City Takes Another Shot to Kill $15M for Coyote Hills
The Fullerton City Council is making another attempt to derail Senator Josh Newman’s proposed Senate Bill 714 (SB-714) which would provide $15M of state funding towards the acquisition of West Coyote Hills for open space. This was discussed at its February 6, 2018 City Council meeting under the cover of its 2018 Legislative Platform.
The City defines 3 guiding principles for its Platform: 1) Preserve local control, 2) Promote fiscal stability, and 3) Support funding opportunities.
The City Council opposes SB-714 even in the face of the principle to support funding opportunities and its detailed policy statements:
37. Oppose efforts that erode funding for vital regional and community services that negatively impact Californian’s access to parks, open space … facilities that promote physical activity, protect natural resources.
38. Support funding for the City of Fullerton to acquire additional land in West Coyote Hills.
39. Promote local agency control over policies that recognize the benefits of parks and recreation[al] facilities.
Furthermore, the City’s own legal analysis of SB-714 concedes that “the City is still short of the total funding amount needed” for even a partial acquisition of West Coyote Hills. In the last two years, they have raised about $3.05M compared to the $34M price tag set by Chevron-Pacific Coast Homes (PCH) for just 3 parcels. SB-714 can provide $15M of funding for Coyote Hills without the need to go through an application process!
If the City wants funding, needs funding, why is it opposed to funding? Because SB-714 does not seek to codify the City’s approval of the Chevron-PCH housing development on West Coyote Hills. It is simply dedicated to fund the acquisition of West Coyote Hills for open space.
While 61% of Fullerton voters rejected that development approval in 2012, the majority of the City Council continue to push the development of more than 700 houses and a shopping center on the site. Hence the Friends of Coyote Hills is pursuing a lawsuit to uphold the people’s Measure W vote in the court of appeals.
If you support saving Coyote Hills as a park and preserve for now and future generation, please send Senator Josh Newman and Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva a letter of support for SB-714 as the State Assembly prepares for a vote. Save those emails or letters and send a copy to the Fullerton City Council. Don’t let the City’s opposition letter speak for us.
Fullerton City Council
Mayor Doug Chaffee
Mayor Pro Tem Greg Sebourn
Council Member Bruce Whitaker
Council Member Jesus Silva
Council Member Jennifer Fitzgerald
303 W. Commonwealth Avenue
Fullerton, CA 9283