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.

WHY YOU SO MAD AT MILO BY T-REX

We’ve asked our infamous commentator “T-REX” to share his ancient wisdom with our readers. After agreeing to provide T-REX with two large broom handles stolen from Fullerton Public Works, the Friends are proud to present the first in a regular series of dino related thoughts.

TODAY T-REX GET PHONE CALL FROM LADY AT HIGH SCHOOL.

LADY SAY MANY OOO-MANS WORRIES ABOUT “CONSERVATIVE PROVOCATEUR” AND SCHOOL FOR LITTLE OOO-MANS CLOSE EARLY.

T-REX THINK THIS SILLY.  OOO-MANS USED TO WORRY ABOUT CONSERVATIVE ROCKS FALLING ON HEAD OR CONSERVATIVE SHARK EATING DANGLINGLY BITS.

SOMETIMES OOO-MANS WORRY ABOUT CONSERVATIVE DARK, BUT OOO-MANS MAKE CONSERVATIVE FIRE, SO NOT WORRY NO MORE.

MAYBE OOO-MANS WORRY TOO MUCH.  MAYBE THEY FOCUS ON CONSERVATIVE READING AND CONSERVATIVE MATH FOR LITTLE ONES.  MAYBE BEING TOO CONSERVATIVE AND CLOSING SCHOOL EARLY IS STUPID IDEA THAT TEACH LITTLE OOO-MANS TO BE AFRAID.

MAYBE YOU REACH OUT WITH THOSE BIG OOO-MANS ARMS INSTEAD OF HIDING IN CAVE OR CACKLING LIKE RABID CHICKEN.

JUST SAYING.

RAWRRRRRR!

 

 

Goons, Goblins, the Alt Right, and Antifa Oh My!

The CSUF Republicans have invited controversial conservative pundit Milo Yiannopoulos to speak on campus Halloween evening, creating quite a bit of anxiety for CSU educrats, liberal activists and local police.

Why? Here’s what happened when Yiannopoulos tried to speak at UC Berkley earlier this year:

That’s a lot of potential chaos for Fullerton, and local agencies seem to be planning for the worst case scenario. Nearby Acacia Elementary School has announced that it will be sending kids home early that day. Some CSUF students have said they are afraid to go to school. The Fullerton Police Department is working with “local, state and federal law-enforcement agencies” to plan security for the event.

Perhaps stoking the flames, student and faculty groups have denounced the event and called for the school to prevent Yiannopoulos from speaking. These efforts seem to embolden Yiannopoulos’ followers, driving media attention leading up to the event and reinforcing his assertion that conservatives’ right to free speech on campus is being threatened.

Anyway, here’s hoping that Fullerton residents won’t have to rely on the FPD’s finesse in tactfully de-escalating a Halloween riot.

Millie’s Mansion

We here at FFFF like to remind our Friends of the sorts of ways our public resources are spent, and we have shown our readers the lifestyle enjoyed by the Presidents of CSUF. (now Fullerton City Councilman) Greg Sebourn documented this dolce vita away back in 2010. Then it was the incompetent old fool, Milton Gordon livin’ large on our dime

Recently we have been introduced to the mind of Ms. Mildred Garcia, current President of CSUF and champion of the downtrodden minorities everywhere. Her record in support of “diversity” is no doubt impeccable and she will surely find a place waiting for her in a properly diverse Heaven. In the meantime there’s that old saying about doing well by doing good.

Forget The Punchy Professor, Mil.’ Next time just hit ’em with your wallet.

President Garcia pulls in a tidy $450,000 per year courtesy of the taxpayers, and not only that, she, as befits her office, gets to live on a palatial estate – the old Chapman “El Dorado Ranch.” Here’s a shot not from the famous FFFF Spook Drone.

Tennis anyone?

Of course the apologists for the social justice crusader will argue that the estate is needed to host fancy parties for all those high roller, big donors.

The caviar and champagne are on ice, come on in. Oh, wait, not you!

It would be interesting to see how Ms. Garcia characterizes her estate living on her income tax forms, but something tells me that this type of quotidian annoyance is taken care of by the taxpayers, including utilities, landscaping and painting that tennis court.

Of course that’s the real point of this post – not Garcia’s tired, old diversity screed pitched at 35,000 gullible kids, half of whom enter her university as unable to read a coherent sentence as Garcia is to construct one.  The real point is to remember next time you hear someone boohooing about the underfunded CSU system to point the boohooer in the direction of Millie’s Mansion.

