic otherwise is the heavy traffic to the waste sites.

If news of this proposal had been made public before, then it is highly unlikely that the high school would have been built in the current location. It might not have even received an environmental clearance because of it being adjacent to the school. (EIR).

We have learned that this planned facility was first agreed for this location as far back as 1998 and an agreement was reached by the Rancho Mission Viejo Company (RMV) in 2004. This was all kept so quiet until now. We were told at the meeting that CUSD was not aware of this plan and so they are now expressing justifiable concern.

The trash truck traffic will be increased enormously considering that this facility is being constructed to handle not only the present but the future needs from the RMV planned development of 14,000 homes to the east of Antonio/La Pata and Ortega Highway.

All traffic in and out of this facility will be of course be via La Pata. This traffic will compete with the current traffic load plus the increase that is planned when and if La Pata is extended through to San Clemente. CR&R will tell you that there will be no smells or bad odors emanating from the facility but with all the good will in the world this is not possible. The large number of trash trucks alone parked on the facility overnight will smell even when empty from their loads of trash.

Our city council just paid $27.5 Million of taxpayers money for the Open Space acreage and then defended the purchase against much criticism. They said it was to protect this land from the intended construction of 400 new homes. I guess they were not aware of the RMV agreement with CR&R!

Now our city council is apparently not offended that this monstrous 70,000 sq.ft. industrial facility is to be built on their eastern doorstep.

Lastly this is a most unsightly building to be placed in the center of an attractive rural landscape and it has no place being built in such a location.

All parents of children who obviously value the health of their kids should be very concerned as to this facility. They will tell you that all safeguards have or will be approved by the EPA and other governmental authorities but then that has happened in past construction sites and found later to be very questionable. Please keep your eyes fully focused on this issue which is now coming down the pike. The power of the people can and will work!

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