MISSION VIEJO : Nadadores Swim Complex and YMCA May Face Parking Pinch

Parking usually isn’t a problem for either the YMCA or the Mission Viejo Nadadores swim complex next door. But the lots overflow in the summer, when YMCA programs are in full swing, and during national swim meets, forcing people to park on adjacent streets.

So both groups are dismayed by a developer’s plans to build houses on a parking lot used by both groups, swallowing up 77 spaces.

Officials of the YMCA and the Nadadores had assumed that the city of Mission Viejo owned the parking area. But the 137-space lot is the property of Mission Viejo Co. The developer has an agreement to sell the property to Polygon Communities of Irvine, which would build homes on it.

If that happens, YMCA and Nadadores officials say, they will be in a bind. “Bottom line is, we couldn’t hold our meets anymore,” head swim coach Bill Rose said. “We couldn’t hold the national meets or the meet of champions. We’ll have a hard time just running our day-to-day program.”


When the city acquired the recreation complex from Mission Viejo Co. in 1991, it overlooked the parking lot.

“To be honest, I don’t know how that happened,” City Manager Dan Joseph said. “I wasn’t involved in the negotiations, and the people who negotiated have left the city.”

The YMCA and the Nadadores say their lease with the city shows that all of the parking lot is included. Joseph disputes that, however, saying that the map detailing the parking area is lined to indicate that the lot is not owned by the city.

While sympathetic to the plight of the YMCA and Nadadores, Joseph said the bottom line is that the city doesn’t own the parking lot and can’t tell Mission Viejo Co. how to use it.

YMCA officials, meanwhile, are trying to figure out what their options are.

“We’re starting to develop a lot of great programs for the community,” said YMCA Area Executive Director Tim Strauch, who pointed to classes for seniors, children and mothers with infants. “If we don’t have the parking that we need, it just curtails all these programs.”