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SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO : Builder to Kill Glare by Lowering Poles

January 23, 1991|WENDY PAULSON

Residents of the city's historic-home district, upset about glaring lights atop a nearby parking structure, won a concession when the City Council ordered that the offending light poles be lowered.

In its 5-0 vote, the council told Franciscan Plaza developer Paul Farber, who built the three-level parking lot on Verdugo Street, to lower the 21-foot-tall light poles by 10 feet.

Residents in the Los Rios Street Historic District, which consists of adobes and wooden cottages built between in the the 1700s and late 1800s, have been complaining that the bright lights intrude on their isolation.

"This is out of character with our neighborhood," said Stephen Rios, an eighth-generation resident of an adobe home built in the 1790s by his ancestors.

Rios asked that the light poles on top of the third level of the parking lot be reduced to nine feet, so that the light would not shine into the neighborhood at all. He also presented petitions signed by about one-third of the neighborhood's residents.

In response to the complaints, Farber also agreed to remove light bulbs from floodlights shining from the west side of the parking structure into the neighborhood, most of whom live only steps away from Farber's Franciscan Plaza project. The Franciscan Plaza includes five Edwards movie theaters and the 1895 Capistrano Depot.

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