Airport Saga Continues. Does “Hangar 21” Conform To Zoning Law?

Gravity asserts itself…

In my previous post regarding recent doings at the Fullerton Airport I described a big lawsuit by a disgruntled former tenant, Air CombatUSA, and also remarked upon the propriety of the use of airport property as a party venue called “Hangar 21.” The implication was there might be some sort of Federal Aviation Administration issue. One Friend, “Order 5190.6B, Chapter 9” provided the name and place where such issues as equality access to aviation facilities are spelled out by the FAA.

Getting prepared for takeoff…

But then another of our Friends, “Little City Planner School Graduate” questioned whether such use was even legal per the Fullerton Municipal Code. I didn’t have a clue. So I looked it up.

Per Fullerton’s Zoning Map, the airport is designated “P-L,” i.e., public land. Municipal Code Section 15.25 describes permitted and CUP uses for the P-L designation. Here they are:

Bookmark15.25.020.  Permitted uses.
   The following uses are permitted in a Public Land (P-L) zone, subject to the provisions of this chapter:
   A.   Flood control reservoir areas.
   B.   Public parks and open space areas.
   C.    Public educational facilities.
   D.    Public buildings including administrative buildings, libraries, fire stations, reservoirs, and maintenance facilities.
   E.     Public parking facilities.
   F.     Public transportation facilities.
   G.    Public golf courses.
   H.    Other similar public facilities when in conformance with the purpose of this zone when recommended by the Director of Development Services, and approved by the City Council.
(Ord. 2982, 2001)

Bookmark15.25.025.  Conditionally permitted uses.
   A.   The following non-public uses or activities are permitted in a Public Land (P-L) zone when approved by and subject to conditions of the City Council:
      1.   Commercial stables, subject to the development requirements, provisions and conditions of Subsection 15.55.030.C of this title.
      2.   Open-air marketing activities including, but not limited to such activities as a cooperatively sponsored farmers market or swap meet.
      3.   Commercial agricultural production and non-retail plant nursery operations excluding cannabis cultivation as defined in Chapter 15.04.
   B.   A special event may be permitted on a property with a Public Land (P-L) zone pursuant to Chapter 8.71 or Chapter 9.12 of the Fullerton Municipal Code.
(Ord. 3227 § 3, 2016; Ord. 2982, 2001)

You will notice that there is no provision for a private party venue, no matter how tenuously tied to a legitimate “public transportation” use such as helicopter rides.

So what gives? Hangar 21 as a party spot seems to be in violation of the Code since it is not consistent with the uses described above, and since the City Council has never even tried to legitimize it via 15.025.020(H).

37 Replies to “Airport Saga Continues. Does “Hangar 21” Conform To Zoning Law?”

  1. Yet another fine mess created by our crack staff. Here is an item projected for the December 5th Council meeting:


    Any body wanna guess that an expansion of (nonconforming) use is being tied to a zone change to facilitate Mr. Hangar 21’s illegal use after the fact?

    1. Is that agreement for the space described in the lawsuit and that went through an RFP process? Could staff really have solicited and accepted an RFP response for an illegal use?

        1. Whoa whoa whoa. Back the truck up.

          It’s worse than that.

          What is the city even doing issuing an RFP for a hangar? It has a wait list of interested aviators.

          They’re literally required to rent to the next Joe down at PUBLISHED FAA APPROVED RATES. Market rates and other extraneous conditions (what you would see in an RFP) can’t legally apply to federally obligated airports unless it’s for an FAA approved non-aviation temporary use.

          This thing got all funny as soon as it left the reservation.

          1. If that were true, wouldn’t there have been a protest from the waitlisted aviators? They have to be aware of the rules, right?

            1. One just sued for $50MM.

              I don’t think pilots are normally looking to litigate, but as word gets out, maybe the suits will come flying in.

              1. That’s plausible. Most airport users aren’t going to stick their necks out and go against the airport manager. Too much to lose.

                1. the pilot I was with was ordered to fly OAG at 110F with 40 Kt gusts by the APM from the tower…he bet my life and his cause my pilot followed that order to frightened to do other wise we had a compressor stall ,,my pilot freaked never having one before…so If I ate it so would that asshole manager
                  the business to me is nothing..aviation safety is everything…this asshole is a threat to your safety

          2. Then why don’t you call the FAA and blow this whole rigged rfp thing wide open? Or are they in on the conspiracy, too?

            Or, just throwing this possibility out there: Maybe you don’t know what you’re talking about and there’s nothing crooked going on.