Mildred’s Rant

Yesterday a Friend passed along a letter from CSUF president Mildred Garcia, in which she uses her administrative position (and the state’s computer systems) to distribute a politically-charged screed to 40,000 impressionable CSUF students. We’ve reproduced it for your entertainment here:

Dear Titan family:

Welcome back and Happy New Academic Year! It’s wonderful to see our faculty, staff, and students breathing life back into our campus community. Each of you bring such energy to the University and a love for teaching, learning, and listening that empowers all Titans to Reach Higher in our classrooms and throughout our diverse communities.

We are at a moment in history when the marketplace of ideas that we at Cal State Fullerton promote and protect through equity, inclusion, and civil discourse has the power to heal and lead a wounded nation.

The last time we were all together, we witnessed the transformative power of upholding these and other core tenets with what was arguably the greatest achievement of our now 60-year history: the commencement of our largest graduating class — nearly 11,000 diverse Titans, the majority of whom were low-income students and/or the first in their family to put on a college graduation cap.

For years, I’ve made it a practice to read what’s written on the backs of those caps; I find the messages not only inspiring, but also indicative of the collective mood of our nation through the words of the young people who will soon be leading it.

As a woman of color, a Godmother and Tía, a proud American, and most of all, as president of a University founded on the very principles of equity and inclusion that have recently come under attack in ways this nation hasn’t seen in half a century, I am proud that at this past commencement a rising tide of peaceful resistance was evident in the words of our graduates’ speeches, in the spirit of their families’ cheers, and of course, on the backs of their graduation caps.

“Nevertheless,” the back of one young woman’s cap said, “she persisted.”

“Love Trumps Hate,” another said in rainbow letters.

“Mis padres cruzaron la frontera,” one read in Spanish, “para que yo pudiera cruzar este escenario.” “My parents crossed the border so I could cross this stage.”

These American themes of justice and hope in the face of bigotry, misogyny, and xenophobia reminded me of a movement I took part in during my own youth, and given the progress we made as a nation in the decades since, I find it tragic that someone can look at a mob of neo-Nazis chanting hateful slogans on a college campus and claim that some of them are “very fine people,” or that the murderous violence their hatred sparked can be blamed on “many sides.”

This kind of language and leadership has unearthed a dark reality and emboldened the worst among us. Most recently, this culminated in Charlottesville, and when I saw a diverse group of student counter-protestors huddled together in the face of an oncoming sea of white supremacists, I couldn’t help but think of our own courageous students and a quote that was central to my Convocation Address last week: “There comes a time when silence is betrayal.”

Fellow Titans, just as that time had come for Martin Luther King, Jr. when he first said those words in 1967, it has come for us now. As the faculty, staff, and students of the largest university in the most diverse system of higher education in the country, it is time for us to wield the power of our collective voice to let the world know that we stand firmly and proudly on the right side of history with our immigrant brothers and sisters who made this country great long before it was a campaign slogan; with our undocumented students who have nothing to do with how they came to America and everything to do with what it means to be an American; with our Muslim faculty, staff and students who face travel bans that may impede their work and education; with African American students around the nation who attend classes in buildings named after Confederate generals who fought to keep them out of those buildings; with our LGBTQ community who fear losing their well-earned rights; and with our Caucasian Titans who remain deeply embedded in Cal State Fullerton’s definition of diversity and whose presence and voice is integral to who we are and what we aim to become.

As a public university that fosters a learning environment in which diverse perspectives from both sides of the political aisle are central to our mission, we are in a unique position to lead the country during this pivotal moment of history. We will do so by upholding the First Amendment rights enshrined in our constitution while also supporting those who may be hurt, scared, or offended by that speech, recognizing that our rich diversity is our most prized asset and that intolerance in any form is an affront to all of us. Paramount to this endeavor is safeguarding the physical safety of all faculty, staff, and students by providing a violence-free academic environment grounded in the mutually respectful exchange of ideas from all sides.

We may face offensive language from individuals with whom we strongly disagree. Our commitment to uphold their right to speak should be matched only by our determination to challenge them through civil discourse, peaceful protest, and the hope that education — the truest and longest-standing cure for hatred and violence — sparks a transformation in them that could be surmised with a quote from Nelson Mandela on the back of one of our graduate’s caps:

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

Welcome home, fellow Titans. Let’s embrace the work ahead, the challenges our nation faces, and most importantly, each other.

Sincerely,

Mildred García
President

OK, we get it. Diversity good, political violence bad. Who can disagree with that?

