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HECTOR HERNANDEZ, San Clemente

My wife and I are sitting on the beach with only one other person. Unfortunately, we are not at San Clemente, but Capo Beach. We moved to San Clemente 21 years ago. Drawn to the beautiful charm of this sleepy little beach town.

The two of us could easily park our car, walk close to the pier and see many residents we knew. Today, it is almost impossible to find a parking spot just to get down to the shoreline and not recognize a soul once there.

A few years ago, my wife and I went to the Rancho Mission Viejo sales office to see what they had to offer. Not surprisingly, one big point was “you are only 10 minutes to the beach.” They never mentioned it is San Clemente beach, giving the buyer the sense the beach was theirs.

With the next phase of Rancho Mission Viejo being prepared for sale, the sales pitch remains the same. Of course, it is not only RMV residents crowding our beaches, but residents from San Bernardino and Riverside who access La Pata from the Ortega Highway to O’Neill Regional Park.

It appears the City of San Clemente has been falling all over itself to accommodate these visitors for the sake of our local businesses. I believe the prosperity of local businesses to be a good thing.

The problem is we, the majority of residents, receive nothing in return but constant heartburn. Here is one proposal that might help ordinary Joe resident.

How about the city double the cost of beach parking and place meters on Avenida Del Mar with the same cost per hour as beach parking? Along with this increase, have the cost for resident yearly parking passes cut to $5 to cover administrative fees.

I know the City Council will counter that it will drive away business, but will it? With 7,000 new homes scheduled for RMV, does anyone really believe these new residents will stop coming to our beaches?

Now, please don’t get me started on visitor taxes and cuts in merchandise costs for local residents.

This is all food for thought. To all San Clemente local residents, have a nice spring and summer.

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