            1. Oh, you don’t know gummint where any lawbreakin’ is hunky dory salong as you are a publick emplyeeeeeeee

            2. FAA cares nothing about the city breaking the law,,they have my complaints and they know the atmosphere at Fullerton is a safety hazard….they do care about the airport funding and the pilots and APs work habits

          3. this was the old OCFA helicopter operations base…a four bay hangar with offices,,occupied for five years by Air Combat when the father died all hell broke loose ,,with the Airport Payton Place league leading the way..

            In the confusion advice was never given nor taken by those in power…(Undue reliance and misrepresentations were given on all parties who wanted the facility)

      1. This is Fullerton where there is no accountability for any transgression. All will be forgive. Or just ignored.

      2. non airport use (weddings and parties are not aviation only aviation themed ) also the facility as is is not permitted for nor does anyone who uses it for public invitation should want the liability if the second story falls upon the first
        …or is willing to have an inspection done to verify the floor loading capacity for paying guest occupancy and where are those fire sprinklers?

    2. That would be consistent with prior Planning Department behavior with Slidebar. They can blame Haluza since she is safely gone.

      1. And she blamed Al Zalinka, and Al blamed John Gaudluski, and John blamed Joel Rosen-Rosen and Joel blamed Paul Dudspunks

        1. Yes, that does seem to be the Fullerton way. Blame the guy who just left or retired. No accountability, no fault, and nobody cares!

    3. well the second story is not permitted nor inspected, the retrofit for fire sprinklers has not been made and Hangar 21 is not a part 135 operator ask the FAA to that one , a part 91 with an LOA is all he has…Helistream calls him a want to be….

  2. So if the council amends the municipal code on the 5th or grants a CUP to Hanger 21 all this time later will that not prove that the city gave an RFP to an illegal use and therefore strengthen the position of the AirCombat lawsuit?

      1. 10 to 1 Unanimously approved 5-0 with a possible abstention for political convenience (plausible deniability) come election time.

        Nothing would make be happier than to lose this bet big time.

      2. non airport use (weddings and parties are not aviation only aviation themed ) also the facility as is is not permitted for nor does anyone who uses it for public invitation should want the liability if the second story falls upon the first
        …or is willing to have an inspection done to verify the floor loading capacity for paying guest occupancy and where are those fire sprinklers?

    1. I’m not a lawyer. I don’t know if it’s germane to the lawsuit issues. I do question staff’s basic competency.

      1. The planning issues seem to be a problem of compartmentalization. This sort of f-up happens at the County all the time. The fault lies with Joe Felz, who couldn’t even get drunk right.

    2. from what I heard H21 wants the space so bad ,yet during the tour given by the APM he said he had no desire to take AirCombats space ,,,so who’s pulling who chain???( I was there during their “speaking

  3. The airport (and its bumbling manager) was one of Joe Felz’ favorite little fiefdoms. Think about it. Captive operators who have nowhere else to relocate and have no leverage against the city. Plenty of room for the city to play favorites, dole out benefits to friendly operators and kick around anyone who contests the directives of the airport manager. This was bound to blow up in stupid ways.

  4. You all are trying to play hero and come to the rescue of poor little Mike Jr. That guy is a liar and a cheat. I was very close to his operation for years so I speak with personal experience. He talks of how his dad and he grew the business. Their relationship was nothing like he describes it. His father is looking down on him in complete disgust with the way he has treated employees and customers. He literally stole money from customers. What about the fact he completely destroyed the hangar before he moved out which will now cost the city money to repair. His little interview with the informer on YouTube is filled with lies. He said he offered 500% more but wouldn’t share the numbers. That is because he was paying ridiculously low rent to begin with. Also check his rfp and see if that is even true. I bet it’s not and was an act of desperation after the city told him to move out. Anyone can drive by the property and see he did nothing to maintain it at a decent level. The place was a dump while it was open! The least he could do is take care of it while paying ridiculously low rent. He built stuff inside without proper permits and he is trying to make himself out to be a hero to the community in all if this. Makes me sick. I get all of you looking in to issues in the city but it seems you have all taken him at his word and don’t spend near as much time fact checking the bs he feeds you as you do on others. He had a copy of his lease. Why is there any question as to what he needed to do? The burden is on him!! Read his lease!! If I was the city I wouldn’t want him as a tenant either! He has wronged so many people including his own family. Oh and the Airlines that he wouldn’t mention in his interview is American. Their ethics department is available for calls. He will be losing that job next especially if he is prosecuted for all of the damage he did to city property. He filed that lawsuit in hopes of getting the city to back off as the victim of his crime. He is looking down the barrel of a felony.

