Item 7, related to the Coyote Hills, was pulled by Councilmember Zahra at the request of a resident at the City Council meeting on November 7, 2023. This item is to approve the final map for tract numbers 19 to 75, which is the West Coyote Hills development proposed by Pacific Coast Homes of Chevron. A Chevron representative was in the audience to answer questions.
The map of easements that we would accept for street and public utility purposes along Euclid and Gilbert. Another part of this item is to approve future amendments to the subdivision implementation agreement. That is in a form approved by the City Council or city attorney. This is one piece of the vesting tentative track map approved several years ago. This map is the first of four to be recorded for this project.
The City needs to record this map as part of the vesting tentative track map before December 7, including the subdivision implementation agreement. It is the first of four phases for the whole project. As a whole, this map is from east of Gilbert, and the City did purchase neighbors one and three, and two was essentially given to the City in place of park rolling fees. But there’s no proposed development east of Gilbert at this time. So this map has no deeds dedications other than the easements.
Jeff Townsend: I’m also a Friends of Coyote Hills board member. One of the things when I read through all this documentation and that was on the website. The map relates to the East of Gilbert. First off, my question is, is this a subdivision implementation agreement? I didn’t see any of that in the documentation. Is that a part of the Final track map for that particular area of West Coyote Hills?
If it is part of the final track map, item one says, “conforms to all applicable requirements.” Then I have an issue with item number 5, which says the City has carte blanche to make amendments. And tonight’s approval also approves those future amendments, whatever they may be. The lack of community oversight and even council oversight of this by turning it over to the city manager to approve future amendments is not good oversight.
Zee: I read on Page 6, #4, “Authorizes mayor and city clerk to enter into a subdivision implementation agreement. In the form approved by the city attorney. When it says mayor and city clerk, that means both of you have to agree. There’s no or there. It’s not one or the other. Then, #5 authorizes the city manager to approve future amendments to the subdivision implementation agreement in the form of approval. By the city attorney, I again find that you have removed the City Council as a group from making these decisions via vote. Is that typical?
Angela Lindstrom: I’ve been a Fullerton resident for 24 years and a board member of the Friends of Coyote Hills for almost that long, advocating for all 510 acres of West Coyote Hills to be saved as a park and nature preserve for now and future generations. To that end, I want to thank the Council, City Administration, and Chevron Pacific Coast Homes for completing the acquisition of Neighborhoods One and Three. That and Chevron’s cooperation to move development off neighborhood 2 protected the portion of West Coyote Hills east of Gilbert with a contiguous habitat and natural open space. This acquisition also expanded the park value of the adjacent Robert E Word Nature Preserve, which the City already owned.
This public and private collaboration ignited by our community grassroots effort and significant fundraising, especially at the state level led by our esteemed Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva and Senator Josh Newman, brought on the success.
The Friends continue to advocate and fundraise to save the remaining West Coyote Hills so that we can create a nature preserve that can sustain its native threatened wildlife and unique recreational and educational opportunities in our park-poor region. Regarding fundraising, the Friends is closing in on our own $2 million campaign of private monies.
I have a few questions I hope you can address tonight.
First, in one of the maps in the agenda packet, neighborhood 4, west of Gilbert, is shaded green as a target open space. Are the proposed development units in neighborhoods being shifted to other neighborhoods? Please give the public an update on this proposed acquisition.
Second, is the subdivision implementation agreement mentioned in the staff recommendations four and five? To replace the development agreement. If so, has that development agreement been terminated?
Director Bise: The subdivision implementation agreement is not intended to replace the development agreement in any way. It is identified in the conditions of approval within the development agreement that this must be executed and recorded before the first final map is recorded. This subdivision implementation agreement must be amended further before the following final map. Sometime within the next 48 months, according to government code, we have to figure out what will happen at that site and amend this subdivision implementation agreement before that final map is recorded.
This is the first of the four final maps, and it will be recorded as part of this project. It is typical to have the mayor execute agreements like this, and the city manager to approve amendments. This all is to set the phasing for the actual subdivision. The title subdivision implementation outlines the phasing within the development and the subdivision as a whole because of the unknowns. So, the phasing is broad, and this agreement must be refined in more detail once we know what will happen in the future phases.
Regarding the recommended action, number four, the mayor and the City Clerk agree, just like nuclear codes, they have to turn the keys at the same time. So, it depends on the developer and their appetite to move this forward or come up with the funds to purchase those other rights.
Zahra motioned to approve items one through four and then vote on item 5 separately. Charles seconded. Items one through four passed unanimously.
The council did not take a vote on Item 5, thereby rendering it moot.
Learn more about Friends of Coyote Hills at coyotehills.org