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Fullerton Transportation Center Specific Plan

Status as of February 9, 2012:

At today’s meeting, the Redevelopment Design Review Committee (RDRC) interviewed RTKL Associates, and added them to the City’s official Town Architect list.  The four firms currently on this list are authorized to review development projects in the FTCSP area, on behalf of the City.  The Community Development Director will select a Town Architect firm from the list when a development application is submitted to the City.  The Town Architect firm will provide recommendations to the Community Development Director.  The list includes:  

            RTKL Associates, Los Angeles, CA (RTKL.com)
Page and Turnbull, Los Angeles, CA (page-turnbull.com)
            The Orange Design Collaborative, Orange, CA
            Gwynne Pugh Urban Studios, Santa Monica, CA (gwynnepugh.com)

Status as of October 20, 2011:

At today’s Redevelopment Design Review Committee (RDRC) the members interviewed three architectural firms that responded to the Town Architect RFP listed below. These firms are, Page and Turnbull; The Orange Design Collaborative, and Gwynne Pugh Urban Studios.  The RDRC unanimously approved all three to serve as Town Architects.

Status as of October 11, 2011:

Crane Architectural Group has withdrawn their Town Architect submittal.

Crane Architectural Group is located in Fullerton’s Downtown. The firm has chosen to be removed from consideration at this time, but may ask to be added to the Town Architect list at a future date. Future consideration will require an interview by the Redevelopment Design Review Committee (RDRC) during a public hearing.

Status as of October 6, 2011:

Johnson Fain Architecture has withdrawn their Town Architect submittal.

Johnson Fain had provided the architecture and planning services during the initial visioning processes for the FTC specific plan, which was initiated in 2005 and concluded with the completion of the FTC Framework Plan in 2007. Johnson Fain continued to provide architectural services in support of RBF Consulting, the firm that prepared the FTC Specific Plan.

Johnson Fain has chosen to recuse themselves due to their intention to provide architectural service within the planning area. Johnson Fain wishes to avoid any future potential or perceived conflicts of interest.

Status as October 3, 2011:

The City has received six (6) submittals in response to the Town Architect RFQ released on August 15, 2011. The City’s Redevelopment Design Review Committee (RDRC) will hold a special meeting on October 20, 2011 to interview the architectural firms interested in the Town Architect position. The RDRC interviews will be open to the public, and will be comprised of a 10 minute PowerPoint presentation by each candidate firm, followed by questions and answers with the RDRC. The October 20, 2011 interviews will start at 4:00 P.M. in the City Council Chambers, City Hall, 303 W. Commonwealth Avenue, Fullerton.

The purpose of the RDRC interviews is to ensure that architectural firms hired to serve as FTCSP Town Architects are qualified to represent the interests of the residents of Fullerton, in terms of design and technical ability, as it relates to architecture, historic preservation and urban planning. The RDRC will determine if a firm is qualified or not qualified to serve the City. A qualified firm will be placed on a list of approved Town Architects. The Director of Community Development will appoint a firm from the Town Architect list when a development proposal is submitted to the City. There are no limits to the number of firms that can be on the Town Architect list.

Below are the six (6) qualified firms that submitted their qualifications (in alphabetical order):

Crane Architectural Group, Fullerton

Gwynne Pugh Urban Studio, Santa Monica

Johnson Fain, Los Angeles

The Orange Design Collaborative, Orange

Page and Turnbull, Los Angeles

RTKL Associates, Los Angeles**

**Note: RTKL Associates in unable to attend the October 20 meeting, and will be rescheduled for a later date.

Status as of August 15, 2011:

Town Architect Request for Qualifications (RFQ)

Status as of July 27, 2011:

Fullerton Transportation Center plan receives state award

Status as of November 3, 2010:

City Council:

On November 2, 2010 the City of Fullerton City Council had the second reading of Ordinance No. 3159 and Ordinance No. 3160, as required by law, thereby establishing the Fullerton Transportation Center Specific Plan (FTCSP) document as the zoning regulations for the properties within the plan’s designated area.The FTCSP, as adopted by the City Council, can be downloaded by clicking on the following link:

FINAL Fullerton Transportation Center Specific Plan – Part 1

FINAL Fullerton Transportation Center Specific Plan – Part 2

FINAL Fullerton Transportation Center Specific Plan – Part 3

Status as of October 20, 2010:

City Council:

On October 19, 2010 the City of Fullerton City Council certified the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) and approved the Fullerton Transportation Center Specific Plan (FTCSP) and associated amendment to the Zoning Ordinance, General Plan and Central Business District Design Guidelines.The Council’s approval was subject to amendments to the draft FTCSP document. These changes included reductions in the maximum permitted heights of buildings, and the removal from the FTCSP project boundary of a property located at 350 E. Commonwealth Avenue. A video of the City Council meeting is available on-line by clicking “here” (See Item No. 8 on the Agenda).

