Dude, Where’s My Carport?

Imagine there’s no parking, it isn’t hard to do.

Parking in Cal State Fullerton is a mess, and it seems that even efforts to alleviate it (like the opening of two parking garages) only makes the situation  worse.

Back in 2016, when the City was busy pushing College Town, the promise of addressing the parking problem was the method the city used to try to overcome local resistance (even if their plan amounted to nothing more than the creation of a “Parking Management Plan”, that is, a plan to plan to deal with the problem). Even in the fall of 2021, with reduced attendance on campus due to COVID 19, the campus is offering free parking as an incentive for people to get vaccinated. And when the pandemic finally ends, we will likely see the return of off campus student parking as far south as Orangethorpe and as far East as Raymond.

With the massive parking shortfall, the idea of approving a high density development with almost no parking would be an absolute non-starter. Or, at least, it would be in a sane world.

On September 29, 2021, the Fullerton Planning Commission approved, on a 3-2 vote, the application of Core Spaces to re-zone the property at 2601-2751 East Chapman Avenue (the portion of Chapman running East of Commonwealth to the 57 Freeway) and a allow for the development of a mixed use 420 unit, apartment complex consisting of studio and one through four bedroom units.

All told, there will be an anticipated 1,251 new residents in the City of Fullerton once approved and built. The total number of parking spaces for those new residents is just 273 (with additional spaces for guest parking and the ground floor mixed use). And, no, I did not forget to add a zero.

This isn’t even remotely close to the parking requirements set forth in Table 15.17.070.H of the Fullerton Municipal Code, which requires 1 ¾ spaces for each studio apartment, 2 for each one bedroom, 2 ½ for each two bedroom and 3 for each 3 bedroom apartment. The total required parking spaces should be in excess of one thousand, and its not even a third of that.

Given the absolutely massive shortfall in available spaces, the Planning Commission should have had an extremely solid rationale for their decision. Unfortunately, the decision amounts to little more than the claim that caring about parking spaces is “boomer” thinking, and totally, like, not with it, man:

The notion that the driving a car is a thing of the past will come as a surprise to most of the residents of Fullerton near the Cal State Fullerton campus (myself included), not to mention the students at Cal State Fullerton themselves, who are still clogging up the streets near campus even with the temporary reduction in in-person attendance due to COVID protocols


Pictured: The cars that today’s College Students totally don’t drive.

Currently, over 70% of college age Americans hold a driver’s license and, while that number is lower than in decades past, it still amounts to far more students who will want to drive than parking spaces being offered. In fact, if just half of the licensed students in the Core Communities project choose to drive on campus (a generously low assumption), the proposed parking structure is still about 250 parking spaces below what would be needed, and that’s just for the residents; the available space for the lower level commercial development is grossly underutilized and pretty much destined to failure, as the number of spaces are less than the property across the street owned by Cameron Irons. Incidentally, Mr. Irons was present at the Planning Commission meeting and he insisted the number of parking spaces was perfectly adequate for this development even while acknowledging the same amount of commercial spaces for his own venture doomed the restaurants in his building to failure.

Core Communities insists that they would not be proposing such a low number of spaces if they didn’t believe it would work, but their optimistic appraisals are contradicted by their own prior developments. For example, their facebook page for the Hub at Tuscon basically advises students to not even bother asking for a lease for a parking space as they are all booked and have been for years. Students at the Hub at East Lansing have also complained about the lack of parking (among other issues). And both of those complexes were built in neighborhoods with very high walkability scores. East Fullerton is still highly car dependent, there’s no bars, minimal shopping options, and not nearly enough restaurants to accommodate the students during meal hours.

The Planning Commissioners seem to be aware of this but insist that this is fine, the creation of this development without adequate spaces is a good thing because it will force kids to leave their cars at home.

And there you have it. This Hub project is nothing more than enforced social engineering masquerading as free enterprise. Creation of this development without adequate parking isn’t fair to the students who need the spaces, nor is it fair to the resident who will be forced to deal with the additional vehicles. And it is contrary to the law, meaning the exception being created is not fair to every other apartment complex builder in this City (hell, even Red Oak, which itself had fewer spaces than required by law, is a virtual parking lot compared to this development). This project benefits nobody except the people who intend to build it and it should be rejected by the City Council on November 2.

