Track the Tracks. It’s all Based On a Con Job

The plan had problems…

So last time I resurrected the disaster of the proposed “boutique” hotel at the Transportation Center and noted that the land had already been sold – even before the so-called entitlements were in place. It was all crammed into the end of the year to avoid compliance with the new State requirements for getting rid of “surplus” land. The fact that the land in question is not surplus – it provides much needed parking for commuters and our esteemed downtown revelers – doesn’t seem to have entered any decision makers’ noggin. Common sense be damned, this is The Tracks at Fullerton Station.

Yes. I could do that job.

But I discovered the real travesty while watching the Planning Commission hearing on the proposed site plan and conditions for a hotel use.

See, the hotel concept somehow metastasized over the past five years to include a standard, massive housing block – yet another cliff dwelling – giving indication that not only was the new developer trying to cram his pockets with all he could get, but that that this new element may have been needed to ensure success for the whole endeavor.

And here’s where the swindle comes in. The density of the apartment block was developed using the entire site area. So our sharp planners took the 1.7 acre site and multiplied it by the Transportation Center Specific Plan limit of 60 units per acre. That’s 99 units. Then, because the developer was proposing 13 “low to very low” units he got a “density bonus” of another 42 units, per State law. If you’re counting, that’s 141 units.

But wait! Those 141 units sit on only 60% of the property, the other 40% being dedicated to the hotel.

Think about that. The whole site is being used to justify the massive density on only a portion of the site. Meantime the hotel proposal has an additional 118 rooms on its part of the site. Friends, let’s do some math. 118 plus 141 equals 259 units for the entire site, or a jaw-droppingly massive 152 units an acre, 2.5 times the density allowed in the Transportation Center Specific Plan!

How do I know the percentage of use for hotel and apartment block? Because the developer is asking for, and getting, a legal parcel division that shows separate parcels for the hotel and apartment. And here’s the Tentative Parcel Map submitted to the Planning Commission:

Based on the developers own Tentative Parcel Map, the land underneath the apartment component amounts to 42,684 square feet, which is 98% of an acre. This entitles him to only 59 units per the Specific Plan. Adding the State density bonus of 40% brings the allowable total to 83. But he’s getting 141. And a hotel with another 118 rooms on the same 1.7 acres.

Finally, I have to point out that the City Council itself – specifically Zahra, Charles and Whitaker already approved a Mitigated Negative Declaration for this half-baked obscenity in December, even though it clearly violates the Specific Plan that all the planners kept nattering about. That isn’t legal, although this, is Fullerton, meaning that nobody gives a damn.

I would like to report that the Planning Commission was all over this scam and was outraged. But of course I can’t. Instead the 5 commissioned turnips quibbled over electric car charging stations and other gnats on their way to swallowing this camel whole. Honestly, you could take five average people off Harbor Boulevard and you would end up with a more intelligent and sensible commission.

Well, that’s enough of that. My next post is going to be about the idiotic solution to a made-up bus station problem.

19 Replies to “Track the Tracks. It’s all Based On a Con Job”

  1. It’s this sort of rank incompetence/corruption that has been the hallmark of planning in Fullerton since the day F. Paul Dudley came to town.

    I would love to hear staff explain away this scam.

  2. This sort of thing has been going on for a long, long time. Is it ingrained, cultural incompetence, or is there something else going on? Like corruption. Maybe it’s both.

    I look forward to the post on the new configuration of the bus transfer. But also the abandonment of Pomona so the “cafe” can have outdoor dining. Jesus H! Another Florentine sidewalk theft?

    1. The abandonment/encroachment issues were discussed at length by the PC – until they just ran out of intellectual energy and shrugged it off to the City Council.

    2. And that’s part of the bus stop realignment I’ll be discussing next. It’s pretty funny, but really just more of the same.

  3. That “contract” planner is an idiot. He didn’t even know which was he was looking when describing his slides.

  4. But the Transportation Specific Plan doesn’t exist, or does it? And don’t worry about the density. Every one of those residents will take the bus and/or train to all of their destinations (once they can find the bus station, which will be moved to the southeast corner of the lot underneath a parking structure (if the Transportation Specific Plan exists).

    1. It exists when the City staff wants it and it’s all vaporized when it gets in the way of the Fitzgeralds of Fullerton.

  5. Well at least knowing all of this Whitaker has an excellent reason to vote no on this boondoggle. I wonder if he can find his nuts.

  6. When you divide the $1,400,000 sales price by the number of units you get a MASSIVE public subsidy for Tony Vu & Co.

    1. This is a public giveaway of epic proportions. Bushalas are evil because Ahmad says so. They haven’t, far as I can read in THE Observer, received a dime of public money in the past 3 years for their projects in the city. Yet, this questionable mess gets millions and not a peep from Ahmad or THE Observer. Can’t stand the hypocrisy.

  7. Mr Peabody, Apparently you don’t know what “Surplus” means. It means that “Staff” saw that land as a source of revenues to fund their pensions. Dummy!

  8. 4 pillars of good governance are accountability, transparency, fairness and responsibility. Zero accountability for this stupid project, even less transparency, doesn’t come close to being fair for the taxpayers, and responsibility? Well, everyone responsible should be fired.

    1. Everyone who voted for this taxpayer give away should be recalled! I estimate it being a $30 million dollar gift of public funds. Shame on the three who voted for it. Trust me it will come back to haunt you.

      1. Yes, and Whitaker’s the worst.

        He’s always pretending to be some sort of fiscal conservative and just blew tens of millions while getting what he didn’t want.

        Just pathetic. I’d support a recall on all three boobs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *