Local News

Council Approves Bastanchury Development

Fullerton City Council voted 4-1 (Whitaker “no”) to approve a 33-unit residential condominium development on a 2.4-acre site on Bastanchury Road near Puente at its February 4 meeting.

A view of the property from Bastanchury Rd.

The property, which will be sold to Brandywine Homes by the Fullerton Library Foundation, has a unique history.

In 1996, through community donations, the Fullerton Public Library Foundation purchased the Bastanchury Property with the intent that it be used as a future branch library site. In 1999, the Foundation deeded the property to the City of Fullerton with the proviso that the property be used for public library purposes.

In the intervening years, the City of Fullerton made it clear that ongoing budget constraints would preclude the building and operation of another fully staffed branch library.

In 2018, the city offered the land back to the Library Foundation to sell in order to benefit the library. All proceeds from this sale become part of the Foundation’s Investment Fund that is used to benefit the Library.

Some residents in the adjacent President Homes community expressed concerns over potential noise, traffic, and safety issues that the Brandywine development would cause.

Kelly Perkins, who lives in the President Homes said that Bastanchury is a heavily traveled road that has a 50mph speed limit.

“Placing a high density building on this section of Bastanchury seems reckless,” Perkins said. She, along with other residents asked the developer to reduce number of units, include more parking, and provide a safer entrance in and out.

Mark Miller, the city traffic engineer who signed off on the project, said that a traffic study was done, including at peak times. Although traffic is bad during peak times, this development would not cause a “significant impact” to traffic.

Ray Kawase from the Library Foundation said they chose a moderate density, as opposed to high density, taking into consideration the concerns of the neighborhood.

Duncan Johnson from the Library Foundation said, “The most exciting part of this is that we are going to be able to provide more library services to underserved areas throughout the community.”

Mayor Protem Jan Flory, who supported the project, said that the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) has recently imposed building standards that ask for 13,000 additional housing units in the next 7 years.

“If we are going to object to every housing development that comes before us, even a 33-unit, we’re never going to get close to that,” Flory said.

Councilmember Bruce Whitaker, who voted against the project, said he was concerned that adequate time wasn’t taken to allow for and create some “buy in” from existing residents in the adjacent neighborhood.

Councilmember Ahmad Zahra, who supported the project, noted that he lives in South Fullerton where there’s a lot more density.

“This has been put together in a thoughtful manner—taking into account impacts on neighborhood and the school,” Zahra said, adding that the new condos will allow for homeownership for middle-income families, who often find themselves priced out of the local housing market.

Councilmember Jesus Silva supported the project.

“Think of the long term—this will allow younger families to move in,” Silva said. “We have a declining enrollment problem in our schools, so I think this may help. It will benefit the economy—we’ll have 33 families shopping locally.”

Mayor Jennifer Fitzgerald also supported the project.

“I want the residents to know that I heard your concerns. To my thinking, your concerns are being answered in the way this project is being developed,” Fitzgerald said.

4 replies »

  1. Bastanchury is going to be washed away by the hospital after the next big rain. The tunnels at the golf course are eroding and the city has done nothing to fix the erosion the past few years.

  2. Did the Fullerton City Council ever _not_ like an upper crust housing development? Look at these drawings; these are going to cost an arm and a leg, and they know it. C’mon, pull the other one, it playes “Jungle Bells”!

    Oh, but truly AFFORDABLE housing for the less fortunate…well, we can’t have THAT! Especially not near where we ride our horsies!

    I really would like to see who on the council got wined and dined by the developer for this…

    • This was a done deal before we even walked in there. They twisted our safety concerns into some class warfare which was not at all what this was about.

      They had realtors show up with their Louis Vuitton bags to plead for housing for their poor middle class clients. These townhouses are set to start in the 600/700.

      They claimed we are the only neighborhood in Fullerton complaining about a new development and we should be happy they only approved 33 units.

      Our safety concerns for development size on Bastanchury were not considered even after it was revealed that the street gets an E rating for safety out of A-F. The lowest you can get is an F. The traffic report pulled by the city traffic engineer showed 49 accidents from 2014-2019. The CHP SWITRS report I pulled for the same stretch shows 149. Plus two recent accidents that resulted in 7 injuries since this was approved. This is what triggered our concerns in the first place.

      The company who the City traffic engineer hired to do the report chose Wednesday at noon to do the traffic study. They picked the one day that school let out early to monitor the amount of cars and speed. Not the normal time of 2:30-3:30.

      Brandywine will not have to do any official monitoring of dust or air quality while construction is going on next to the Kindergarten playground.

      Brandywine also claimed a hardship and will not be required to bury the power line in front of the development as is required of any other new development.

      Welcome to the new Fullerton. Time to make your vote count. We should look at which developers have been contributing to their campaigns for the last ten years

      Attending a City Council meeting has been eye opening. I urge everyone to get involved.