For one day, Fullerton voters will have more power than the #3 company in the country with their vote on Measure W. This November election, we voters can decide the fate of Chevron’s development plan for West Coyote Hills. A No on W vote stops Chevron from building 760 houses and a shopping center on West Coyote Hills by overturning the 2011 City Council approval of their Development Agreement. Residents have taken this decision out of the Fullerton City Council’s hands by doing something extraordinary in 2011. We collected nearly 40,000 signatures from Fullerton voters to qualify this for a vote by the people. Because of that success, the City Council has already rescinded one of the development approvals (2011-3168 Zoning change from Oil and Gas to Specific Plan District). Voting No On W will overturn the rest of the approvals.
Chevron’s ads continue to omit and distort the facts about Measure W. This measure is very much about approving the development of 760 houses on West Coyote Hills. The Development Agreement (ordinance 2011-3169) is the legislation being voted on. It gives the developer "vested right" to develop West Coyote Hills according to other project approvals (2011-31 General Plan Amendment, 2011-32 Specific Plan Amendment, 2011-32 Tentative Tract Maps, etc.).
When Measure W is rejected, the Development Agreement becomes null and void because voters have taken this decision out of the City Council's hands using their constitutional right of referendum. Moreover and very importantly, when the Development Agreement is rejected, all other project approvals also become null and void because of the language in those ordinances: "In the event the Development Agreement is terminated, all other development approvals for the project shall be null and void."
If voters are still confused about how to vote on Measure W, just look at who is behind each side and “follow the money”. No on W is supported and funded 100% by local residents, small businesses, and volunteers. Yes on W calls themselves the “the largest, most diverse coalition of Nature Lovers, Environmentalists, Educators, Taxpayers, Fire Safety Experts, Business and Community Leaders…”, but when you look into their campaign filing, you see a litany of PR, marketing consultants, political advisors and lawyers who do not live in Fullerton. Their staggering $1.5M budget comes from two sources: Chevron and the OC Business Council’s PAC (received $4,500 from Chevron, donated $1,000 to Chevron’s Yes on W, donated $1,000 each to two Fullerton City Council candidates). That’s a large and diverse coalition all right, but they sure don’t sound like parks people and they are definitely not the sort I want to entrust my future with.
Note: This appeared in the October 15, 2012 issue of the Fullerton Observer.