Fullerton considers universities’ transformation into CollegeTown

In Campus News, Local News, News

Neighbors United For Fullerton (NUFF), a nonprofit community organization, will hold a free public forum regarding the CollegeTown Specific Plan on Jan. 25.

Fullerton director of community development Karen Haluza, planning project manager Heather Allen and representatives from Cal State Fullerton and Hope International University will outline the CollegeTown zoning details for community members at the forum.

CollegeTown is a proposed area of over 70 acres dedicated to housing, commerce and university-related facilities, according to the City of Fullerton’s website.

“All of the land is in either private ownership or under the state of California through Cal State Fullerton,” Haluza said. “The city doesn’t own any property in the specific planned area.”

The area has been in the works since 2008, is bordered by Nutwood Avenue, Chapman Avenue, State College Boulevard and the 57 Freeway.

The city’s design principles for CollegeTown state that CollegeTown is intended to create an urban environment that serves CSUF and the community.

CollegeTown has faced opposition by Fullerton residents, who cite concerns about increased traffic and population density from housing developments, as well as lack of parking.

“We’re going to have a lot more residents, we’re going to have a lot more cars,” said Sean Paden, a member of Fullerton’s Design Review Committee.

Paden, a Fullerton native and former member of the city’s planning commission, helps organize a group called Our Town Not College Town, which aims to oppose the plan.

“If you close Nutwood, then those cars that are going through Nutwood are now either going to have to go down Yorba Linda or Chapman,” Paden said. “That’s another 3,000 cars per day on those two streets, so it’s not built to accommodate the traffic that’s already there.”

The plan currently outlines the creation of a parking district, incorporating CSUF, HIU and the surrounding neighborhoods, Haluza said.

The plan also suggests funding mechanisms to address traffic concerns, Haluza said. Suggestions include creating a business improvement district or traffic impact fees.

“Those would be paid for by the private developers or the state if they are developing the parcel that they own south of Nutwood,” Haluza said. “Public improvements would be funded by the folks doing private development.”

The plan is scheduled to be reviewed by the planning commission Feb. 10, following a public hearing, Haluza said.

The forum will be held at the Fullerton Public Library in the Osborne Memorial Room at 6:45 p.m. Jan. 25 and will be open to public comment and questions.

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