The City of Fullerton and Califronia State Univeristy of Fullerton are teaming up to promote a plan called College Town, and it has some residents of the city up in arms. The general idea is to transform an area at the southern border of the university into “a place where campus life and city life converge,” according to the “Vision” section of the College Town document available on the city’s website. CSUF has been a nearly exclusively commuter campus since it was founded, but in recent years the university has added dorms to provide on-campus housing for more and more of its students. The idea of a quasi-school space that spills out into the city around it, providing the feel of an actual college town, is certainly attracive for many reasons, but there are also some good reasons it doesn’t exist there now.
The most inconvenient impediment to this plan is Nutwood Avenue’s automobile traffic. The planners behind College Town would like to eliminate that traffic to create a cluster of mixed use buildings and plazas north of Chapman and east of Hope University. Residents in the area are fuming over the prospect of vehicular traffic moving over to their streets to reach other freeway onramps when a portion of Nutwood is closed.*
There is a steady press by the city and the university to promote College Town. Last month CSUF President Mildred Garcia welcomed community leaders, senior city staff and department heads, and university staff to a reception at the El Dorado Ranch.
At least some attendees perceived the event to have been scheduled, at least in part, to gently lobby community leaders to support the College Town plan.
Monday night, May 12, it’s City Manager Joe Felz’s turn to pitch the plan to local residents. Without a current Community Development Director, it falls to the City Manager to respond to the concerns of many local residents who say that their neighborhoods are already overburdened with traffic.
Neighbors United for Fullerton (NUFF), a local political action committee (PAC), invite you to hear Mr. Felz speak about College Town and “other projects that are in the process or slated in the future for development in the City of Fullerton”.
“What About College Town” begins at 6:45 p.m. and ends at 8:30 p.m. at the only remaining branch of the Fullerton Public Library, in the Osbourne Auditorium (the windowless one downstairs). There is no charge to attend.
*An earlier version of this story erroneously stated that access to the 57 freeway from Nutwood would be closed entirely.