The Trail To Nowhere…

Complete with horse trail!

Our City bureaucrats want to waste $2,000,000 in public funds to build a trail from Highland Avenue to Independence Park along the old Union Pacific right-of-way. The idea they say, is to link the Transportation Center to “parks.” Of course we all know that the existing “trail” east of Highland doesn’t even make it to the Transportation Center, and is deficient as a multimodal facility; and we know that the Poison Park that nobody outside City Hall ever wanted is a moribund, attractive nuisance with such a sketchy history that the City has fenced it off for 15 years.

And recently a murder occurred at the end of the so-called trail, raising legitimate questions about the safety of future trail users, if there are any.

One of our critics has tenaciously clung to the theory that a trail will attract users, thereby mitigating the safety issues along this swath of industrial buildings, junk yards, cut-rate auto related businesses, metal plating and asphalt concerns. Naturally our critic, like all knee-jerk liberals applied some theory to a practical situation he knew nothing about.

And so, Friends, I am sharing some current images of the right-of-way, to illustrate the idiocy of building a rec trail through this area. Enjoy

Just west of Richman
West of Richman

Maybe some trees will help…

Maybe it will look better at night…

A Tree Grows in Fullerton

You humans always slayed me with your strange priorities and need to celebrate something. Me? When I was on Earth all I wanted was two squares and no broomstick.

Your Tommy Lasorda Day has come and gone. The ovations and fanfare are over. But lest you move on to other business please pause to reflect on the occasion.

A new addition to Fullerton’s urban forest!

Heroes Deserve

So what’s really going on with our Fire Heroes? FFFF published a story recently about an agenda item on tonight’s (9/21/21) agenda. David Curlee brought our attention to a mysterious item about the City revoking it’s automatic aid provision aid agreement with next door Placentia and negotiating a new one.

How come? We really don’t know, except that our Chief, a guy named Adam Loeser says it needs to be done. He hints at some deficiency in Placentia’s program.

Now the Fire Union has made it abundantly clear that Placentia’s cost savings move to privatize the paramedic service was bad. Real bad. And fearful that the contagion of cost effective and efficient service might spread to Fullerton, the union has been putting pressure on our city council to nip this potential epidemic in the bud. To me it looks like the Chief is just passing along his employees lust for our largess.

But what really is the problem with Placentia?

According to a Placentia city report, their new arrangement has been an unalloyed success. Here’s the report. Be sure to peruse the response statistics.

wp-1632236472391

As usual, there is more to the story. Quite a bit more – that City Hall isn’t Fullerton isn’t telling us. How do I know? Because a source in Placentia told us, and the information has the ring of truth.

According to this source the staff report prepared by Chief Loeser is very misleading in terms of why Fullerton wants to terminate the auto aid provision.  Shortly after Fullerton approved the agreement last year, the Fullerton Fire Union filed a complaint with the Public Employees Relations Board stating that entering into an automatic aid agreement with another City requires a meet and confer with the union.  Incredibly, PERB agreed with the union and Fullerton decided rather than fighting the ruling that the agreement would be retooled into a mutual aid agreement instead.

Unfortunately, our source continues, Loeser lied to the public on an official City Council agenda report by stating Placentia did not meet the requirements outlined in the original agreement.  The real reason behind this change is because of this PERB ruling in favor of the union to the detriment of the public’s safety.

And so, Friends, there you have it. The union, with the apparent approbation of the Fire Chief, is using a feeble labor relations technicality to try to keep applying pressure to the City Council and the bureaucracy to reconsider it’s arrangement with the diseased and contagious Placentia Fire Department. This is the kind of government we get in Fullerton: opaque, self-serving, and duplicitous. Of course our council has been briefed about this, but the public hasn’t. And our city government likes it that way.

