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Category: Coyote Hills
West Coyote Hills is 510-acres of natural open space bound by Imperial, Rosecrans, Beach and Euclid. The future development of Coyote Hills has been the subject of much controversy in Fullerton for many years.
The funny thing about this is the obvious attempt to cover ground lost to Cho’s opponent, Fred Jung, on the open space issue. Cho has been repeatedly hit by Fullerton Taxpayers For Reform as a puppet of overdevelopment lobbyist Jennifer Fitzgerald, our departing Mayor-for-Hire who has her fingerprints all over every apartment prison block built in Fullerton over the past 8 years.
Jesus Silva, Jennifer Fitzgerald and Ahmad Zahra just manipulated you and the entire city for the sole purpose of putting Jan Flory back on city council.
Jan (Staff is the heart of the city) Flory.
Jan (3% at 50 Pension Crisis) Flory.
Jan (Hold no one accountable ever) Flory.
This woman was and will be a train wreck for council because she has zero regard for our budgets, has never shown a desire to hold people accountable and is nothing but a shill for those who are supposed to work for us.
I’m not sure why Zahra would have neutered himself by giving FitzSilva their third vote on every agenda item. I’m not sure why Zahra would have given Chevron 3 votes to develop Coyote Hills when he campaigned against that issue.
I’m not sure why Zahra would have switched in less than a month from a man of votings rights and constitutional principles to selling out and playing along in a mockery of an appointment process.
No. Sorry, I am sure why. Ahmad Zahra is just another in a long line of hacks who will lecture us from the dais while having no principles himself. Just like his pal Josh Newman – another self-righteous and pompous ass who thinks it’s okay to lie to your face as long as it gets him into power and the good graces of his corrupt party. He’ll spout wiki-quotes and nonsense for the sole reason of justifying his incompetence and malfeasance.
Zahra can preen and pretend to care about our budget all he wants. He can use whatever emotional ploy to try and justify an appointment process. What he cannot do is pretend that the reasons for an appointment excuse his actions in participating in a farce of a process that was the antithesis of the open and transparent system we were promised.
Newman has been handed yet another bill to pass off as his own in his race against the recall – SB714. It allows the state to use eminent domain to take Coyote Hills by force, turning it over to something called the “State Coastal Conservancy” at great expense to California taxpayers. Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva has put up a matching bill that provides taxpayer funding for some of the takings.
Fullerton property rights advocates are warning about the loss of local control and lamenting the potential undoing of 40 years of development compromises (sunk costs, perhaps).
On the other hand, preserve purists like the folks at Save Coyote Hills love the bill, which has the potential to take land from a developer and use it to expand the Robert E. Ward Nature Preserve.
Whatever your take, this warning applies – A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take away everything that you have. Handing this issue over to Sacramento bureaucrats may not get you what you want.
I’ll keep this simple. Chevron is a lowlife among corporate miscreants. A dark oilstain on the free market; a corrupted, taxpayer-subsidizedpayoff and extortion specialist with expertise in despoiling the globe and bullying anyone who challenges them. They are responsible for disastrous oils spills and damages to Ecuador, Brazil, Nigeria and elsewhere, resulting in loss of life and mind-boggling environmental devastation. They have also been implicated for human rights abuses in despotic states such as Burma. Even by oil company standards, they kinda suck.
Now, you might say, sure, they’re the bottom-feeders of transnational corporate-oil-trash, and probable warmongers (with a tanker named “The Condoleeza Rice”) but still, what about their property rights? Good question. Let’s look at Ecuador, where Chevron fouled other people’s property so much that they lost an $18 billion judgment in court. You violate others’ property rights, you pay. Unless you’re Chevron. Refusing to pay, they instead filed suit against the indigenous people of Ecuador and their lawyer for racketeering. Pollute, deny, avoid, bully. That’s Chevron’s way of handling your demand for the fair treatment of YOUR property rights.
So here’s a company with NO respect for property rights, including ours in the US. In Richmond CA they were recently placed under criminal investigation for intentionally routing pollution around sensors. Pollution that travels into people’s homes and makes them sick. But even psychopaths are guaranteed property rights. Well fine, they can have their property rights. After all, nobody is trying to seize their property and they can keep drilling for oil and gas as long as they want. But their property rights to land zoned for oil and gas drilling do not give them the right to build 700 homes on it and call it a park, any more than I have a right to say … open a public Gin-bar on my porch and call it a rehab center.
Speaking of everybody’s favorite cocktail base, guess who among our fine crop of candidates supports Yes on W? None other than purported “liberal” and breastfeeding advocate Jan Flory. Evidently police union support and vapid Facebook posts are insufficient resources to counter her well-deserved shortage of voter appeal. So might as well hit up Chevron.
If Chevron’s plan was really in the public interest, would it be necessary to spend $1.3 million dollars in cash on trying to secure the vote? Some befuddled citizens and politicians are agog with the prospect of the oil-soaked carrots being dangled by the plunderous petroleum-peddling plutocrats. Fullerton teachers are particularly ginned up by the prospect of a “Nature Center” they can plan worthless field trips to, where students can learn all about what caving in to special interests looks like as they try to locate the scant vegetation popping up between the expensive and potentially PCB-laced tract homes. The bribe offered to the Fullerton School District (“free money! Gimme!”), as well as the greed of the non-profit moneygrabbing sector shows special interests only too willing to trade their “green” integrity for a little bit of the other green Chevron bilks from the US taxpayer. The fact is however, that city analyses indicate no major new revenue coming in from this development. The schools get some cash, greatly offset in the long-term by having to serve even more students. Nobody else basically gets a dime.
