Opponents of Fullerton Development File Petitions

Opponents of a 760-home development in one of the last open areas of Fullerton have collected and filed what they say are enough signatures to force a referendum of the project, which was approved last month by the Fullerton City Council.

Angela Lindstrom, a spokeswoman for Friends of Coyote Hills, said more than 8,000 voters signed two of the petitions against the project and more than 10,000 signed another two.

Lindstrom said the opponents had to collect 7,036 signatures of registered voters on each of the four petitions to qualify the issue for the ballot.

Petition circulators try to get more than enough signatures because some people sign petitions even though they aren’t registered to vote or aren’t residents of the city.

Each of the four petitions was aimed at a separate section of the of the approval process used by the City Council when it voted in July to authorize construction of the housing project proposed by Chevron, which owns the land.

The city clerk will deliver the signatures to the county Registrar of Voters. The Registrar’s office expects to determine by late September or early October whether enough valid signatures were gathered to put the issue on the ballot, Lindstrom said.

She said 102 volunteers fanned out throughout the city in the weeks following the July 12 vote to collect signatures. If they collected enough signatures, the issue could be placed on the next election ballot.

A similar signature drive was conducted in Orange last month after that City Council approved a housing development on one of its last open areas.

Fullerton, like much of North Orange County, is park poor, mostly because of massive development in the 1950s and 1960s that didn’t include open space.

Opponents of the Chevron project want the land retained as a natural park area.