A Disaster in The Making

Yes, I am more qualified…

There are all sorts of names for boobs and knuckleheads that keep making the same sorts of mistakes over and over again. Boob and knucklehead just sprang to mind first.

And so there are many descriptive terms for the collective known as the City of Fullerton, an entity that just can’t seem to help itself avoid the avoidable.

Quick, get clear of the impending collapse…

Exhibit A for the prosecution: the idiotic “boutique” hotel at the Transportation Center, brainchild of the corrupt and fortunately departed Councilcreature-for-hire, Jennifer Fitzgerald.

FFFF has followed the 5 years-long trajectory of this nonsense as it has metastasized into a giant tail-wagging-the-dog embarrassment that leaves a sensible person almost speechless. As the remote plausibility of a hotel brought forward, unsolicited, by an unfunded “developer,” Westpark, became obvious to even the densest observer, a new consortium including TA Partners proposed another prison block apartment attached to the hotel.

In use, apparently…

In December 2022 there was still no concrete plan, just promises of this and that. But time was running out for people in City Hall who are addicted to this deal. See, it involved the disposal of public property that had been developed as parking for Metrolink riders; this meant declaring it “surplus” despite its obvious utility, and starting in 2023 the State of California was requiring surplus land be offered up to the low-income housing cartel. What to do?

Get rid of the property ASAP was the City’s solution, before the end of 2022 – even though there was no final plan or entitlements in place. There was no approved site plan and project density details to hold to the sale – either by the City or by the “developer.” The development agreement protected the City’s interest in the property – up to a point, but created an entanglement of interests during and after escrow and incrementally pulled the City into a potential morass of unintended consequences.


If I knew what I was talking about this wouldn’t be Fullerton!

So the sales agreement and the deeding of the City property was approved before the end of the year. Fred Jung and Nick Dunlap wisely opposed this fiasco, but were in the minority. FFFF just posted the story of Shana Charles’s dumbass rationale for approving, and of course Ahmad Zahra was all for this because he probably believed he could squeeze some cash out of TA Partner’s Johnny Lu along the way. The third vote? It came from none other than Bruce Whitaker, who seems mostly just confused, and even less inclined to show diligent energy that ever.

I swear to pay attention from now on, but I could be wrong…

All along, Whitaker seems to have bought into the nonsense that this property was legitimately surplus, despite its obvious utility to the people of Fullerton. Not wanting subsidized housing, he was willing to go along with the stupid hotel concept; but even he should have balked when the mess ran of the highchair and spilled on the floor. But he didn’t, doubling down on his own incompetence and in the end getting what he didn’t want in the first place.

So the sale went though, followed in the next few months by land use discretionary review and approval instead of all this happening at the same time which is the way it should have happened. Any problematic results of this mismatch may become apparent soon.

The finalized proposal came before the Fullerton Planning Commission last week. I’ll be describing that in the next post.

16 Replies to “A Disaster in The Making”

      1. I could be a petulant scheming nitwit sellout because I would be the first ichthyo-American member of the council.

  1. One of the “protections” is that the “developer” get a nationally know hotel corporation to run the “boutique” hotel.

    How that is supposed to happen is anybody’s guess. You’re right about the legal swamp the “I Can’t Believe It’s a Law Firm” has gotten us into. Sure as shit, when the going gets tough, we’ll find out what a great case the “developer” has and how we’d better just cave in to whatever he wants to make the embarrassment go away.

    In any case it seems pretty obvious to me that the real future of the stupid hotel is conversion to studio apartments.

    1. It isn’t subject to it because Chaffee shoved the ENA through the city council before the passage the CA Surplus Land Act. If he hadn’t the land would have been subject to the dissolution of Redevelopment because the prior ENA was about to expire. The prior ENA, if memory serves, was part of the quantum Fullerton Transportation Center Specific Plan (which either exists or doesn’t depending on when you ask). No one cares if a hotel gets built there or not. The city just wants to hold on to the land and not have to build affordable housing there.

      1. You seem to know a lot for a dumb fish. I thought the Legislature had given relief to RDAs to hang onto property that furthered their redevelopment plans.

      2. Mr. Cod (or is it Mr. Ling?) I started reading the DDA and gave up before I could locate the sales price. Do you remember what it was and what sort of comps were provided – if any?

      3. No, Cod, the ENA could simply have been extended yet again if the ENA were sufficient to dodge the imposition of the new Surplus Land Act requirements. Obviously our crack City Attorney wanted a sale to lock up the deal before the end of the year. I believe escrow closed between 12/20/22 and 12/31/22 – which is pretty hard to believe.

  2. “The City” figured out it was “surplus land” when Staff looked at their underfunded pension accounts. When you are bailing out a sinking ship, sometimes the baby gets thrown out the window with the bath water. Oh well……

  3. This is what happens when people who have no experience or business running anything of consequence get elected to City Council. Fullerton voters are the dumbest motherf’ers in OC!

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