SC Times logoBy Eric Heinz

A General Plan zoning amendment was approved unanimously by the San Clemente Planning Commission to create a new regional medical zone for the Camino De Los Mares area.

The amendments are aimed at incentivizing and maintaining a medical zone, Associate City Planner Adam Atamian said during the Dec. 16 meeting.

The area includes everywhere within the Camino De Los Mares-adjacent land from Interstate 5 on- and off-ramps to past the hospital. The current zoning is designated as community commercial. The new zone is community commercial 4 that comes with medical-related benefits such as group counseling and has “benefits by being located near a hospital,” Atamian said.

The hospital site would be rezoned as a regional medical facility.

“Our proposal would be to create a regional medical zone and update the General Plan to reflect those uses.” Atamian said.

The new zoning that is community commercial would be for hospital-serving functions.

The rezoning has been criticized by some people at hospital meetings as being too authoritative and restrictive to business in San Clemente. Those opposed said it could set precedence for future zoning policy and not allow flexibility in changes.

Atamian said the rezoning would be able to accommodate the changes as long as it was a medical facility. The new zoning also would not disallow any current business that is conducted currently within the zone.

The final proposal for the zoning would have to be approved by the San Clemente City Council. The zoning amendment is not on the Jan. 5 council agenda.

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