Current Status

FRIENDS OF COYOTE HILLS FILES LAWSUIT TO UPHOLD MEASURE W


It’s been nearly a year since the City Council (Jennifer Fitzgerald, Bruce Whitaker, Greg Seborn, Jan Flory and Doug Chaffee) approved Chevron-Pacific Coast Homes Vesting Tentative Tract Map (VTTM) which gave them entitlement to develop West Coyote Hills. As part of this approval, the City for the first time took a position on the effect of the people’s 2012 referendum, Measure W. Instead of overturning the Development Agreement as we voted, they decided Measure W had no effect on the development approvals (Zoning change from “Oil and Gas” to Specific Plan District, General Plan amendment, Environmental Impact Report). Measure W should have overturned all the development approvals because of the “poison pill” clause linking them… if one fails, they all fail.

With the November 2015 approval of the VTTM, the City pronounced all prior development approvals were still in place and Chevron-PCH was then granted development entitlement. The City avoided the Development Agreement issue by setting it aside but moving virtually all of its terms and conditions into the VTTM which was not referendable.

We along with hundreds in the community appealed to the City Council to no avail.
On February 9, 2015, the Friends of Coyote Hills, Friends of Harbors, Beaches and Parks (FHBP), and Center for Biodiversity filed a lawsuit against the City Fullerton for ignoring our voters’ right to referendum (Measure W) and approving a tract map without the other required development approvals in place. Chevron-PCH is named as a party of interest and is working with the City on its defense. Our case number is 30-2016-00834366-CU-WM-CXC. The initial court date was August 8, 2016 but that has since been delayed to October 28, 2016.

There has been a long silence from November 2015 until now and we do apologize for not updating the community on this important issue. In that time, there were numerous meetings with the City and Chevron to try to reach an alternative to the lawsuit. As of this writing, that has not been successful.

In October 2016, Superior Court Judge Claster ruled against FCH and co-petitioners.

On February 2, 2017, The Friends of Coyote Hills and co-petitioners (FHBP and the Center for Biological Diversity) filed an appeal on the Measure W referendum.

Milestones

  • The initial draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) was released in September of 2003. The Friends of Coyote Hills and its legal counsel reviewed and submitted formal comment letters. Chevron-Pacific Coast Homes and the City then went back to the drawing board to re-work the EIR.
  • The next draft EIR was released in early 2006. The Friends reviewed and submitted formal comment letters. We rallied our community to do the same, sending Chevron back for another EIR revision.
  • Yet another draft EIR was released in 2008. Can you guess what happened next?
  • On July 12, 2011, the City Council voted 4-1 to approve the same Chevron development proposal that they denied in May 2010.
  • On July 13, 2011, the Friends of Coyote Hills announced their referendum effort to overturn the City Council's decision. If the City Council does not rescind their July 12, 2011 vote, we will bring the matter of West Coyote Hills to the public for a vote. Please see our Home page and Referendum page for information on this effort.
  • August 12, 2011, the first two of four referendum petitions (General Plan and Specific Plan Amendments) were turned in to the Fullerton City Clerk's office.
  • August 19, 2011, the last two of four petitions (Zoning and Development Agreement) were turned in to the Fullerton City Clerk's office.
  • September 26, 2011, petitions 1 and 2 fell short of the required 7,036 signatures per the Registrar's office.
  • October 3, 2011, petitions 3 and 4 validated by the Registrar's office as meeting the signature requirement.
  • October 18, 2011, the Fullerton City Council rescinds their approval based on Referendum #3, and calls for a November 6, 2012 election for Referendum #4.
  • Measure W is the name of the ballot measure that Fullerton voters can Vote No on to overturn the City Council's Wrong decision to allow Chevron to develop West Coyote Hills. Please read all about No on Measure W at this website VoteNoOnW.com.
  • November 6, 2012, Measure W was defeated with of the state election code a 60.8% vote. The voters of Fullerton resoundingly voted against Chevron's development proposal for West Coyote Hills. The voters would not be swayed even after Chevron spent a record $1.5M in campaign outreach. Although the defeat of W should have overturned all development approvals granted by the 2011 City Council, the current City Council has not taken action to do so. On December 4, 2012, the only action taken by the newly elected Council was to accept the vote as a procedural requiremens. We've reached out to the Council and City staff to clarify their next action given the expectation of the Fullerton voters.
  • In 2013 – 2014 FCH engaged in discussion with the City of Fullerton and Pacific Coast Homes (Chevron) but could not reach an agreement.
  • In February 2015 a second lawsuit was filed by FCH with FHBP and the Center for Biological Diversity as co-petitioners.
  • In October 2016, Superior Court Judge Claster ruled against FCH and co-petitioners.
  • On February 2, 2017, The Friends of Coyote Hills and co-petitioners (FHBP and the Center for Biological Diversity) filed an appeal on the Measure W referendum.