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By Nancy Weagley, Capistrano Beach

There comes a time, especially when you know you have attempted to do what is ethically and morally right for the citizens of Capistrano Beach/Dana Point, and you simply have to tell it like it is.

Some people do not seem to realize what actually happened many years ago when our city was formed—they weren’t around. First of all, it did not happen overnight. Those of us (most of whom are no longer with us) who comprised the Capistrano Beach Community Association, more specifically the Board of Directors, were led to believe that as we became a part of Dana Point we would continue to be able to maintain the lifestyle that had been the mainstay of our community. We trusted that was the case.

In a nutshell, because of all the annexations that had taken place in years past, it was not feasible to try to form our own city. Surrounding cities had taken too much land and we did not have the tax base needed to become our own city. Logic pointed us in the direction that was taken—to join Dana Point as that little town became a city.

That being said, I am tired of the innuendoes indicating that I purposely decided to break the law when we decided to rescue a few chickens that were losing their home because their owners were moving back East. After all, when our sons were growing up here in Capistrano Beach , they, at various times, had an aviary of parakeets and button quail, or they had a pair of huge black bunnies, or they had a dog, guinea pigs, a white rat or CHICKENS. We, along with many others, assumed that these pets were still allowed.

When our neighbor complained, the city said we were wrong, we could not have chickens. The idea that one neighbor could dictate what I was allowed to do was appalling to my entire neighborhood, especially when we changed the location of our coop to correct the problem, as we were led (by a city employee) to believe would allow us to get a variance and be, in that way, legal. When that turned out to be false, I had no choice but to pursue an ordinance change, because the ruling affected so very many Dana Point residents who also had chickens.

As many of you know, after working with the city for close to two years, our previous rights of yesteryear were shot down by a last-minute propaganda campaign.

In conclusion, as several councilmen put it, “Do we want to be a farm town or a beach town?” From that, we learned one thing—Laguna Beach, and even San Francisco, have now been designated as farm towns in the eyes of most of the City Council.

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comments (1)

  • Christine Maclean Reply

    Sadly, the city council bought in to the propaganda when they decided not to allow Nancy Weagley to keep her hens in Capo Beach. There were several supportive neighbors letting the council know that Nancy’s hens were not smelly or loud. One said she didn’t even know there were hens in the next yard! The complaining neighbors got their friends to come to the meeting to say what they were told to say….they clearly had limited experience with hens. It was silly to keep saying hens don’t belong in a beach community…..they have been here all along with no problems of smell or noise. It took one problematic neighbor…who really should move to a neighborhood where there is an HOA… take away the identity that is unique to this part of Dana Point. Capo Beach, much like Laguna Beach is a community with it’s own charm and character. Too bad there are some who don’t embrace our cohesiveness and neighborliness. I have lived here for twenty five years, walked precincts here, worked at the polls, and had my kids at Palisades school. I have always been proud of how friendly, kind and tolerant this neighborhood has been. I am disappointed that our council did not recognize and choose to preserve that.

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