Fire Union Puppet Adam Loeser

On Tuesday night, the Fullerton Fire Department will be asking the City Council to void an automatic aid agreement with the City of Placentia. In simple terms, automatic aid is supposed to help both Fullerton and Placentia by allowing units to respond into the other city automatically when Advanced Life Support (ALS) or a multiple unit response is needed.

092121-FD-Automatic-Aid-Agreement-Agenda-Report

When Placentia was still served by OCFA, the fire union had no problem whatsoever with automatic aid. Once Placentia decided to create their own department using private paramedics, the union threw a fit and continues to do so. Members of the Fullerton Firefighters’ Association and their families have bullied the City Council on numerous occasions.

Former City Manager Ken Domer supported the automatic aid agreement. Once he was fired, the union saw an opportunity to scrap the agreement but needed someone to champion their cause, a full on union puppet. They found their man — Adam Loeser — Fire Chief of the Fullerton and Brea Fire Departments.

Meet the Chiefs | Brea, CA - Official Website
Adam Loeser

The arrogance of Adam Loeser is almost unprecedented even in government circles. He’s asking the City Council to cancel the agreement but lists no specifics as to why. Nothing. Not even a clue. Just a blanket statement backed up by no details. The City Council will apparently have to beg him for details.

To make this even more shady, Adam Loeser scheduled “Fire Personnel Distinguished Service Awards” for the very same meeting. This ensures that lots of fire department employees (and their families) will already be present at the meeting so they can bully and intimidate the City Council when the Placentia agreement comes up later — exactly what the fire union wants.

Tuesday night will be packed with self-righteous vitriol by the Fullerton Fire clowns claiming (again) that Placentia is an inferior department, that public safety is at risk, etc, etc. Let’s hope three of our five City Council members can see through their nonsense and vote no.

Helping A Brother Out

An observant Friend just shared a link with FFFF about an item that caught his eye. Apparently Joe Florentine, the subject of many posts on FFFF is seeking a new gig. Here’s his entry on LinkedIn:

Now, FFFF is not a jobs center and neither are we job recruiters. But damn! I know talent when I see it, and this guy has it in spades.

Now, I’m not going to show this upstanding citizen’s whole resume, because, humble and self-effacing as Joe is, he omitted to share some real ability. I’ll help out.

Joe’s Unique Skillset & References

  1. Enterprising. Built restaurant addition on a public sidewalk and got away with it.
  2. Creative. Operated an illegal night club in contravention to City of Fullerton regulations for many years.
  3. Recreational Opportunities Deployment. Exercised the greatest latitude in permitting patrons to enjoy interpersonal contact on dance club floor (i.e. see “Drunken Others”).
  4. Plumbing and Wastewater Systems Expertise. Avoided adding additional sewage to the wastewater system by utilizing the same toilets for multiple businesses. Urination and defecation were performed by patrons without overloading existing wastewater systems.
  5. Mixological Ingenuity and Marketing Acumen. Brought the Fish Bowl concept to downtown Fullerton to acclaim and adulation, specifically, in which a patron could buy a 128 fluid ounce cocktail.
  6. Daring. Refused requirement to install fire sprinklers as mandated by City permit approval.
  7. Creative Writing and Teamwork. Forged an official City planning application with the consent and foreknowledge of the City Manager and Planning Director and City Attorney.

References

Former Fullerton City Planning Director F. Paul Dudley

Former Fullerton City Manager Joe Felz (customer #1!)

Former Fullerton City Manager Ken Domer

Former Fullerton Police Chief Pat “Patdown Pat” McKinley

Former Fullerton Police Chief Danny “Galahad” Hughes

Former Fullerton City Councilmembers Don Bankhead, Dick Jones, Jennifer Fitzgerald and Jan Flory

Fullerton City Attorney Dick “The Other Dick” Jones

So What Happened At Foxborough Place?

Zahra-Busted
Why is this man smiling?

While scanning the City of Fullerton public records requests the other day, I came across this interesting tidbit, requester, not yet known:

We already know that was the day our Councilman Ahmad Zahra was arrested, somewhere, somehow, for something. All the records for that case are locked up tighter than… well, real tight.

