San Juan Capistrano

SJC City Council Majority
Repeals Outgoing Council's Approval of "Urban Village"
Downtown Development

Tuesday, January 20, 2014 - The newly elected City Council majority of Pam Patterson, Kerry Ferguson and re-elected Councilman (now Mayor) Derek Reeve joined Councilman Roy Byrnes in voting to repeal the controversial "Urban Village" hotel & townhome development that was approved by the outgoing council majority at 3 AM on November 19, 2014.

The project was the subject of controversy due to its non-conformance with the General Plan, and residents concerned about the impacts of the project due to traffic and other impacts on Historic downtown, gathered more than 2500 signatures in just 19 days for a referendum which would allow the new council to either vote to repeal the previous decision, or place the issue on the ballot.

The referendum was certified by OC Registrar of Voters Neal Kelley as having enough valid signatures, leaving the door open for the newly seated council to take action on it.

At last Tuesday's council meeting, Councilmembers Patterson, Ferguson and Byrnes joined Mayor Derek Reeve in repealing the previous council majority's vote to approve the project. Councilman Sam Allevato, who supported the project, voted "no" on repealing it. See for more details.

In other council news...


Councilman Roy Byrnes announces his retirement from City Council.
Dr. Byrnes will remain on the council until his replacement is selected by the council majority. Councilman Byrnes previously served a term on the City Council from 1972 - 1976, including a one year term as Mayor, and elected again in 2012 to a four-year term. He and his wife Ilsa have devoted decades of volunteer service to our community, with a special focus on historic preservation and on open space, parks, recreation and equestrian issues. Dr. Byrnes' wisdom and guidance on the council will be missed however, he indicated that he and Ilsa will continue to  volunteer their time to the community.

Brown Act violation "correct and cure"
Maintaining their campaign promise of transparency, the new council majority voted to correct a Brown Act violation committed by the previous (outgoing) council when the item they voted on was different than what was listed on the agenda. The public has a right to know what is being voted on, and the manner in which items are listed on the agenda is important in providing notice to the community in case they wish to offer input to the council.

The new council has also pledged to insure that all City Council Closed Session agenda items are properly listed, so that the public is aware of what is being discussed.      
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