The journey to Save Coyote Hills from development has been long, and has
seemed to move slowly at times. We want to outline the current status of the
process, and to let you know that we anticipate progress in the coming
months. As you know, Fullerton voters overturned the development proposal in
2012. We heard from so many in the community that all 510 acres of West
Coyote Hills should be saved as park. That has been and remains the mission
of the Friends of Coyote Hills.
In June 2013, Chevron-Pacific Coast Homes, the City of Fullerton and the
Friends began discussing the path forward to a resolution. This was
highlighted by the Trust for Public Land (TPL) joining the process in
October 2013. When TPL ultimately bowed out in July 2014, the City of
Fullerton stepped into the buyer role. The City, Chevron-Pacific Coast
Homes, and the Friends of Coyote Hills were (and are) committed to
continuing the work on the resolution.
Due to the sensitivity nature of the buyer-seller discussion, limited
details of the acquisition have been released to the public. However, all
parties have continued to actively plan on a win-win resolution. That means
an agreement to allow the community a period of time to raise funds to
purchase the property in phases to protect all of West Coyote Hills as a
park. This agreement also respects Chevron’s rights as the property owner.
That is, if the community cannot raise the funds to purchase Coyote Hills at
an agreed upon price, then the property owner has the option to move forward
with its development proposal.
The Friends of Coyote Hills have been working with the City on funding
scenarios to piece together the phased purchase of the property. We are
optimistic because we have identified financial resources which, if
realized, would allow the City to purchase enough parcels to make a
significant open space park in the short term. Longer term there is more
work to be done, but there are definite possibilities to accomplish
protecting all of Coyote Hills as a park.
Although more details of the agreement remains to be worked out, we are
cautiously optimistic with our dialog with Chevron and the City to date. We
fully recognize that acquisition of the entire West Coyote Hills is a
challenging endeavor as we prepare to focus our efforts on protecting Coyote
Hills as park. However, for the first time in the history of this debate, we
have the property owner, the City of Fullerton and community at the table
working on a plan to protect Coyote Hills as a park.