The previously scheduled Public Meeting and Planning Commission Hearing for 5/21/15 and 5/27/15 have been postponed. As we mentioned, this is is a complex proposal conditioned on an all important acquisition agreement. The stakeholders agreed that it would be prudent to allow more time to hammer out the details.
The City of Fullerton expects to announce new dates for the Public Meeting and Hearing in the next few week. Stay tuned.
The City of Fullerton and Chevron-Pacific Coast Homes are preparing to unveil the results of the acquisition agreement or “path forward” plan this month. Although the Friends of Coyote Hills has been engaged at a high level since discussions began in June 2013, we have not seen all the details of the final proposal. When we do later this month, we will let you know of our disposition of the proposal. Again, our mission is to save all 510 acres of Coyote Hills for a natural open space park for the community. We expect a feasible acquisition agreement that aligns with our mission.
The City has formally announced this week two upcoming events. On Thursday, May 21, 2015 at 7 PM, there will be a public information session to review the application for a development approval called a Tract Map (click here for the public notice). This will be the input to the May 27, 2015 Planning Commission Hearing to adopt or reject the application that is very importantly conditioned on first allowing the City and the Friends of Coyote Hills a TBD timeframe to come up with TBD funds to acquire West Coyote Hills for a park. The acquisition will be in TBD phases. So acquisition will be given a chance first. If unsuccessful, then the development may proceed.
This is a complex agreement with critical details that are yet to be finalized. In fact those details may not be available until around May 21. As a result, we are unable to express support nor lack of support for the acquisition agreement at this time. However, we absolutely support continuing dialog with the City and Chevron-Pacific Coast Homes to shape the final details.
What do we need from you? Please do plan to attend the May 21 public information session and May 27 Planning Commission Hearing. We plan to provide our recommendations on the proposed agreement to shape the best outcome for saving Coyote Hills. Show your support by showing up!
Planning Commission Hearing
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.
This November 8th, we invite you to get out and walk in support of conserving West Coyote Hills. Have fun day with your family, friends, and neighbors, and discover the natural beauty in our own backyard. Walk at your own pace along a 3 mile trail on the “Fullerton Loop.” There will be naturalist stations and booths to learn about our local ecosystem and history. Enjoy a great day out with the whole family and support a great cause.
Please visit our 2014 Walk for Coyote Hills site at coyotehillswalkathon.org to learn more and to register.
We have mixed news to report. In July, the Trust for Public Lands departed from this project. They cited that they could not add any value given the current state of negotiations on this project. While we are saddened by their departure, we are quite happy to report that we, along with Chevron-Pacific Coast Homes and the City of Fullerton are still committed to working towards an acquisition agreement. We are actively seeking conservation expertise to fill the void left by TPL.
We have great news to share! Chevron is collaborating on an acquisition agreement that can lead to the preservation of all 510 acres of West Coyote Hills as an open space park. We think this is the greatest opportunity ever to save West Coyote Hills. To top that off, the Trust for Public Land (TPL.org), a premier national land conservation non-profit group, has agreed to lead the negotiation with Chevron. TPL brings over 40 years of experience in creating parks for people and a solid record of creating several hundreds of parks across the nation. They have deep knowledge of conservation finance, transactions, park design and development that we can leverage for saving West Coyote Hills.
While this is a giant step forward (we all agreed to agree :-), and we should savor and celebrate this moment, the work is not finished. An acquisition agreement needs to be achieved to turn this from a concept to specifics that can be executed. Of course, fundraising will be very key to success. But you know that we are not one to turn away from a challenge, and now we have even more friends (TPL, Chevron-Pacific Coast Homes, City of Fullerton, Mayor Doug Chaffee, State Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva and more) to help us get to a “happily ever after” for this story.
Thank you so much for helping us turn the corner on saving West Coyote Hills, and we will bring you more news as this evolves.
Friends of Coyote Hills is hosting a HUGE Garage Sale / Fundraiser from 7am - 1 pm on Saturday, January 11th.
Location: 4611 Santa Fe Street, Yorba Linda 92886.
To donate sale items, contact Shirley at 714-870-9777 or FCHvolunteers@roadrunner.com. Volunteer help for set up day, Friday the 10th, and the day of the sale on the 11th is especially needed.
Thanks to all the walk-a-thon walkers, sponsors, and volunteers, our first ever fundraising and awareness event was a huge success.
For more information and pictures , please visit CoyoteHillsWalkathon.org
The Friends of Coyote Hills, the Open Coyote Hills group, and Pacific Coast Homes are now meeting in an effort to find a ‘win-win’ solution to the dispute over the future of West Coyote Hills. We will provide updates as agreements are reached throughout the process.
We apologize for not being able to provide more details at this time.
A couple of weeks ago we wrote asking you to contact the Fullerton City Council to urge them to do the right thing: follow through on the will of voters on Measure W, the referendum to overturn the development approvals for West Coyote Hills. Many of you did just that. As a result, the City of Fullerton will be providing a status update on Coyote Hills at the next City Council meeting on Tuesday, May 21, 2013.
Transparency, open dialog and responsiveness were sorely lacking in the process to resolve the referendum follow up, so we thank you for stepping up to the "Call to Action". And we applaud the City for their quick response in preparing an update next Tuesday.
While we eagerly await a positive status next Tuesday, please continue to encourage the City Council to uphold the voter's will on saving Coyote Hills, and to do so in a manner that is open and transparent. You can do this by showing up at the City Council (303 W. Commonwealth Ave, 92832) meeting next Tuesday (meetings start at 6:30 PM), calling their office at 714-738-6311, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Together, we can save West Coyote Hills!