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. We will keep you updated if that changes.

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