Status as of October 7, 2010:

Planning Commission:

The Draft Fullerton Transportation Center Specific Plan (FTCSP) and Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) were reviewed by the Fullerton Planning Commission on October 6, 2010. This was a continuation of the Commission’s September 22, 2010 meeting.

A presentation was provided to the Planning Commission by City staff. The presentation gave an overview of the proposal, which was followed by a discussion that responded to various issues that had been identified by the public at the September 22, 2010 meeting.Staff’s presentation is provided here, although a video of the presentation, including question and answers, can be found on-line .

A presentation was also provided by the Redevelopment Agency’s development partner, JMI Realty.The presentation was prepared in response to the Commission’s September 22, 2010 concern regarding building mass and place-making.The presentation utilizes basic computer modeling to generate “boxes”, which were then illustrated by an artist to provide a sense of finished detailing.The illustrations are intended to provide a feeling for how massing might be implemented, and is not intended to be an absolute as to how buildings would be designed.The presentation also includes project’s JMI Realty has constructed, including properties in San Diego’s Petco Park neighborhood.It was clarified by JMI that the projects shown in the Petco Park area catered to the San Diego neighborhood, and projects in the FTCSP area would have a design more applicable to Fullerton.

After consideration of the information presented and the testimony of the public, the Commission voted (5-0) to recommend that the City Council/Redevelopment Agency certify the DEIR and approve the FTCSP and associated applications.

Status as of October 5, 2010:

On October 5, 2010 the City of Fullerton completed its review of public comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR). A written response to the comments has been prepared and is available at the following link:

Response to DEIR Comments

The Response to Comments were distributed to the Planning Commission on October 5, 2010.

Status as of September 23, 2010:

Planning Commission:

The Draft FTCSP and DEIR were reviewed by the Fullerton Planning Commission on September 22, 2010.The Planning Commission continued the proposal two weeks to a special meeting date of October 6, 2010. The continuation was to allow the applicant to prepare exhibits that better show the potential build-out of the area; and to allow City staff to re-notice the hearing.

The staff report prepared for the September 22, 2010 Planning Commission meeting is available at the following link:

Planning Commission Staff Report

Parks and Recreation Commission:

The Parks and Recreation Commission reviewed the proposed FTCSP on September 13, 2010 and recommended that the Planning Commission and City Council approve the proposed project, subject to the following two revisions:

1. Revise Figure 4-2, Civic Space Regulating Plan, and Section 4.3.7, to illustrate the general location and regulations pertaining to all the paseos shown in Figure 3-10, Proposed Pedestrian Improvements, of the FTCSP Development Plan, including the paseos between Pomona Avenue and Lemon Street, and the paseo on the south side of the railroad track.

2. Add language to Fullerton Transportation Center Specific Plan that assures the South Neighborhood Park is implemented, including land acquisition/dedication and construction.

Transportation and Circulation Commission (T&CC):

The T&CC reviewed the proposed FTCSP on September 1, 2010 and recommended that the Planning Commission and City Council approve the proposed project subject to the following revision:

1.The FTC Specific Plan language regarding the in-lieu fee for bicycle parking (p. 4-161; section 4.7.4.B) should include requirements that ensure bicycle parking is dispersed throughout the plan area and avoid consolidating bicycle parking in any one area.

At their meeting, the T&CC considered an August 18, 2010 Bicycle Users Subcommittee (BUSC) recommendation that the Transportation and Circulation Commission (T&CC) approve the proposed project subject to three revisions.The T&CC did not adopt the first two recommended revisions.

1.An alternative bus depot location should be included in future reviews.

2.24-hour access over or under the railroad right-of-way should be provided for bicyclists, between Harbor Blvd. and Lemon Street.

3.The FTC Specific Plan language regarding the in-lieu fee for bicycle parking (p. 4-161; section 4.7.4.B) should include requirements that ensure bicycle parking is dispersed throughout the plan area and avoid consolidating bicycle parking in any one area.

Redevelopment Design Review Committee (RDRC):

The RDRC reviewed the proposed FTCSP on August 26, 2010 and recommended that the Planning Commission and City Council approve the proposed project.

Status as of August 9, 2010:

The Draft Fullerton Transportation Center (FTC) Specific Plan and Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) are now available for review and comments.

Paper copies of these documents are available for review at the Community Development Department, City Hall, and at the Main Library Branch.

