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--the California "Mega-Park" Project

Tracking measurable success on preserving and connecting California's Parks & Wildlife Corridors


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Sagebrush Island in north Orange County is spared --for now

Fullerton's City Council rejects the Chevron Corporation's Coyote Hills development

"FULLERTON – The City Council voted 3-2 Tuesday  night (5/25/2010) to deny a massive, controversial development proposal by Chevron-owned Pacific Coast Homes. A grass-roots campaign to stop the development has been underway for almost a decade – but the decision was a surprise to many at the
meeting. About 250 opponents and proponents of the 760-home West Coyote Hills development attended the meeting.

The affected piece of land is huge – 510 acres, with the swath running along Fullerton's northern border and largely covering small, rolling hills. The land is mostly vacant. Councilman Richard Jones and
Mayor Don Bankhead voted in favor of the developer, while council members Pam Keller, Shawn Nelson and Sharon Quirk-Silva voted to deny the proposal.

"We're disappointed in the decision," said Jim Pugliese, project manager for Pacific Coast Homes. "We will be determining what our options are, and when we know what our options are, we'll be letting
folks know."One possible option is for the developer to come back a modified version of the plan...."


1.  The land itself is the coastal sage scrub (css) ecosystem that is going into extinction.  Only 5 to 10% is left in the world (all in CA and northern Baja).  This Fullerton part of the ecosystem can become a self-sustaining preserve when the rest goes into extinction (due to it being a great place to build houses), but only if it remains above 500 acres.  (Currently there's 582 acres which includes the City-owned Robert Ward Preserve park.) However, Chevron, Corp. wants to build houses and save only 55% of the acreage as pathways along the backyards of people's homes.  A cactus garden they will have, but not a true CSS ecosystem.

-- Recently discovered Coyote Hills Earthquake Fault connected to the Puente-Chino Hills Blind Thrust Fault is location of houses, with densest development being in the major liquefaction zone, causing slide liability that taxpayers will have to pay for.
--Problems of building on an unsatisfactorily cleaned up oil/gas field (with houses to be methane-vented) for which there is a possibility Chevron will resume pumping using the slant-drill method.
--Money is available to purchase the land as a park, but Chevron, Corp. refuses to talk to the people with the dough.

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