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Fullerton residents concerned over plan to redo corridors of the city

The cover page of the project, illustrating what the area will look like urbanized.
The cover page of the project, illustrating what the area will look like urbanized.
City Council Review Draft

Over 30 Fullerton residents met recently to learn more about a plan to be voted on by the city council that will rapidly change the city's corridors.

A map of the areas affected by the Downtown Core and Corridors Project
City Council Review Draft of the DCCSP plan

The meeting, held August 11 at the Fullerton Library, discussed the plan-the Downtown Core and Corridors Specific Plan (DCCSP) and its features, which include districts, forbidden businesses and possible destruction of older homes. Jane Reifer of Friends for a Livable Fullerton and Jane Rands facilitated the meeting.

Rands and Reifer both sat on the Downtown Core and Corridors committee and were presented with the plan in June. Both said they became "alarmed" as the plan was presented in the meeting. The planning commission has recommended the plan be brought before the council.

"It's a seed change if the public gets to hear about [the plan]," Reifer said, as she encouraged the group to make the DCCSP an election issue.

The plan encompasses 1310 acres and stretches the width of the city. It would create districts, the Downtown Corridor, Downtown Extension, Regional Gateway, West Corridor, East Corridor, Airport Business District and the Neighborhood Market District. Each district would have forbidden uses, which also includes forbidden businesses. Religious institutions would also not be permitted in the Airport Business District.

Rands said that prohibited businesses in these areas may have no choice but to move. If prohibited businesses stay in their spot though, they are forbidden to expand.

Rick Alvarez, a planning commission member, attended the meeting and said the commission was told to quickly approve the plan, or the city would have to return the grant money that paid for the plan to be written. He said that the commission also recommended the forbidden businesses portion be taken out.

All of the districts in the plan forbid single family detached homes, which means that historic preservation of older homes is an issue, Reifer said. She encouraged those present to go through the process of making their homes and neighborhoods historic, if applicable. Owners would be allowed to stay in their homes until they are ready to sell.

Residents of these areas would live in multi-story buildings that would have minimum height requirements ranging from two to four stories. Developers, however, would be able to add up to four more stories in certain areas as long as they created and paid for an amenity for the city, such as public art or a public plaza. The room groaned when this was announced.

Paul O'Neil, a 30-year resident who lives in the plan area was unhappy about the possibility of his house being surrounded by many new neighbors in high rise buildings and said he would move if the council voted for the DCCSP.

"I just do not want 100 new neighbors on a tiny tract that's suitable for a few families. If [the council votes for the plan], I'm leaving Fullerton," he said.

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