Archives for posts with tag: Fullerton Heritage

A new website to save the Hunt Branch Library is now online. Community members are encouraged to follow the site for news about efforts to keep the city from selling this unique facility for a quick buck.

The Hunt Branch Library building is a significant mid-century modernist structure owned by the City of Fullerton. We believe it is in imminent danger of being sold, and have organized a group of private citizens to ensure that the building remains in the hands of the people of Fullerton, and used to benefit the community.

The William Pereira designed Hunt Branch Library was a gift to the City of Fullerton from the Norton Simon Foundation in 1962. For decades it served as only one of two branches of the Fullerton Public Library, until being closed in 2013 and eventually  leased to neighboring Grace Ministries International (GMI) for $ 1,500.00 per month. This arrangement was said to be temporary while GMI renovated their adjacent headquarters, the former Hunt Food & Industries headquarters, also designed by Pereira. However, the lease has continued through 2018.  When the lease was approved, the public was promised that the city would support efforts to obtain historic preservation status for the structure, but such protection has not yet occurred.

Instead, at least one member of the Fullerton City Council, current Mayor Doug Chaffee, has repeatedly said that he favors selling the library, and there is reason to believe that at least one other council member supports the idea. It would only take three members of the council to approve a sale. We adamantly oppose the inclusion of the Hunt building on a list of city properties to be considered for sale, and urge it’s immediate removal from this list.

We believe that the Hunt Library building can be used in any number of ways to directly benefit the community for many years to come. This precious gift to our city should not be thrown away for a one time windfall. We invite you to join us by following this blog and contacting us to become involved in this effort to preserve an architectural gem and an irreplaceable community asset.


9:55 pm

The Fullerton City Council is currently meeting at the Fullerton Public Library’s Public Conference Center instead of City Hall next door. There is no live broadcast of the meeting, although it will be available as a video recording on the city’s website in a few days. The recording will not be broadcast later on television.

The City Council had not yet taken up the Downtown Core and Corridors Specific Plan. During the public comments period of the meeting, City Council candidate Jane Rands suggested that some council members may need to recuse themselves from participating in the proceedings. Mayor Chaffee did not address her concerns at that time.

10:40 pm

The City Council is taking a short break before taking up the Core and Corridors Specific Plan. Stay tuned…

10:55 pm

To make a long story short, the City Council has decided to continue the entire item to a date uncertain. The Rag calls that a victory for now.


City Manager Joe Felz explained that the deadlines associated with approval have gone away. The grant that funded the DCCSP can be certified without any timeline dependent on the council approving the plan, or not.

City Attorney Dick Jones suggested that Mayor Chaffee and Council Member Fitzgerald may not have to recuse themselves from the discussion and vote because the general community interest would allow for a variation (more on that idea later). He suggested consulting the FPPC about the issue. One wonders why no one had thought to do so already.

7,000 notices will go out in the mail to alert property owners in the plan areas about the next meeting, whenever it is scheduled, as they ought to have been for tonight’s meeting.

October was mentioned as a possible month for the meeting.

Good night, and thanks for reading. More on the DCCSP and issues of recusal in the coming days.


Planning Commissioners, some sure, some not so sure.

Planning Commissioners, some sure, some not so sure.

This Monday night, July 28 at 7:00 p.m., Friends for a Livable Fullerton presents a Public Forum to discuss concerns about the Downtown Core and Corridors Specific Plan (DCCSP) at the Fullerton Public Library’s Osbourne Auditorium (the windowless room on the west side). This is not a city sponsored event. It is intended as a response to the city’s plans, and as an informational session about the DCCSP.

Last night, despite myriad concerns about the DCCSP, the Planning Commission opted to go ahead and recommend the plan to the Fullerton City Council, albeit with the Commissioners’ many serious concerns noted in the report. The City Council will hear the item on August 5 and August 19, with a decision expected on August 19. Fullerton’s planning staff made numerous changes to the DCCSP in response to both public comments and Planning Commission concerns heard at the last meeting on July 9, but the general condition of the plan remains—to facilitate higher density development without the requisite transportation amenities to handle increased traffic and air pollution.

Last night members of the public objected to everything from the prospect of bad architecture with no public review, the acknowledgment by the plan’s authors that intersections already choked with traffic would only get worse with new development, and inadequate protections for historic resources. With the notable exception of Tom Dalton, Vice President of Fullerton Heritage, no other person spoke up in support of the DCCSP.

Recall that the DCCSP was paid for by a state grant for sustainable communities, but the City of Fullerton (you and the rest of the taxpayers around here) paid for the Environmental Impact Report (EIR). One persistent worry has been that the DCCSP would need to be completed in some form by a specific date in order to fulfill the requirements of the granting agency. The City Council will hear the item next month, already past the evidently soft deadline for the project’s completion. However, there is an equally persistent lack of clarity over exactly when, and exactly what, actions the City Council would need to take in order to be in compliance with the grant agreement.

Several Planning Commissions voiced the opinion that they needed more time to work out problems with the plan, but ran up against a wall of uncertainty about the importance of maintaining the current schedule for its consideration by the City Council next month. Planning staff had no clear answer to a specific question asked about whether or not the the City of Fullerton would have to send back the grant money (about a million dollars) if the DCCSP was not ultimately adopted.

Come to the free Public Forum on Monday, July 28 at the library to hear more and voice your own concerns about the largest Specific Plan in the history of Fullerton, and what it might mean to you.

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