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Developer Nick Buchanan pleads the case of his mixed-use project, located at 1010 S. El Camino Real, which has been in planning limbo for nearly two years. While community members and City Councilors want to see a project in place in the area, some say the proposed parking and the size of the building could hamper business and set unwanted development precedence. Photo: Eric Heinz

By Eric Heinz

See the latest project proposals here: DocumentsView the Nov. 17 City Council discussion here (start 1:57:29–end 4:07:30) Video

In order for Nick Buchanan, a San Clemente developer of Cape Point Development, to finish the project he’s proposed at 1010 S. El Camino Real, he will have to alter his design to fit the requirements of the City Council.

During Tuesday night’s meeting, councilmembers discussed the project at length, trying to find a compromise with Buchanan in the guidelines that were set in the General Plan as well as the requirements for setbacks, adequate parking, building height in relation to ocean views and living area space proposed in the multi-use building.

Buchanan reiterated from past meetings his concessions made on the project, such as lowering the height of the original project and omitting amenities in order to make for more parking space. But councilmembers said it still wouldn’t conform to the prescribed zoning and could cause commercial overflow of traffic in the area.

Council voted 4-0-1 to deny changing the zoning that would allow the current proposal to move forward, with Councilman Tim Brown abstaining due to owning real property within 500 feet of the proposed location. But council voted 3-1-1 in approving the site’s cultural heritage permit, a site plan permit and the development of seven residential units with about 4,500 square feet of commercial space.

Buchanan’s proposed alterations will be able to come back directly to City Council rather than having to go through the Planning Commission and other government factions, but if the project deviates significantly from the original design it will have to be examined by the Design Review Board.

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