As you scroll through the anti-Trump rhetoric, you may notice one glaring omission. Garcia neglected to denounce the hatred and political violence that occurred on her own campus, by her own employee, Professor Eric Canin. If you recall, Canin was recently allowed to return to teaching after being briefly suspended for assaulting a student over a political disagreement.

Peaceful resistance.

Looking back, it seems that Garcia has never uttered a word publicly about the attack. Her failure to acknowledge and denounce this specific threat to the her students certainly calls into question her ability to “heal and lead” any kind of transformation. In that context, her entire diatribe is both insincere and hypocritical.

But hey, why focus on addressing violence inflicted by your own employee when you can talk about Nazis instead?

Eric Canin, The Punchy Professor Rides Again

Remember that CSUF professor who was accused of assaulting a student during a heated political argument in February? He actually managed to get himself fired over the incident… no small feat for a government employee. Surely the school’s careful and expensive termination of Eric Canin would stick, particularly after multiple investigations confirmed that he did indeed strike a student, right?

Union striker.

Nope. Canin’s union, the California Faculty Association, arranged for an appeal to an “independent arbitrator” who reduced the termination to a brief suspension.

Here’s the article from the Daily Titan spelling out the re-instatement. You have admire the nonsensical gobbledygook with which a system created and designed to protect public employees can shroud some simple facts, i.e. in some unfortunate manner Canin’s hand made contact with someone’s face.

It looks like an unrepentant Dr. Canin will return to CSUF for the fall semester. Students wary of Canin’s penchant for pugilism may take comfort knowing that Canin’s physical presence on campus will be severely limited, as he has been consigned to teaching two online classes. Ironically one of the classes is called “Culture and Communication” wherein I suppose Canin does not espouse physical rebuke as any sort of effective communication tool.

Culture and Communication? Distance learning is a good choice.

A March for Science, Road Closures and the ACLU

On Saturday the city will shut down several public streets for an event called the “March for Science.” It’s the local version of a nationwide protest of federal budget cuts to scientific research. While the event organizers claim that it is non-partisan, critics say its the nerdy version of yet another anti-Trump protest.

Mad scientists

Naturally the city bureaucrats were eager to accommodate to the public’s expression via a gathering on the city hall lawn and a march through downtown streets, right? Of course not. The City of Fullerton declined the assembly. Organizers were told to come up with $12,000 for city fees, a $2 million insurance policy and provide 90 days notice before starting the march.

What were these fees supposed to pay for? $8,000 went towards some sort of a traffic control plan and $4,000 was earmarked for police fees. Specifics costs were unavailable, but we can read between the lines: it’s $12,000 to put up plastic barricades and have some cops stand around, collecting overtime.

The ACLU got involved and lit up the city for charging excess fees they claim were intended to “discourage community members from exercising their First Amendment rights.”

Predictably, the ACLU communique prompted a change of heart at city hall. City management found a way to drastically reduce fees to a mere $175. The march will proceed as planned, without most of the ridiculously expensive bureaucratic requirements.

The moral of this story, of course, is that city hall’s default reaction to 1st amendment activity is to put up artificial financial/administrative barricades and prevent the unwashed masses from organizing and criticizing government. Around here, if you can’t bring in a lawyer to assert your rights, you’re nobody. That sounds familiar.

On the other hand, I am reminded of a peaceful Fullerton march that occurred in 2011 without lawyers, city approval, plastic barricades, insurance policies, traffic control, fat cops on overtime or any sort of certificate of authenticity. How did that happen?

 

Burn Down Hillcrest Park?


Another City Council agenda, another questionable proposal by Parks & Recreation.

Next Tuesday, the City Council will consider a new location for the Fourth of July fireworks and celebration.  The Fullerton Union High School stadium is no longer available for such purposes.  News of the impending change has been known for some time, yet Parks & Rec waited until 2½ months before July 4th to bring this to the council for a vote.  Great planning!

Have a look at the agenda letter:

“Although considered, some of the these venues don’t have the sufficient capacity to hold the expected crowds and comply with Fire Department’s ingress / egress requirements; adequate firework firing zones / fall-out zones; or are too costly.”

Say what?  Three sentences later, they propose to use Hillcrest Park as a fireworks launch area.  Yes, the same Hillcrest Park identified by the State of California as being within a “Moderate” Fire Hazard Severity Zone (FHSZ).  The same Hillcrest Park that lost many trees during the multi-year drought.  The same Hillcrest Park that had 50 to 75 trees planted on Arbor Day to replace what was lost during the drought.  I think you get the idea.

