Sunday, March 12, 2017

Who's Holding Who Hostage Over Coyote Hills?

The following will appear in the "City Council Notes" section of the upcoming issue of the Fullerton Observer Newspaper, our only local, independent paper.

During public comment at the March 7th Fullerton City Council meeting, one local resident took issue with Council Member Jennifer Fitzgerald’s comment at the previous meeting that the Friends of Coyote Hills are “holding the city and Chevron hostage” by appealing a judge’s decision to allow development of Coyote Hills.  “I’m one of the voters who voted, with the other 61 percent to save Coyote Hills,” the resident said, referring to the 2012 Measure W vote, in which nearly two thirds of voters opposed Chevron’s Development Agreement.  “We have one chance to save it.  Once it’s developed, it’s developed.  I’d be willing to have a bond to save it.” 

View of Coyote Hills.  Photo by Ira McNabb.

Council Member Fitzgerald responded by saying, “I do think that a very small group of people in this town are holding the rest of the community hostage and not allowing us to have a park, like people voted for, and still respect the private property rights of Pacific Coast Homes.”   By this “very small group” she was not referring to City Council, who in 2015 ignored the will of the voters and re-approved the Coyote Hills Development under a different name [Fitzgerald voted for this].  Nor was she referring to the small group of executives, lawyers, and PR people from Chevron/Pacific Coast Homes who have had unprecedented access to council in closed session over the past several years.  No, Mrs. Fitzgerald was referring to the Friends of Coyote Hills, a non-profit, volunteer organization whose views were supported by nearly two thirds of Fullerton voters in the Measure W vote.   These are the ones “holding the community hostage” by defending the will of the people in court.

Fullerton City Council Member Jennifer Fitzgerald.

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