SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO : Council Rejects Plan for Roller Hockey Complex

Facing a standing-room-only crowd, the City Council on Wednesday turned thumbs down on a roller hockey facility proposed in a quiet neighborhood where most residents are senior citizens, many of whom have lived in the area for decades.

At a workshop, council members were unanimous in saying that roller hockey rinks are needed for local youth--but not at 32731 San Juan Creek Road next to seniors-only condominiums and a retirement center.

"This would be an ongoing problem for everyone involved," Councilman Gil Jones said.

Council members did not take a formal vote at the workshop session but urged the developer proposing the project to seek other locations in the city.

The proposal calls for two roller hockey game rinks, a warm-up rink, pro shop and 85-space parking lot. The facility would have replaced an existing tennis club with eight courts and 29 parking spaces.

Several people who live near the tennis club told the council that roller hockey games as late as 10 p.m. would be noisy and unwanted in the neighborhood.

"Why bring them into an area where there have never been any children at play at any time?" asked 79-year-old Frank Putnam.

The Costa Mesa-based developer, Inline Sports Associates, Inc., is still free to pursue the project through the formal planning process.

Officials of the company could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Dick Bobertz, the city's planning manager, said that the company has not told the city what it intends to do.

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