Greenwashed Yes on W ads are all over the place – on Youtube, Facebook, email, via phone call – everywhere but in most people’s yards since the average citizen has an instinctive sense not to trust professional grifters. They realize that Measure W is a joke. No real park compared to what is possible, just a few lonely ditches surrounding the concreting of North Orange County’s last open space, an already existing park, and a “Nature Center.” Unneeded houses on contaminated oil-lands. Traffic. Dangerous and toxic air pollution (a Chevron specialty) and infrastructural, water, and education costs to a city that can ill afford them. “But think about the children! Doesn’t anybody care about the children?”
Yes, we care about the damn children. Some of us even have some and would like to leave them a bit of undeveloped nature as a legacy. We’ll be saying no to the oil plutocracy’s local con job. No on W!
Two of the four referendum petitions for Coyote Hills have failed to qualify per the OC Registrar of Voters. These petitions would have put Chevron’s Coyote Hills development on the ballot in a future election.
The Friends of Coyote Hills had submitted four separate petitions to cover the specific plan, the general plan amendment, the development agreement and the zoning change. The remaining two petitions (zoning and development agreement) are still being counted.
Just in case you were wondering what’s happening with Coyote Hills:
Fighting a multi-billion company like Chevron takes a lot of perseverance and money! The Friends of Coyote Hills is an all volunteer group from the community (we are not paid). We live in the community so we have a deep stake in the outcome of West Coyote Hills.
The donations we receive are spent wholly on the effort to save West Coyote Hills. Your tax-deductible* donation will be spent on legal and other consulting services, education and public awareness supplies and materials (i.e. signs, banners, newsletters, brochures) that directly further the effort to save all of West Coyote Hills.
A few months back we told you about a new group called Open Coyote Hills here. Their friendly looking green and white signs have appeared all over Fullerton to show support for Chevron’s West Coyote Hills plan. The development was voted down by the city council last year, but thanks to the ongoing threat of a lawsuit by Chevron, will be brought back before the council tonight, July 12. No doubt some of Open Coyote Hills’ illustrious members will be on hand to state their support for the 760 home development.
An April 1 email from Scott Starkey of West Coyote Hills forwards a message introducing Open Coyote Hills. Additionally, the West Coyote Hills website features a direct link to Open Coyote Hills, where they are described as “an independent group of Fullerton residents who joined together to support West Coyote Hills.”
I wanted to call your attention to the email below from Open Coyote Hills, a recently formed group that wants West Coyote Hills to be approved so the land can be enjoyed. Their website is extensive and worth checking out.
Thank you for your interest in West Coyote Hills. We will keep you posted on our efforts to bring back a low-density plan for West Coyote Hills that preserves 55 percent of the property as open space and generates about $38 million to local agencies to improve schools and services.
From: OPEN COYOTE HILLS [email@example.com]
Sent: Friday, April 01, 2011 11:58 AM
To: Scott Starkey
Subject: Open Coyote Hills website now online
Our new website www.OpenCoyoteHills.com is now live and we’re reaching out to Fullerton residents to help spread the word.
The site contains a brief history section and an extensive FAQ — both of which should be of interest to all residents. It also offers those
who are excited about the plan a way to show their support by adding their names to our Supporters page.
Can you please pass this information along to those on your West Coyote Hills interest list?
The Open Coyote Hills Steering Committee
However, if you hover over any of the links to Open Coyote Hills you’ll see a short hidden text referencing emcdesignca, a design firm found online here:
Funny thing is, one of EMC Design’s clients is none other than West Coyote Hills. Click on the “Client Work” link, then on “West Coyote Hills” to see images of the website and familiar color brochure promoting the development.
Did the same design group that produced the website for West Coyote Hills, the development plan, also create the website for Open Coyote Hills, an ostensibly independent group of familiar Fullertonions supporting that plan?
A reader sent in this image taken last week on a hillside somewhere in Fullerton.
Check out the deftly-named Open Coyote Hills website that was listed on the sign. The website was put up by a group of residents who support the proposed Coyote Hills project, it’s associated parks and the opening of the 72-acre Robert E. Ward Nature Preserve that would come with it.
The “About” page lists an interesting cross-section of Fullerton’s politically inclined.
Last night the Fullerton City Council voted 4-1 to settle its lawsuit with Chevron in a deal that essentially man-dates approval of the development plan for West Coyote Hills that includes 760 houses, and that was denied 3-2. Last year Shawn Nelson, Pam Keller, and Sharon Quirk-Silva voted no. With Nelson and Keller having moved on, only Quirk-Silva remained to opposed the settlement.
As always, share your thoughts in the comments thread.
As part of its project mitigation planning, the Orange County Transportation Authority’s Measure M program has sequestered a huge pile ‘o cash, something in the neighborhood of $200,000,000. The purpose of this dough is to procure sensitive habitat from private property owners who might have development plans.
Naturally, the West Coyote Hills property was on the initial list, until removed by its owners last year. Chevron likely thought their plans for development were in the bag in 2010.
It wasn’t, and now it’s 2011. And apparently the OCTA is re-opening consideration of applications for the first funding from the mitigation fund. Chevron has until Jan 13, to file an application to the OCTA if they want to participate in the program.
Chevron may believe they now have 3 secure votes to approve what the Council denied last June. And they may still prefer to face long years of entitlement, inevitable lawsuits, and two or three embarrassing economic cycles in order to make a big profit. Or perhaps upon further reflection, they might come to realize that selling part or all of their property for a big payday up front without mitigation cost and without dragged out development issues, is preferable.
The Fullerton City Council might want to consider this too, and help persuade Chevron to take this alternate path. Bruce Whitaker, for one, has an excellent opportunity to make this overture.