City Hall Hours of Operation and Library Information

Draft FTC Specific Plan

FTC Specific Plan Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR)

Appendices are not posted on-line at this time. if you would like to obtain a disk containing appendiecesappendices please contact Senior Planner Jay Eastman, AICP.

Please note that the review period for the DEIR is 45 days. Comments on the DEIR need to be received by the City no later than 5:00 p.m. on September 20, 2010. Comments must be submitted in writing to:

Mr. Jay Eastman, AICP, Senior Planner

City of Fullerton, Community Development Department

303 W. Commonwealth Ave.

Fullerton, CA 92832

Or by e-mail: JayE@ci.fullerton.ca.us

Project Description:

The Fullerton Transportation Center (FTC) Specific Plan covers an area of approximately 39 acres and is located in the downtown area, which is served by Metrolink and Amtrak at the Fullerton Train Depot, and OCTA bus service at the Fullerton Transfer Station. The FTC Specific Plan boundaries are Commonwealth Avenue to the north; Harbor Boulevard to the west; Walnut Avenue/Truslow Avenue to the south; and Lawrence Avenue and the BNSF Railway tracks to the east.

The overall purpose of the FTC Specific Plan is to create a sustainable transit-oriented neighborhood near the Fullerton Train Depot. The proposed project is intended to, among other things, focus growth and development in proximity to public transit. The FTC Specific Plan, if approved, would allow the redevelopment of existing properties with mixed-use and multi-family residential buildings. The proposed FTC Specific Plan provides a vision, framework and regulations for development on these properties.

The FTC Specific Plan incorporates a “Form-Based Code”, which is contained in Chapter 4 of the FTC Specific Plan. A Form-Based Code is unlike typical zoning, as it focuses regulations on physical design, rather than land use. A Form-Based Code better addresses the unique character of a higher density pedestrian oriented environment; rather than allowing vehicle-oriented land use decisions to dictate development patterns. A Form-Based Code specifies an overall vision of how a community will be built, and allows land uses to occur based on the area’s area's physical layout. In contrast, traditional zoning encourages design that is influenced by land use decisions on individual properties, thereby creating an area that has a disparate design pattern.

Intensity of development on each property within the specific plan area will vary, based on real estate market conditions and property owner interest. The FTC Specific Plan does not propose any specific development projects, but rather establishes the framework and regulations under which development will occur. This framework includes a two phased development process, with the first phase occurring on many of the properties between Lemon St., Harbor Blvd., Commonwealth Ave. and the railroad tracks. Development of the remainder of the properties is anticipated to occur in Phase 2. Build-out is not anticipated to occur until 2020 or later.

Depending on the properties within the FTC Specific Plan area, buildings will be allowed a maximum height of between 5 and 9 stories, and a minimum height between 2 and 3 stories.

The FTC Specific Plan identifies a maximum build-out of properties. Because the specific plan uses a Form-Based Code, the land uses within the Specific Plan are flexible. To address this flexibility, two build-out scenarios were analyzed. One allows more residential units; the other allows more offices:

High Residential/Low Residential High Office/Low Residential
  • 1,560 multi-family residential units
  • 100,000 square feet of retail
  • 49,000 square feet of office
  • A 120-room hotel
  • 1,513 multi-family residential units
  • 100,000 square feet of retail
  • 100,000 square feet of office
  • A 120-room hotel

The maximum build-out above is in addition to existing buildings that are anticipated to remain, such as historic buildings. The plan also includes civic/open spaces, paseos and parks in addition to the mixed-use and residential buildings.

A number of unique features are included in the proposed specific plan. These include:

• Historic buildings will be preserved, and will be respected by future development proposals on nearby property.

• The specific plan area will strive to achieve certification under the LEED for Neighborhood Development Rating (ND) system. LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is an internationally recognized certification system that verifies whether a building or community was designed and built using strategies that improve energy savings, water efficiency, carbon-dioxide reductions, indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts. The LEED-ND system integrates the principles of smart growth, urbanism and green building into neighborhood design. LEED is a certification program of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

• Development projects within the specific plan area will need to meet the minimum certification criteria under LEED-NC. Certification under LEED’s new construction (NC) program is not required due to the additional costs and time necessary for certification; however the criteria will be applied to ensure that developments include sustainable design principles.

• All development within the specific plan area will implement water conservation measures. All new development projects will achieve “Net Zero Water Consumption”, which means that the project would not create any new impacts to the City's water supply. Net Zero Water Consumption would be achieved through water conservation efforts on-site and elsewhere in the City, or through the acquisition of water from a new water source (such as desalination or water recycling).

