The debate continues to rage over the proposed Playa del Norte commercial development which is planned for approximately 50,000 square feet in the North Beach area of town. Some San Clemente business owners say it will draw valuable business away from their stores. Others say it will rejuvenate the area and draw people who will then possibly support other San Clemente businesses.
What do you think? I’d like to know. Tell me your opinions and concerns. Does the whole idea make your blood boil? Are in favor of Prop. A? Let’s start a discussion.
Mark A. says
Ok, I’ve seen the signs and heard the grumbling, but what is the issue? Do you have a link or something where I can read up on Measure A and what it’s about?
The “D-word” always provokes emotional responses, but I want to know what is really at stake.
North Beach needs something. There are some great, historic buildings there (the Casino, the Ole Hanson pool, the theater) but Del Mar gets the buzz. NB needs something, for sure.
Hey, Mark. Thanks for starting the discussion. I agree, North Beach does need a bit of sprucing up. I’m not convinced that a well thought-out commercial development would be a bad thing. In fact if it draws people to that area who then explore other nearby businesses, that might be a good thing. However, there are some compelling arguments against it. Here’s a link from the OC Register that clearly spells out the for and against arguments: http://www.ocregister.com/news/beach-282849-parking-city.html
NO ON A! This North Beach project is a mistake we should avoid. This is OUR land, and the city wants to give it away for a strip mall. Shameful, stupid and shortsighted. VOTE NO ON A!
Wow, Marcus – some pretty strong words there. You might want to read a bit more before saying the city is “giving away land” and that the development will be a “strip mall”. Here are two articles addressing those concerns:
B C says
Joan, I’m not convinced by the arguments presented by Ms. Stovall-Dennis, and I’m a bit surprised that someone saying that there are “compelling arguments against” posted links to articles clearly as biased as Marcus’ comments.
I personally don’t like several aspects of the deal that are very briefly mentioned in the OC article. It seems to me that that regardless what the land may sell for in the future, it’s still a sweetheart deal- the developer gets half the cost for required (expensive) upgrades for free, and then gets the land sans mortgage payments for a ten year period, after which a price will be set.
Sure, the city gets additional parking revenue, and theoretically can set a price to recoup the investment, but seriously- NO money comes from the developer to the city for 10 years?
Imagine going to the bank and asking for a deal like this to buy land…”well, I can’t pay anything for 10 years, because there’s no way to evaluate the cost, and I want you to split the costs to improve the property before I build anything”…
Meanwhile, I’m to believe that’s this is all a really good deal because hey, we were going to do a lot of those improvements anyway.
How about we fix all that stuff we were already going to fix, get the theater going (finally!), wait ten years, and then sell to developers? We can’t wait? OK, how about making some sort of deal that requires the developer to shoulder more of the risks as well as paying something NOW.
And yeah, my comments sound biased as well.
Hi BC, thanks for your thoughts. To me, there are compelling arguments on both sides of this issue with some strong, well-thought-out opinions. And frankly, I’m still on the fence.
You’re saying we can fix “all that stuff”. Others say why not split the cost of fixing it.
As I understand it, it will take two years for Playa del Norte to go through the permit and Coastal Commission process and two years for construction. Apparently, it’s only after three to seven years that the developer can exercise the sale option. A new appraisal would be done at that time.
So, wouldn’t we be splitting the cost of improvements to the area, gaining a nice establishment (what I’ve seen of the LAB’s developments, I like), and then selling in 7-10 years anyway?
Tom Barnes says
For information on this issue go to the North Beach Green Alternative website. northbeachgreenalternative.com
We have hundreds of pages of information, photos, diagrams,
You Tubes, political cartoons, documents, articles, letters to the editor and a host of other material. Once you visit we are confident that you will vote No on Measure A and support the idea of the Ole Hanson Beach Park at North Beach.
Larry Corwin says
Wow this is a very nice blog site.
Hi Joan, what bothers me most about the negotiation declared as “the best deal possible” by the mayor(s), city manager etc. But whose interest were they speaking of when they say that?
A better deal for San Clemente would have set the minimum purchase price at the 2008 fair market appraisal. That way if the values increase, everyone wins. The developer is the buyer and a poor performing center would create windfall for him and devastation to the citizens.
Also the parking deal. The city owns all the sites to be developed for parking. PDN requires 300 parking spots aside from the triangle parking lot to relocate the parking AND revenue they are displacing. The city could have easily required the developer to build their own parking (on city land) and that we collect the revenue. Wouldn’t that have been a better deal for the citizens of San Clemente?
Larry Corwin says
One more thought Joan, The funds they intend to use to pay for parking we shouldn’t be paying for, is coming from a Beach Parking Fund which is for the exclusive use for acquisition and beach close parking.
The Miramar property consists of 2 buildings and a parking lot. The same fund can be considered to purchase the Miramar parking. The price is right. This begins the process and the historic Miramar Theatre as a city asset for perpetuity and addresses the major problem at North Beach.
Jeanne O'Grady says
San Clemente Showdown A debate over oceanfront development, Playa del Norte. Guests: Joe Anderson, Yes on Measure A Charles Mann, No on Measure A
Consider This Debating local issues. Panelists: Jerry Amante, Tustin Mayor Will Swaim, Journalist
Inside OC with Rick Reiff airs Thursdays at 1:00 PM, Fridays at 7:30 PM, Wednesdays at 12:00PM and Sundays at 11:30 PM with additional repeats on the OC Channel.
Channel 10 or 710 HD
February 10, 11, 13, 16
Make sure that you listen to the commentators after Anderson and Mann are done
Larry Corwin says
Sounds like Jeanne O’Grady has previewed the show.
Darin R. McClure says
Stop the bailouts…
Rick Moen says
Imagine beach public property essentially given to a developer to build a massive structure and call it an improvement. Misguided Labbers say it improves views of the ocean – this would be only if you are standing at the top of the massive project they want to build! I am sure a congested, shopping mall is not what San Clemente needs on our public land at North Beach. VOTE NO ON A if you want to park easily and find ‘North Beach’ and relax instead of going elsewhere because there is no where to park without a lengthly hike.
Bill Hart says
Regardless of the way you vote, please understand the outcome. A YES vote means Playa del Norte moves forward. A NO vote means North Beach continues on its present trajectory. There is no money to build a park. The naysayers make a big deal out of the sales price but it was never about the money. It the City wanted to maximize the sales price they would have allowed a strip mall, condos, a hotel, etc. Instead, through a public process, the City scaled back Playa del Norte to 50,000 sq. ft., 50% open space, costly ocean view plazas, green belts, Spanish Colonial architecture, etc. Even then the lease/option deal is structured to put all the risk on the developer. I urge everyone to look at the big picture – a beautiful place for locals to go and enjoy the ocean – instead of the half-truths and scare tactics of the No side. It takes vision to say YES.
Thanks for your thoughts, Bill!
GEORGE GREGORY says
If I was a councilman, before I’d give 3 acres of public property and more than 4 million dollars of public money to any Developer, I’d consider these ideas and what 4.5 million dollars can do
Extend the coastal trail wide and robust right through the parking lot
Remodel the club house
Salt water pool
Add glass panels and wind breaks to the wall around the pool for views
Add larger park land around the club house , the park
Pave the ECR lot to replace the lost parking parking fund
Build a commuter center measure M
Save the property for prosperity and spend the money on the citizens, enriching all our lives and property values-the true community and tax base of san clemente
All for around 4 million dollars!
Business does not need to punctuate north beach when it can surround it
VOTE NO NO NO ON A 3/8/2011
Captain Torpedo, North Beach San Clemente
I appreciate your feedback. Thank you.