At a recent Fox Block community workshop, the Redevelopment Agency made every attempt to direct public discussion away from the height and scale of the proposed commercial structure. The agency even went so far as to not show any elevational drawings, although they did pepper the room with 1st and 2nd floor plans. Even the blunt question of “how many floors will it be?” was answered with reassuring answer “We don’t know, we’ll figure that out later”.
Well Friends, we have discovered the elusive drawing in Arteco’s proposal that was submitted last year. This is what the audience should have been shown:
Why didn’t the public get to see this important drawing at the meeting? There were plenty of concerned neighbors at the meeting who would have loved to see what their neighborhood will look like should this project be completed.
After the nasty battle over the height of the Amerige Court boondoggle, don’t you think they would bring this issue into the light at the very beginning? Why can’t Arteco Partners and the Redevelopment Agency be honest with the citizens of Fullerton?
Fullerton’s Redevelopment Chairman Don Bankhead, and members Pam Keller and Sharon Quirk led the charge to spend $6 million in tax payer’s money to relocate McDonalds 2oo feet closer to Fullerton High School. As part of the total figure, the Agency previously spent $3 million to buy and demolish four historic California bungalows on the site.
Redevelopment Agency Director Rob Zur Schmiede said “funds for the project had been set aside years ago”. Governments flawed incremental approval process at work again.
The move will pave the way for The Fox Block project– a proposed parking structure type development fronting on Chapman Avenue between Harbor Boulevard and the new McDonald’s which will resemble a McMiniature McSpanish McCastle.
Not everyone favored the deal, longtime Fox critic, Councilman Jones opposed the deal, indicating that he was disappointed a big corporation like McDonald’s was not putting a nickle into the multimillion dollar burger deal.
“This is a huge cost of the citizens’ money,” Jones said.
Councilman Nelson asked if it were possible to postpone the final decision until the Fox Block developer, Arteco Partners, could come up with a plan and a feasibility study.
With nothing at stake and everything to gain, the out of town Developer’s spokesman Jerry Tessier said the new proposed parking structure and project would not work if McDonald’s stayed in its current location. Yet, he could not provide any guarantees for much.
Councilwoman Quirk agreed it was time to move forward. “We have the funds, and we need to get sales tax in.”
As a school teacher, Quirk must know what causes obesity in children; eating too much of the wrong kinds of food and not getting enough exercise. Now the kids wont have to walk as far to get their subsidized happy meal deals.
McDonald’s franchisee Mr. Frisbie reminded the Redevelopment Agency members that the City staff approached him to relocate his business, which was started by his father, James, in 1969 as a family business. A recent study shows the presence of an fastfood outlet within easy walking distance of a high school — about 530 feet or less — resulted in a 5.2% increase in the incidence of student obesity compared with the average for California youths, a correlation deemed “sizable” according to the findings. Great job Quirk, Bankhead and Keller!
“Our business is better suited where we are now,” Frisbie said. Dear Friends but another example that government is part of the problem and not the solution.