San Clemente OKs Major Project

From staff reports

The San Clemente City Council has approved a development agreement for 1,770 acres in Forster Ranch, a project that could include more than 2,100 houses and condominiums and a site for a new civic center for Orange County’s southernmost city.

The agreement, approved Feb. 27 and effective March 27, ends years of struggle between the city and Estrella Properties, which has sold the land to Dallas-based Centex contingent on passage of the ordinance.

Centex has pledged to install a storm drain system sought by the city and to provide $3 million in public park improvements, including a ball field and landscaping.

Fifty-seven acres of the site have been allocated for commercial uses, while the city gets seven acres for a new civic center. The city must pay for a new City Hall; city offices are in several locations in San Clemente, including the 1962-vintage City Hall at 100 Avenida Presidio.

The wrangling over development of the Forster Ranch site dates from 1986, when San Clemente votes approved Measure B, limiting housing construction to 500 units a year, city officials said. Estrella and three other developers sued to overturn the slow-growth measure, which is still in litigation. Estrella will drop out of the lawsuit when the development agreement with Centex is completed.