Fullerton City Council voted unanimously at their December 21 meeting to approve a large new housing development on a 4.47-acre site located within the Fullerton Town Center at the northwest corner of Orangethorpe Avenue and Lemon Street.
The project involves the demolition of existing retail buildings and construction of a five-story mixed-use development with 329 residential apartments and up to 6,500 square feet of ground floor commercial space. Five percent of the units will be deed-restricted units for very low-income residents. The project includes a parking structure and outdoor public areas.
The design took inspiration from some of Fullerton’s historic buildings, including the California Hotel (Villa del Sol) and the Railroad Depot (The Old Spaghetti Factory).
The project requires changing the site’s zoning from commercial to high-density residential.
Streetlights is located in the Harbor Gateway Focus Area in the City’s General Plan, which envisions it as Fullerton’s “primary southern gateway, characterized by high-density development at its southern end that will consist of residential, commercial, and mixed-use with convenient access to regional transportation via the  freeway and Transportation Center.”
The Planning Commission voted (3-2) on November 17 against approval of the project citing concerns over the building’s height along Lemon and electric vehicle infrastructure. In response to Planning Commission’s concerns, the developer made some design modifications and increased the length of parking stalls to accommodate EV chargers.
During Council deliberations, there was some discussion of traffic impacts, as this is a busy area. Traffic engineer Dave Roseman explained that part of the project involves widening Lemon to bring in right-term pockets and adding a traffic signal with a left-turn arrow. He added that the sum of the trips in the new development will be less than the traffic trips from businesses that are there today.
Jane Rands asked that the project go before the Active Transportation Committee to review ways it can be designed for safe, active transportation.
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