Community Voices

City Council Notes: May 16 meeting

The Small Business Diversity Network president, Jay Ungos, the director of the Asian Businesses Organization of OC, Jeff Bautista,
and the Filipino American Chamber of Commerce president Geraldine Larsen was presented with recognition awards by Mayor Jung.


Organizations, Recognitions, and Announcements

Mayor Jung names May 14 Apraxia Awareness Day in the city of Fullerton. A parent explains that Childhood Apraxia of speech is when people know what they want to say but have difficulty connecting to the muscles required to say it. Children are born with this, and it does not go away with age. However, they can learn how to speak with early identification and intervention. Ed Paul explains the Memorial Day program planned at Loma Vista Memorial Park. Mr. Paul asks for volunteers and invites people to come. He explains that it will also be honoring Tommy Thompson. Recognition Awards see the above photo.

Public Comments

Resident Todd Harrison calls the council to hold developers accountable and stop upstairs-only accessible housing.

Resident Maureen Milton comments that she was impressed by how concerned the NRAC meeting was about ADA regulations.

Parks and Recreation Commissioner Damien Lloyd raises concerns about inaccurate start times for public meetings on important projects. Lloyd calls developers to include residents instead of purposefully leaving them out of meetings.

Tanya McCory echoed her husband’s (Damien Lloyd) concerns and called it deliberately misleading.

After some public concerns about the lack of input on the budget, City Manager Eric Levitt explains that there will be a public hearing for budget approval on June 6.

Councilmember Dr. Shana Charles explains that she believes they incorrectly announced 6:30 as a meeting time at the commission meeting, but letters were sent out to individual residents stating 6 pm as a meeting time.

Grace Ministry International (GMI) Land Acquisition

Multiple residents raised concerns over the historical trees after it was suggested that GMI use the land they acquired from the city as additional parking. Instead, residents recommend using the space as a park, open space, or tree nursery.

GMI has not shown what trees will be retained but has stated that only necessary trees will be removed. However, they have not demonstrated any set plans.

Councilmember Charles clarifies that it cannot be a park due to train tracks and public works so close to the area. She also voices concerns about people lighting open fires on the property and suggests that this can be solved with GMI’s private security.

Leaving OCPA

Many residents raise concerns over leaving OCPA due to the lack of choice. Several explained that they would like the option to stay with OCPA’s sustainable energy.

Mayor Jung agrees to stay with OCPA due to lower utility costs and explains that this is much better for the people who participate in OCPA, giving examples of restaurant owners and those with fixed incomes.

Charles agrees that staying with OCPA seems the better choice since we are in line to receive money down the road. However, Charles is surprised about the lack of information they were given about costs.

Councilmember Reports

Councilmember Charles celebrates the opening of West Coyote Hills Trails and welcomes input and feedback through email and office hours.

Councilmember Nick Dunlap invites people to local events like the D4 Fullerton girls’ softball game, OC Greek Festival, and Sunny Hills Boat Test.

Mayor Pro Tem Bruce Whitaker expresses gratitude for Ed Paul speaking at the meeting and praises the Memorial Day program. Whitaker also seconded Charles’ celebration of the West Coyote Hills Trails.

Associated Road Lane Reduction

There is a proposed lane reduction on Associated Road from Bastanchury to Imperial. The two lanes would be reduced to one with a widened bike lane and on-street parking.

There are three objectives for this project.

  • The primary aim is to improve safety by reducing vehicular speed, eliminating weaving, and expanding grant opportunities and design options for safety enhancements. This change also aligns with the Federal Highway Administration Safe Systems approach.
  • The secondary objective is to reduce the means of road maintenance. This reduction would free more money to fix roads.
  • The third objective is to support those impacted by the eliminated OCTA bus route, mitigate the impacts of state legislation limiting cities’ abilities to condition adequate parking for housing development, and allow the first class 4 protected bike lane in Fullerton.

The staff seeks input before coming back to the council with a revised plan.

Public Comment on Associated Road

Many comments oppose the changes on Associated Road.

There are concerns about parking due to homelessness, crime, and safety. Several residents oppose the parking, stating that parking is already difficult pulling out of their driveways and that parked cars would only increase that challenge.

Cyclists and students support the better bike lane but also oppose the parking. They ask for a safer, more reliable way to create a high-class bike lane. Several residents feel that using a parked car lane as a barrier is “fudging” the standards.

Residents also brought up the new development in Brea that will add traffic on Associated Road and questioned how traffic flow will work in case of emergency vehicles. Multiple people argued that councilmember Charles should not participate in the vote since she campaigned by promising better student parking.

Charles clarified that she campaigned to make Cal State Fullerton a better community member because residents were having issues with student parking. She also explains that there are no issues and will be no issues with students parking on Associated because it is too far to walk. Charles said that the staff has already revised the plan so that no parking will be added. Cal State Fullerton has plans available online to change from a commuter campus to a residential one. They are also planning to add an internal shuttle system available to all registered students.

Councilmember Dunlap states that he would like to make a motion to table this indefinitely since there is considerable community opposition to the project.

The City Attorney explains that it can be delayed.

Harbor Blvd and La Entrada Place

Dave Roseman, the City Traffic Engineer, called for a traffic light at Harbor Blvd and La Entrada Place. He explains that hundreds of homes in the two neighborhoods use this intersection to get in and out of their homes. He cites safety concerns due to poor lighting, poor visibility, and difficulty making left turns.

Roseman also presented data that shows extremely severe accidents that could have been prevented with a traffic light. He also points out the two bus stops going different ways that have no crosswalks to connect them. Several residents cite severe accidents they have experienced, and all support the traffic light. Many state that trying to make a left turn at the intersection feels like being a “sitting duck.”

The motion for the traffic light passes.


2 replies »

  1. Councilmember Charles likes to divert and distract when confronted with the facts on the Associated Road lane reduction topic.
    1. The distance between Bastanchury and CSUF is not too far to walk or skateboard or bike. The distance is 1000 feet, walkable in less than 4 minutes.
    2. CSUF shifting to more on-campus residential housing and away from a commuter school with trolleys hauling students around is CollegeTown déjà vu. This was the first time the public has heard of this plan and makes one wonder if it wasn’t hatched right there in the meeting.
    3. She stated in this meeting that she had not seen the safety data for Associated Road. Pretty interesting since the basis for the lane reduction plan is improved safety.

    Attending these meetings has made it clear to the public that councilmember Charles, who is employed by CSUF, has a conflict of interest and should be recusing herself from participating in any topic potentially involving CSUF. Her statements in these meetings makes it clear she will say anything to keep her plan alive, even when faced with strong opposition from her constituents.

    • The distance between Bastanchury and CSUF is closer to 1500′, but cars would park north of that and the nearest classroom building (Engineering) is another half mile south of that. In addition there are two intersections with lengthy lights to cross, and since you can cross Yorba Linda only on the west side, maybe one or two more. Few students would be willing to make that trek. Even if they did it would only be a handful (perhaps those with motorized skateboards or scooters) and they would only park there for a few hours. Not an issue and it is not going to happen anyway. Still, the cost of parking on campus for students ($325 per semester) is unfortunate for a university that is meant to be affordable.