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Original 2008 proposal will require review next year after market shifts

By Jim Shilander

As part of the City Council’s discussion over San Clemente’s General Plan on Tuesday, the council moved to allow City Hall to be turned into affordable housing if the city ever moved to consolidate all its offices in one place.

The draft general plan included a provision to redesignate the zoning of the City Hall property to allow for a change if the city ever moved its offices from their current location on Avenida Presidio to the same location as the city’s offices on Calle Negocio, as well as to help meet federal guidelines for the availability of affordable housing within the city.

However, council members expressed concerns about the language of the restriction preventing the city from rehabilitating or expanding the current City Hall.

Among other departments, Planning, Community Development and Engineering all have their offices at the Negocio property, while Beaches, Parks and Recreation is located at the San Clemente Community Center.

City Manager Pall Gudgeirsson said the future of the City Hall building will likely be reviewed next year as part of the city’s long-term financial planning. Gudgeirsson said market circumstances had changed since the issue of consolidating offices was first raised in 2008.

Gudgeirsson said the initial plans also called for the orange County Sheriff’s Department to move its offices in San Clemente to the Negocio facility as well, with the first floor being shared by the Sheriff’s Department and council chambers. The sheriff’s department would also have a portion of the second floor. The city currently has leases from businesses in the building that run for approximately four more years.

Mayor Bob Baker said he would need to hear more before making any decision.

“We need more information,” Baker said. “We need a staff report.”

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