CollegeTown, the contentious plan to re-designate 88 acres of land south of Cal State Fullerton for higher density development, comes before the Fullerton Planning Commission Wednesday night, February 10, 7:00 p.m. For months residents in the area surrounding the proposed plan area have organized to better inform their neighbors about the potential impact of creating a Specific Plan to govern dramatically increased development in what is supposed to be a walkable, downtown-like district where CSUF students can live, eat, and shop. Think Westwood in Fullerton, and then take a look at Westwood these days…

Opposition to the plan is so great that there is a website called Our Town Not College Town dedicated to stopping it:

Here is some official language from the agenda item:

“The applications include a General Plan Revision to change existing Community Development Types from Office, Commercial, High Density Residential and School to Specific Plan; Zoning Amendments to change zoning classifications from O-P (Office Professional), C-2 (General Commercial), and R-5 (Maximum Density Multiple-Family) to SPD (Specific Plan District) and to adopt the College Town Specific Plan; Abandonment of a portion of Nutwood and Commonwealth Avenues; and initiation of proceedings for formation of a Parking Management District and Property Based Improvement District.”

It’s the planned closure of parts of Nutwood and Commonwealth Avenues that really has nearby residents up in arms. With traffic already congested at peak (and other) hours in this area, neighbors are livid that the city plans to close parts of two major feeder roads to the adjacent 57 freeway, seemingly without a viable alternative to alleviate the resulting traffic on neighboring streets.

The Planning Commission is generally pre-disposed to approve the plan, in the opinion of the Rag, with some changes, simply because City Hall wants it to happen. The mixture of extreme property rights advocates and Chamber or Commerce cheerleaders will see to it that the developers get a chance to make the massive amounts of money they covet, without the nuisance of formulating an even close to adequate plan for traffic circulation. The rationale given will be that housing students next to the university, and building nearby services for them that won’t require them to drive outside of the district, and will ultimately reduce vehicular traffic, but is there a commitment to public transit anywhere in the plan?

The Rag encourages readers to attend the meeting (which will also be televised locally and live-cast from the city’s website) and let the Planning Commission know that the plan for an endless stream of cars and ever-growing blocks of high density development are not the only ways to plan for a livable future in our city.