Victory for Outdoor Music in Downtown

we play for food and drinks
If you don't like our sound you don't have to listen

On Tuesday night, July 7, 2009 the Fullerton City Council finally concluded the issue of Live Outdoor Amplified Noise.  With a 4-1 vote (Pam Keller in opposition for some reason), council members decided that our current sound ordinance will suffice, moving forward into the future. Currently, acoustic music is allowed outside and louder live amplified music is not.  Jones, Bankhead, Quirk and Nelson all voting that the outdoor use of acoustical instrumentation (without amplification) is A-OK, but the use of louder live amplified noise on downtown private  patios on a regular basis is not the best thing for Downtown Fullerton.

It was stated in the sound study that was produced for the city at a cost of $16K that it is very unusual for cities to allow loud live amplified music outdoors on a regular basis. This obviously doesn’t include special events which are permitted under the current city code.  It’s so unheard of that only 3 cities in the whole country where cited as allowing some kind of routine outdoor noise, 2 of them out-of-state. The vast majority of cities allow acoustic (non-amplified) music outdoors while the loud music belongs inside. What a great idea!

We do our best work indoors...
We do our best work indoors...

Cheers for the Council for making a wise decision and preserving the peace in Downtown!

Cheers for the Council for having the foresight to see that over the long run this will encourage positive development in the downtown and promote a healthy business climate for all types of diverse shops and residential dwellings to thrive in downtown.

If you think about it, some types of music just aren’t conducive to being peace and quiet, yet others are. So by sticking with the current ordinance, acoustic music like folk, jazz and blues are encouraged outside while the louder harder stuff is only allowed indoors.

Makes great sense—Good job City Council!

Quirk Kills Bad Burger Deal; Fox Block Kicks the Bucket

Residents witnessed another rousing victory for FFFF last night as Councilwoman Sharon Quirk wisely reversed direction on Fullerton’s famous $6 million dollar burger deal that would give away a brand new McDonald’s restaurant at taxpayers’ expense.  Pam Keller sensed the inevitable failure of this project and also changed course, sending this turkey down in a 4-1 vote. Nelson and Jones had it right from the beginning, but Bankhead rode this one all the way to the grave.

No thanks, we're not hungry anymore

Now that the taxpayer-funded McDonald’s move is dead, there isn’t much hope for the massive Fox Block redevelopment scheme – and that’s fine by us. The Fox Block had little to do with the popular restoration of the historic Fox Theatre and there was plenty of doubt the that the block would be financially viable even with millions in taxpayer subsidies.  Throw in a little public deception about the height of the buildings, and it’s clear that this project needed to be flushed.

Even if you don’t approve of our approach here at FFFF, it’s hard to deny positive results. It’s good to see our representatives fix bad decisions and move forward. We know it’s tough to admit when you are wrong, but that’s part of responsible governance. Thank you, Quirk and Keller, for doing the right thing.

Roscoe Finally Comes to his Senses

Roscoe's illegally constructed outdoor patio

Dear Friends, a few weeks back Friends for Fullerton’s Future filed an appeal of the appalling decision by the Fullerton Planning Commission to grant a bogus “special event” permit to Roscoe’s in order to legitimize the ongoing violation of the City ordinance regarding outdoor live amplified music in the C-3 Zone. The appeal was based on the fact that playing live amplified music outdoors is detrimental to the health, safety, peace, comfort and general welfare of persons visiting, residing or working in the neighborhood and is injurious to property or improvements in the area.

We are pleased to inform you that as a result of our appeal, Roscoe’s has withdrawn their application, therefore no public hearing on Roscoe’s appeal will be necessary.  calm

Fox Block: Fullerton Rejects Fake Old McSpanish Architecture

The room filled with cheers and applause at last night’s Fox Block community meeting when a citizen stood up and pronounced that the Redevelopment Agency should avoid creating more buildings that are meant to look like fake old clones of existing historic buildings.

The developer who was giving the presentation wanted to make sure that he was hearing this right… he asked for a show of hands – who wants Spanish/Mediterranean-style architecture that mimics the current Fox Theater? Two people out of 50+ raised their hands. Judging by the earlier applause, the vast majority of citizens were in support of creating long-lasting buildings in a contemporary style that would one day become historically significant themselves. The developer even went on to openly mock existing redevelopment buildings in Fullerton, at which point Redevelopment Director Rob Zur Schmiede stood up and absolved himself of responsibility, saying that the fake old buildings were created before his tenure.

Where did this sudden hatred of fake old design come from? We can only surmise that the audience was filled with citizens who have been reading this very blog, which has been loudly criticizing these projects for several months.

There are still many serious problems with this development project (we’ll get to that later), but it’s good to see that FFFF is having a positive impact on the future of architecture in downtown Fullerton.

Yeah, but what about that McDonalds?
Yeah, but what about that McDonalds?

New Police Chief Promotes Open Government

In the spirit of open government, Fullerton Police Chief Mike Sellers made a promise to publicly disclose internal department policies and procedures on the city website.

We're always looking for new Friends

Even before Chief Sellers joined the Fullerton PD last month, there were musings of his strong stance on community-oriented policing. It sounds nice, doesn’t it? After a month on the job, it was time to put the PD to the test.

I made a quick request for the department’s taser policy in preparation for an item on the council agenda that would allocate $40,000 for new tasers. Chief Sellers’ initial reaction was the best that we could hope for… his command staff even offered to bring the policy by my house so I would have it in time for the meeting!

Unfortunately, we suspect that someone else at the department noticed my FFFF membership card because officer friendly was then told to deny my public records request. Perturbed by this sudden reversal,  I informed the chief and city council that the issue would be brought up at the city council meeting that night.

By the time I had spoken at the meeting, Chief Sellers had taken a stand and informed everyone that internal department polices would be available to the public and posted online.

The Chief knows there are loopholes in public record law that allow police departments to shut out the public, but Fullerton can rest easy knowing that FFFF and Chief Sellers have solidified their right to observe the inner workings of our government. And that’s how it should be.