In the new year, San Clemente’s new mayor was asked to speak to the controversial TCA Toll Road proposals in South Orange County. He responded, “The solution they need is to connect back to the (I-)5 further north of us, or go around us, through the base and have it connect to the south.”
For over 15 years, the Save San Onofre Coalition (SSOC) has been fighting to prevent roadway construction through San Onofre State Park, the Donna O’Neill Land Conservancy, and the San Mateo Watershed. We repeatedly defeated the Transportation Corridor Agencies’ (TCA) attempts to build through the park at regional, state, and federal hearings, and as a result they finally agreed to stop trying to build through the park. In 2016, we settled our 10 year-old lawsuit against them, and as part of the settlement, they committed to a Protective Agreement which prohibits them from building in the open spaces we were fighting to preserve.
The San Clemente City Council sued both SSOC and the TCA in 2017 in an attempt to invalidate the Protective Agreement which protects the park. Under the premise of keeping TCA from building in the City of San Clemente, the City Council sued to un-protect the park. The irony about this is that the lawsuit, if successful, wouldn’t do anything to prohibit construction of a TCA project through San Clemente. It would only destroy the protections in place for the park that so many San Clemente residents, and activists from all over the world, fought so hard for so long to secure.
Swartz has now given a very clear motive as to why he is supportive of litigation which threatens the protection of San Onofre State Beach, Donna O’Neill Land Conservancy, and San Mateo Watershed. One of his two “solutions” would build right through that protected corridor.