San Juan Capistrano

                                                      Rumors vs Reality

In our on-going effort to separate fact from spin, we have listed below several rumors that have been floating around town about city governance, versus the facts based on our research and documentation.

Rumor: The 241 tollroad extension would alleviate traffic for San Juan residents

 Fact: The Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA) has been attempting to extend the tollroad from its current end point at Oso Parkway in Mission Viejo, to Cow Camp Road, just down the road from Ortega Highway. According to Mission Viejo City officials, approximately 8,000 cars per day exit the tollroad onto Oso Parkway. Logic dictates that if the tollroad was allowed to be extended, thousands of vehicles would exit at Cow Camp Road, and thus onto Ortega. This would have the effect of turning Ortega onto a freeway onramp/offramp for the Ranch’s new developments to the east. We are at a loss to understand how that would “improve traffic” for San Juan residents. We can already see the effects of the “traffic improvements” negotiated and/or approved by the previous council majority; long lines of vehicles backed up to get on/off the freeway and through town; congested intersections, etc.

Rumor: Our Sheriff’s Department has been pressured to “arrest” our own citizens if they do not agree with the new council majority and their supporters.

Fact: Although we are unsure exactly where this whopper originated, it likely refers to a request from a group of residents whose signs opposing the SDG&E expansion were illegally taken by “ASAP” police volunteers and thrown into a dumpster, just days before their planned rally. Several of the signs were given to an SDG&E representative by an ASAP volunteer who admitted his friendship with the representative, Duane Cave. Cave refused to return the signs in time for the rally. Residents believe the police volunteers intentionally took their legally permitted signs in order to silence their opposition to SDG&E’s proposed expansion in their neighborhood. Residents maintain that the police volunteers’ and Duane Cave’s actions were an attempt to stifle their constitutionally protected right to free speech.

Rumor: The Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park generates $250,000 in income per year.

 Fact: This is technically false and certainly misleading. The principle and interest alone on this property costs the taxpayers of San Juan more than $2 MILLION per year. That puts the taxpayers in the hole by about $1,750,000. The biggest beneficiary of the riding park is Blenheim EquiSports, the equestrian events promoter that leases it from the City for only $250,000 per year. It is estimated that Blenheim generates in excess of $1 million per year from the taxpayer-owned property. Due to the lease agreement that the previous council approved with Blenheim, the taxpayers paying for this property are restricted from accessing it, at least until the lease expires in December 2016.


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