And the fact that this particular request is related to our bad boy’s bad day is reflected in the City’s perfunctory response:

2671 Foxborough Place. Why is this address of significance to the events of that day? Is this house the home of any of the principals in the Zahra battery and vandalism case? I don’t know for sure, but somebody thinks it’s relevant, and of course it’s all a big secret as far as our city government is concerned.

City Dumps Poison Park on Latino Community

Yes, Friends you heard that right. In the long history of official misfeasance regarding the ill-fated “Union Pacific Park” we’ve seen stupidity, indifference, lack of accountability waste, more stupidity. A project that nobody in the community wanted, but that a fun thing for Parks Director Susan Hunt to play with, and for Redevelopment Monopoly bucks to buy, has been a humiliation for everybody involved; or should be, except that bureuacrats in Fullerton have no shame and no rear-view mirror.

But now we discover, courtesy of a 19 year-old document, something a lot more nefarious than just the usual City Hall incompetence. Consider the following letter written to local property owner Tony Bushala, from then Redevelopment flunky, Ken O’Leary.

Oops.

Here’s a smoking gun. The City had already purchased contaminated property, not bothering to employ a Phase 2 environmental assessment. And they knew that the perp was already cleaning up contamination “in the vicinity.” And yet the City proceeded building a park knowing that soils contamination was an issue surrounding the park, and evidently not giving damn whether their own soil was contaminated. So the park was built for well over a million bucks, then Lo and Behold – the park, by now renamed “Union Pacific Park,” was contaminated too. It was fenced off from the junkies and homeless and borachos that haunted it.

Naturally O’Leary is long gone, as is his boss, the ever-hapless Gary Chalupsky. Gone too are bungling bureaucrats Hunt, F. Paul Dudley, Bob Hodson, and former City Manager, Jim Armstrong, all enjoying six-figure pensions courtesy of you, me, and the people of the communidad who never wanted a park at all.

And now it seems the death march is to continue. Only recently City staff cooked up a lame scheme to put a private event center on the site, masquerading as an “educational” aquaponics farm. This hare-brained idea was ardently supported by Jesus Quirk Silva and Ahmad Zahra, two councilmen immune to common sense; and these two now, all of a sudden, want to start a whole new process to find out what the “community” wants, just like Susan Hunt did over 20 years ago. 

Confirmed: Fullerton PD Officer Arrested for DUI

Anthony Valle

In case you missed the earlier post, Anthony Valle of the Fullerton Police Department was indeed arrested by the La Habra Police Department for Vehicle Code 23152(a) – better known as DUI.

You can add his name to the long list of current and former Fullerton Police officers charged with some sort of misdemeanor or felony. How embarrassing.

A Tale Told By An Idiot

Ed Bargas speaks. Sort of.

Last week the Voice of OC published an opinion piece by a gentleman named Ed Bargas. Mr. Bargas is head of the civilian employee union in Fullerton, and if he wrote this drivel, then I’m the Pope.

You can read about how Bargas believes Fullerton is at a crossroads – meaning that the City leaders must choose between the welfare of his union members and the citizenry at large. Of course he doesn’t put it like that. He complains that the City Council is embracing the conservatism of the ’80s in which government is viewed with suspicion, even hostility. To this all I can suggest to Mr. Bargas is to read the pages of this blog, and after reviewing the litany of incompetence, corruption and cover-ups, reconsider whether or not suspicion, even hostility is justified.

Bargas makes the mistake of starting of his long list of threatened city functions with public safety, forgetting to remind his readers that it is the very public safety pensions laid out by supine politicians like Ahmad Zahra and Jesus Silva & Co. that have brought financial crisis to Fullerton.

Of course the Big Problem is lack of revenue, and Mr. Bargas was no doubt a cheerleader for the ill-fated Measure S on last November’s ballot that went down in flames, falling victim to honesty and common sense. Maybe he thinks that somehow the new majority of responsible councilmembers can be persuaded to try that scam again. Well good luck with that.