Plans OK'd by Fullerton Planning Commission
Proposal includes three acres
of land to build 42 affordable, for-sale homes for faculty/staff
March 17, 2005
The Fullerton Planning Commission
has approved plans by the Cal State Fullerton Housing
Authority to build 42 for-sale homes for the university's
faculty and staff members. The “paired” homes are planned
for the hilltop site now occupied by the Fullerton Elks
Through an arrangement between the Elks
and the housing authority, the Elks will provide about
three acres of land for the new homes in return, in part,
for funds to build a new Elks Lodge on the same site. The University
Heights project now moves to the city council
for final approval.
William Dickerson, executive director of
the housing authority, said the arrangement with the Elks
Lodge is unique in terms of university housing, but is
the key that will allow the authority to offer the homes
to faculty and staff members at prices significantly below
comparable homes in the Fullerton area.
“Without the availability of good housing
in good neighborhoods, such as that planned for University
Heights , the university cannot attract the quality faculty
and staff necessary to make the school competitive for
top talent on a national basis,” Dickerson said.
"University Heights establishes
a financing model for affordable housing that may
very well be the prototype for future housing in
Orange County and California."
Faculty and staff members who reside at
University Gables, the CSUF community in Buena Park the
housing authority built and opened in 2002, attended last
week's Planning Commission meeting and were among those
who spoke on behalf of the new project. Some described
how University Gables factored in their decision to either
join the faculty or continue teaching at CSUF.
“We consider it a huge blessing,” said Cliff
Cramp, assistant professor of art who served as founding
president of the homeowners association. “On a personal
level, it has allowed me to own a home and pay for it and
made it possible for my wife to stay home with the kids.
There's a really nice sense of community here.” Cramp underscored
the “importance” of the University Heights project for
retention, as well as recruitment.
As part of the Elks-housing authority arrangement,
the Elks would have a new 13,000-square-foot lodge valued
at approximately $3 million dollars built adjacent to the
University Heights neighborhood. Additionally, the Elks
will receive ongoing payments from the authority over a
99-year period to pay for the remainder of the land's fair
Dickerson described University Heights as
a pedestrian-oriented neighborhood of three and four-bedrooms
homes of up to 2,136 square feet with private outdoor patios,
side yards and exterior decks. The urban neighborhood will
be served by a fully landscaped loop road and include a
multipurpose community building, pool and spa, picnic and
covered patio areas and outdoor barbecues.
He noted that the homes that will not be
subsidized by any government funding and will be sold at
about $150,000-200,000 below market value on a ground-lease
basis, with restrictions on resales to maintain the homes'
Along with providing attainably priced housing
for university faculty and staff, Dickerson said University
Heights will showcase public/private collaboration among
the City of Fullerton, Cal State Fullerton , CSU Housing
Authority, Orange County Affordable Home Ownership Alliance,
Neighborhood Housing Services of Orange County and the
Elks Lodge of Fullerton.
“ University Heights establishes a financing
model for affordable housing that may very well be the
prototype for future housing in Orange County and the state
of California ,” said Bart Hess, director of the Orange
County Affordable Home Ownership Alliance. “This is a very
creative workforce housing development, and we are pleased
to be part of the financing through our pre-development
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