    1. “You all are trying to play hero and come to the rescue of poor little Mike Jr.”

      That is incorrect. This post is about a possible violation of the FMC. I never met “Mike Jr” and wouldn’t recognize him if I did.

      I don’t think the land use issue has anything to do with the lawsuit claims.

    2. you sound like the asshole of an airport manager, I was asked to do a favor of a friend to a friend and knew the manager was an ass long before I was hired on to do the maintenance for those Marchetti’s Pitts, Waco Beech< Extra and the Citabria ..not to mention all the bullshit that evolved from the back stabbing that went on to create an aviation hazard proportional to the Ego bullshit that went on ..Like him or not he was handed this pile of "shit" made of bigoted ignorant lazy persons,,,between the FAA being used to ground the fleet it was well founded, my relationship with the airport manager was well founded and was reinforced by his actions so far to include having the tower order my helicopter to hover OGE at 110F with santa ana winds..(screw him for interfering with the operation of an aircraft) the attitudes of the airport are contrary to aviation safety , Fix it or loose it…Mike may not know what he is doing and I blame every asshole who left or stayed who didn't lend a hand or advice for the crash of N16FD..I also urge the city manager to investigate the fire response to that crash , the ill preparedness of the facilities and the city fire department for not rendering the aircraft safe, and the airport manager in causing a negative human factor environment resulting partial causal in this accident …use your name or stay in shame

  5. All of this to come to the rescue of poor little Mike Jr. I get all of you wanting to make sure things are done properly and legally but why haven’t you spent an equal amount of time fact checking the total BS he has fed you. He is actually playing the victim in all of this when he has left a slew of victims I. The wake of his own behavior. That interview on the informer is filled with lies and the interviewer was just feeding him lines. What a joke. He said he offered the city 500% more than what he was paying. Read his RFP, that is a total lie. He said he wouldn’t share the numbers and that’s because the rent he was paying was ridiculously low. I was very close to the operation and his father is looking down on him in total disgust with the way he has treated employee and customers. He sued his own grandma after she gave the business $300,000 to keep going and after his dad died he wouldn’t pay her back. He has taken customer payments and didn’t give them their flights and when they asked for refunds he came up with lame excuses. He stole money! The airline that he works for and wouldn’t mention in the interview is American and their ethics line is available for calls. What about the damage he did to the Hangar before he moved out? That is going to cost the city tens of thousands to repair. Why is that ok and being over-looked? He did nothing to take care of the property while he was there. It was a dump and a complete embarrassment for customers to come in to. He did nothing to take a little pride in his place of business but yet tries to act like he was a hero to the community. New flash JR, your father was, not you. You see folks here is the real deal. JR is staring down the barrel of a felony charge for all the damage he did to the property which would cost him his job at American Airlines. So in his defense he files a ridiculous lawsuit against the city in hopes they would back-off as being the victim of his alleged crime. So before you all come to the aid of this guy check it all out first then decide what you’re going to defend. This whole thing is a joke,

    1. “So before you all come to the aid of this guy check it all out first then decide what you’re going to defend. This whole thing is a joke,”

      Sentence 1: see my comment, above
      Sentence 2: yes, the whole thing is a joke. This is Fullerton where Joe Felz screwed up everything as the City swirled down the crapper.

      1. Hey, wait a minute. Fitzy says Felz was a great city manager. McPension said he was the “Alber Pujols” of city managers. Were they lying or really that stupid?

    2. “Family Member” –

      Are you advocating that people should turn a blind eye to the city violating their own municipal code, possibly federal laws, because they did it for the noble reason of payback? Is that how our laws are supposed to work? #AskingForJoeFelz.

  6. *Hilarious……you can’t make this stuff up. Having pumped gas at Lary Aircraft back in the 1950’s…and learning
    to fly and solo in Al’s Aeronca Cub…was a thrill at 15. Also did a little Hanger Flying in the Cafe. Too bad times have changed.

  7. Special meeting at city hall to discus state of the city finances. Funny…After the meeting a bunch of guys in matching blue shirts looked around ,smiling high five. On my way out I see a row of monster trucks lines up for the left hand turn… All headed to Hero’s for one of them 25 dollar sandwiches I presume.

  8. There’s a lot of salty airport people in here.

    What’s the difference between a pilot and a jet engine?
    The jet engine stops whining after it lands.

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