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San Juan Capistrano leaders reach agreement for school on burial site

Saturday, October 19, 2002

sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/news/archive/2002/10/19/state090\

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, Calif. (AP) -- City officials have reached an agreement with representatives of the Juaneo tribe, clearing the way for a new high school athletic complex to be built on what is considered sacred burial ground. The council voted 3-2 Tuesday in favor of the compromise, which will cap enrollment at Juniperro Serra High School at 2,000 and will include a student "head tax" of up to $200,000 a year. The school's plan "is sensitive and meets our goals of preservation and education," said tribal manager Joyce Stanfield Perry. School officials had hoped to attract as many as 3,000 students to the school, which is scheduled to open next fall with about 300 ninth- and 10th-graders. As part of the agreement, the school will include California Native American history as part of its curriculum, permit Juaneo and cultural activities around the school's athletic complex, and dedicate monuments on campus commemorating the tribe's religious and political leaders. The grave sites will not be disturbed by the athletic grounds, according to the negotiated deal. The $200-per-student "head tax" will help make up for the tax revenue the city would have earned had the land been developed with a 450,000-square-foot hotel and office complex most recently planned for the site. City officials said the original deal would have generated about $1 million a year in taxes. "I don't think it was a real tough call," said Councilman David Swerdlin, who voted for the compromise. "It's nice to have that tax base, but we'll now have a site more fitting to San Juan's ambience, with athletic fields and open space. I'd much rather have this than 450,000 square feet of cement."

RELATED ARTICLE: <latimes.com/news/local/orange/la-me-serra19oct19.story>San Juan Sports Site OKd Junipero Serra High will build on a likely Indian burial ground. City gets money in lieu of taxes. (CALIFORNIA) -- San Juan Capistrano city officials have cleared the way for a planned parochial high school to build an athletic complex on a 29-acre parcel believed to contain an American Indian burial ground.

Posted -- NDN AIM

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