Judge Rules Against Opponents of Fullerton Development

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A Superior Court judge has ruled against opponents of a proposed housing development on one of the last undeveloped tracts in North Orange County.

Judge Ronald L. Bauer ruled this month that opponents of the project, who argued that its environmental impact report was faulty, “failed to meet their burden to show a prejudicial abuse of discretion by the City,” according to court documents.

Angela Lindstrom, a spokeswoman for the opposition group, said they have 60 days to decide whether to appeal and are discussing it with their attorneys.

In any case, the issue is on the ballot in November when Fullerton voters will be asked to approve or reject the 760-home development on 510 acres.

Robert Hayden, spokesman for Open Coyote Hills, which supports the project, said benefits include an agreement by the oil giant Chevron to give the city eight to 10 miles of nature trails plus about $30 million in other benefits, including maintenance of the grounds.

Last year, the Fullerton City Council voted 4-1 to settle a $1-million lawsuit filed by Chevron after the previous City Council rejected the project. Under the settlement, Chevron agreed to drop the lawsuit if the previous City Council approved its project. That settlement won’t be final until all obstacles to the project, including the November ballot vote, are resolved.

Fullerton, like most of North Orange County, is considered park poor because political leaders in the 1950s and later allowed development without providing for community park space.

— TRACY WOOD

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