No mention is made whether the Fire Department approves of this idea, only that the City’s “pyrotechnic consultant” gave the green light.   One would think if the Fire Department expressed concerns about hazards at CSUF, Amerige Field, or the softball fields at FUHS, they would be just as concerned about mature trees at Hillcrest Park going up in flames.

Lions Field

For the sake of discussion, assume fireworks launched from Hillcrest Park will be deemed “safe”.   How prudent is it to have festivities at Lions Field?  The City spent an extra $1.7 million to install synthetic turf there in 2010.  With extra foot traffic and “vendors, attractions, main stage, VIP and staff area…” using the field, preventing turf damage will be nearly impossible.  Have they taken this into consideration?  Probably not.

The agenda letter suggests “ample capacity” for necessities like parking.  Lions Field and the lower Hillcrest parking lot have about 170 parking spaces.   Everybody else will have to park their cars at North Court (like in previous years), the Elks Lodge, along Brea Blvd, at private businesses, or in adjacent neighborhoods.  Parking problems will be an issue no matter where the festivities are held, unless, of course, CSUF could be used, which leads me to ask…

  • Why is CSUF not a viable location?  The agenda letter makes reference to another site being “too costly” but is devoid of specifics.  I can only assume the location being referred to is CSUF.  How much would it cost?  Has the City approached CSUF for leniency on fees?  What did they say?
  • What about Fullerton College?  Did the City approach NOCCCD about hosting the event there?  What did they say?
  • What about the Parks and Recreation Commission?  How did they vote on moving the venue to Hillcrest/Lions Field?  Oh, wait, the matter was never brought before the commission for a discussion and vote.   Had the meeting not been cancelled, this would have made for a timely discussion at the March 13, 2017 Parks & Rec meeting.

This type of nonsense has, embarrassingly, become business as usual for the Parks & Recreation Department.  The commission is regularly bypassed on important issues. When those issues are presented to the City Council for a final vote, the department does so on an absolute last-minute basis — often with erroneous or incomplete information — leaving no time for a continuance, or for other options to be explored.

The residents of Fullerton deserve a lot better.  I wish the City Council and City Manager would put their foot down and say enough is enough.

Fullerton Parking – State ADU Edition

You! I need your gas taxes & vehicle license fees… so stop driving.

Tomorrow the planning commission is going to be dealing with more parking issues. Or shall I say they’re going to be talking about something they have no control over because the State already stepped on them.

Back on 27 September 2016 Governor Moonbean signed SB 1069 into law. SB 1069 deals with “Additional Dwelling Units” or in the common vernacular “back houses”. You know the units as they’re the ones that get added behind a house so a homeowner can rent their second/third/fifth property to two groups of people as opposed to one. Charitably they’re known as “Granny Units” and uncharitably as “‘Mommy why is the creepy man staring at me all the time’ Units”.

The merits or pitfalls of these units notwithstanding, as we now legally have to allow for them all over town, this particular piece of legislation includes the following nugget:

Cities must waive parking requirements for ADUs that are entirely contained within existing structures, or that are within one-half mile of public transit, one block of a car-share vehicle, or in a historic district.

Within one-half mile of public transit. Okay, so let’s put that into context. Here’s a map of Fullerton to which I’ve added the major bus lines of OCTA in blue.

At least OCTA doesn’t go near the nicer houses.

Using the Google Maps Distance Tool I can say that 1/2 mile would mean that Fullerton cannot require additional parking for ADUs anywhere approximately South of North Court. Likewise no new parking requirements would be allowed 1/2 mile East or West of Euclid or State College for ADUs. I’d worry about the neighborhood by CSUF but with CollegeTown coming back (courtesy of Japanese Chat Girls) that’s the least of their worries.

I loathe writing about roads and parking, truly I do yet unfortunately our elected betters seem to not understand human nature and thus the issues constantly come up.

This no required parking if within a half-mile of public transit is because allegedly the low-income take public transit unlike those who write these stupid laws. The poor take so much public transit that we subsidize the snot out of buses, streetcars, trolleys and hubs such as ARTIC. The poor love their public transit so much that we keep having to exempt streets from overnight parking in the lower-income apartments thanks to their under-parked nature. Why if only the folks in those low-income apartments could find parking for all of the public transit that they love to take we wouldn’t need to exempt so many streets.

Add this newest parking issue to the quiver of arrows that will be used to kill the overnight parking ban. As an aside I wonder how many new AirBnB rentals will be built here in Fullerton thanks to this “affordable housing” bill.