• The Specific Plan identifies numerous pedestrian and bicycle features, as well as measures to reduce people’s reliance on the automobile. Features include pedestrian paseos, wide sidewalks, improved lighting and seating, bicycle parking standards, bike routes and “sharrow” road designations, and a bike-and-ride facility. Measures to reduce automobile use include an enhanced bus station, car-sharing, neighborhood electric vehicle facilities, and the mixed uses inherent to the area.

• A Parking Management Plan (PMP) will be created to manage the parking spaces used by retail, office and commuters. Parking is better utilized by consolidating public spaces and providing just the number of stalls needed based on the peak demand of all uses at any given time, rather than providing parking that meets the peak demand of each individual use. By minimizing excessive parking, the plan reduces costs to taxpayers and creates a more compact urban center.

Past Status Updates and Prior Project Scope

Status as of April 19, 2010

A Community Presentation was held at 6:00 p.m. on April 19, 2010 at the Fullerton Senior Center. An overview of the Draft Fullerton Specific Plan was presented to community members, and a question and answer dialog was provided. Below is a link to the presentation provided by the City:

FTC Specific Plan Community Meeting Presentation

Status as of April 1, 2010

The City of Fullerton will be holding a workshop to review and discuss the Draft Fullerton Transportation Specific Plan with the community and interested parties. The workshop will be held at the following time and place:

Date: Monday, April 19th
Time: 6:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Place: Senior Center - Reinhardt Hall
340 W. Commonwealth Avenue, Fullerton, CA 92832

Status as of July 1, 2009

The City held a Scoping Meeting on June 3, 2009 to obtain input on issues that should be included in the Draft EIR. Two identical presentations were arranged to accommodate the schedules of public agencies and the public (a 4:30 p.m. session and a 7:00 p.m. session). Notes from the meetings are provided below:

FTC Scoping Meeting Notes

The Draft Program EIR is underway based on the project description contained within the Initial Study (IS). A draft of the Specific Plan is being refined based on project analysis. Staff anticipates a community meeting in August 2009 to provide the public an overview of the Draft Specific Plan.

Status as of May 11, 2009

The City of Fullerton has prepared an Initial Study (IS) describing the proposed FTC Specific Plan. The IS was circulated with a Notice of Preparation (NOP) on May 11, 2009 to Responsible Agencies, requesting that comments be provided by Responsible Agencies within 30 days. A copy of the NOP/IS can be reviewed at the following link:

Notice of Preparation and Initial Study

Project Background:

The City of Fullerton Community Development Department, in coordination with the Fullerton Redevelopment Agency, JMI Properties and The Morgan Group, is preparing a specific plan to guide the development of approximately 39 acres surrounding the Fullerton Transporation Center (FTC). This area is generally bounded by Harbor Boulevard, Commonwealth Avenue, Lawrence Avenue and Walnut Avenue.

The Fullerton Transportation Center (FTC) Specific Plan will be comprised of residential, office, commercial and public facility uses. The FTC Specific Plan proposes a concept of higher density development in close proximity to the Fullerton Train Depot and OCTA bus transfer facility. In this manner, it is anticipated that the FTC Specific Plan will accommodate a significant portion of the City’s future housing needs, as allocated by the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) and as forecasted by the State of California. The FTC Specific Plan will also accommodate growth in a manner that complies with current and forthcoming State legislation and regional goals related to the greenhouse gas emissions and mobility.

The FTC Specific Plan will include a “form-based” code, which is a set of development standards that regulate the physical design of buildings, streets and civic spaces. Use of form-based codes will help guide development in a manner that achieves a pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use, transit oriented vision.

Because the use of form-based codes is new to Fullerton, City staff gave information presentations to the City Council, Planning Commission, the Redevelopment Design Review Committee (RDRC) and community in February and March, 2008.

The basic vision for the FTC Specific Plan was provided by the FTC Framework Plan, which was completed in June 2007. The FTC Framework Plan may be reviewed by clicking the following link:


The FTC framework Plan was created after soliciting community input at three workshops held in 2006. Subsequently, the draft FTC Framework Plan was presented to the community in March, 2007; and the final FTC Framework Plan was presented to the Redevelopment Agency in June, 2007. At that time the Agency authorizing staff to prepare the Specific Plan and Environmental Impact Report (EIR) currently underway.

The City’s Redevelopment Agency had initiated workshops and the subsequent creation of the FTC Framework Plan based on the information compiled in the Fullerton Downtown Strategy, adopted in December 2005:


The Fullerton Downtown Strategy is an update of the 1995 Transportation Center Study.

JMI and The Morgan Group have been the Redevelopment Agency’s development partners since Agency selection in September, 2005.

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