By Shawn Raymundo
State lawmakers on Friday, June 26, passed legislation from Sen. Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel) to block the 241 Toll Road from extending further south and cut through the city of San Clemente.
In a 24-6 vote, the state Senate approved Senate Bill 1373, which, if enacted by the governor, will clarify in existing law that State Route 241 cannot run through San Clemente—as had been previously proposed by the Transportation Corridor Agencies.
“I thank Senate Democrats and Republicans for approving my bill to keep San Clemente and other communities together,” Bates said in a press release following Friday’s vote.
“SB 1373 does not preclude Orange County from implementing projects that have local support,” she continued in the release. “As the bill goes to the Assembly, I am committed to working with stakeholders to address their concerns.”
With the Senate’s approval Friday, SB 1373 will now to go the State Assembly where it will need 41 votes to pass before it can be sent to the governor’s desk for consideration.
According to the measure, a section of the state’s Streets and Highways Code currently states that “Route 241 is from Route 5 south of San Clemente to Route 91 in the City of Anaheim.” If it passes the Assembly and later signed into law, SB1373 would have the 241 end at Oso Parkway, east of Mission Viejo, where it currently does now.
In mid-March, TCA’s boards of directors voted to abandon the agencies’ contentious proposals to have the 241 extend to Interstate 5 by cutting through San Clemente and parts of San Juan Capistrano, instead moving forward with plans to further pursue the extension of Los Patrones Parkway—an arterial, untolled route.
Los Patrones, which begins at Oso, currently ends at Cow Camp Road in Rancho Mission Viejo. Under the plan, or Alternative 22 as it’s identified in the ongoing South County Traffic Relief Effort, Los Patrones would continue down to Avenida La Pata, right up the San Clemente city limit.
“The City of San Clemente remains committed to the extension of the Los Patrones Parkway and the continued use of Developer Impact Fees to support its construction and environmental mitigation,” acting Mayor Laura Ferguson said in a press release from the city on Friday. “We hope that SB 1373 passes the Assembly and all of South Orange County can rest easy knowing that their future has been secured.”
Shawn Raymundo is the city editor for the San Clemente Times. He graduated from Arizona State University with a bachelor’s degree in Global Studies. Before joining Picket Fence Media, he worked as the government accountability reporter for the Pacific Daily News in the U.S. territory of Guam. Follow him on Twitter @ShawnzyTsunami and follow San Clemente Times @SCTimesNews.