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Orange County Digest

San Clemente : Senior Citizen, Sewage Issues on City Agenda

December 17, 1985|Robert Schwartz

A controversial senior citizen housing project and the city's $31-million plan to expand the sewage treatment plant will be the subjects of public hearings at Wednesday night's City Council meeting.

A four-story, 91-unit housing project on Avenida Victoria has the backing of city staff and senior citizen groups, but it failed to win approval from the council at a meeting two weeks ago. At that meeting several city residents spoke out against the project, charging that the building violates zoning ordinances and that it will worsen parking and traffic problems downtown.

But assistant city planner Dan Bott said that amendments to the city's zoning laws passed in 1984 allow senior citizen housing to be built in commercial districts. San Clemente Village, as the project by a Santa Monica-based firm is called, is in accordance with the zoning requirements for that type of housing, he said.

Marilyn Ditty, executive director of San Clemente Seniors Inc., a nonprofit United Way agency, said the need for additional affordable housing is critical and that "the Meadowland project could begin to meet the needs of the elderly for safe and secure housing" downtown where important services are within walking distance.

"We have a list of over 600 people who have a documented need for affordable senior citizen housing in this community," she said. About 28% of San Clemente residents are over 55, compared to 11% in the general population, she said.

In a another public hearing Wednesday night, the council will hear discussion of a blue-ribbon committee report on plans to expand the city's sewer plant. The plant has been the object of much controversy over the past two years. The city's original plan to move the plant to a site on Avenida Pico in the backcountry was voted down on a initiative measure in 1984, and a substitute plan to expand the plant at its present site on a coastal bluff--with costs estimated at $30 million to $40 million--has been criticized as too expensive by some citizens.

The committee's recommendations, contained in the report submitted to the city last week, are to go ahead with the expansion project with some minor modifications, City Engineer Ed Putz said.

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