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Thank You Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva and Senator Josh Newman!
The Friends of Coyote Hills continue to fight to save all 510 acres of West Coyote Hills as a park and preserve for now and future generations. In February we filed an appeal of our Measure W lawsuit to defend the people’s right to referend our City Council’s approval of Chevron-Pacific Coast Homes’ development proposal. Our state constitution gives us the right to overturn our government’s legislative decisions through the referendum process. If they approve, we get to overturn that approval.
The legal teams on both sides of this issue will be filing written court briefs for the next few months, but an appeals court decision may not happen until 2018.
In 2001, Connie Spenger founded the Friends of Coyote Hills to save all 510 acres of the last natural open space in North Orange County. Through the years, our unwavering mission to save this precious natural habitat has evolved from a radical idea to a desired outcome by our community. Measure W to overturn the development approval prevailed with a 61% vote. Chevron-Pacific Coast Homes became a willing seller of the property in 2015 (for the right price). And in late 2015, when the City began seeking funds for a partial acquisition, they were pleasantly surprised at the keen interest state agencies had for our Coyote Hills.
Last November’s election resulted in political support for Coyote Hills the likes the Friends has not seen in the past. Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva returned to office after a 2-year absence. State Senator Josh Newman won his first term.
Both of our state leaders immediately took actions to help save Coyote Hills by putting our state tax dollars to work locally. Assemblywoman Quirk Silva introduced AB-510 to set aside state funding for the acquisition of West Coyote Hills. Senator Newman authored SB-714 to establish a Coyote Hills Conservancy that will increase its visibility and opportunities for acquisition funding. First term Fullerton City Councilman Jesus Silva voiced support for saving all of Coyote Hills.
When the community, elected officials, property owner, and funding agencies are aligned, we will absolutely achieve a 510-acre Coyote Hills park. We have come a long way and are headed in the right direction.