North Tustin Campus Enhancement Program
News for Our Neighbors
Welcome to Fairmont Neighbors, the website that will keep you up to date and answer your questions about our North Tustin Campus Enhancement Program. Since launching this website in July 2022, we have spoken personally with many of our neighbors and are happy with the positive initial response to our plans to enhance the North Tustin Campus.
The accompanying chart (below) shows the responses we have received. More recently, nearly all of the near-neighbors we visited told us they have noticed reductions in congestion since we initiated new drop-off and pick-up procedures.
Neighbors also discussed ways we can be a better neighbor, which we’ll discuss further below.
Our proposal will undergo a review process that provides multiple opportunities for public comment. Once we have addressed all the requirements of Orange County’s planning department and have a complete application, it will be reviewed during public meetings before the North Tustin Advisory Committee and the Orange County Zoning Administrator. We hope the Foothill Communities Association will also review our plan.
We are eager to hear from you. If you need any information, have questions or would like to share something with us, please let us know by contacting our Project Coordinator, Laura DeLeon, at (310) 810-7395 (during business hours) or email@example.com, or by going to the Contact Us section.
WHAT WE ARE PLANNING
Early Childhood Education: In recent years, we have received many requests from parents to expand the early childhood education program on the North Tustin campus. The state limits these programs to a much smaller class size than elementary or junior high classes, so the purchase of the church property will give us the space we need to meet the growing demand for early childhood education.
Additional Students: Increasing our student cap will also allow us to fill classrooms that currently have fewer students than allowed under state requirements.
Performance Venue: Our current auditorium and performing arts venue, Allison Hall, is less than ideal, so we are excited by the opportunity to use the former church’s sanctuary for performances, concerts and events. The room is more welcoming, has better sightlines and, most importantly, offers much better acoustics. We are not planning to have more events, and programs are limited to certain grade levels only, thus limiting the number of people attending events.
New Classrooms: In all, six new classrooms are proposed under this plan. The three proposed for the current Allison Hall will make it possible to expand our early childhood education programs, and an additional three in the church’s Sunday School building will be used for junior high classes.
Timing: With your support, we are hoping to be able to have our enhanced North Tustin campus ready for students in either the fall or spring semester of 2023.
Being A Better Neighbor
Traffic Congestion: The primary traffic congestion problem comes from parents traveling north on Newport Avenue who make illegal U-turns, either onto Vanderlip Avenue or Newport Avenue. All parents have received the following new instructions, showing how to utilize the church property instead of making U-turns:
We also are placing “No U-Turn” and “Left Turn Here” signs on Vanderlip Avenue to reinforce these directions. Staff members frequently monitor the traffic and speak to parents who are not following the new directions.
When we visited many of our near-neighbors in January 2023, nearly all of those we talked to said they have noticed reductions in congestion since these new procedures were implemented. Have you noticed an improvement? Do you have any additional suggestions? If so let us know via the Contact Us section.
Flying Objects: Neighbors on Cameron Lane with property that back up to the campus asked us to do something about balls and other objects that periodically come over the fence and onto their property. Since speaking with them, we have:
- Talked to students, playground monitors, parents, and teachers about the problem
- Moved our security cameras to give us a better view of the fence
- Installed netting above the fence when requested by our neighbors.
If you live in one of the affected houses and would like to have us install netting, or if you have other suggestions, please let us know via the Contact Us section.
BENEFITS TO OUR NEIGHBORS
No Busy Church: If a growing, active church had purchased the site, the property would become very active. It is not unusual for more than a dozen different groups to meet regularly at local churches from early morning through evening, every day of the week, in addition to the church’s Sunday services.
No Additional Homes: While the church property’s current zoning would make it challenging to build housing on the site, new pro-housing state laws could make it feasible. If a developer succeeded in rezoning the site, several homes or even a small apartment building could be built there.
Less Noise: We will continue to not allow any outdoor activities after 6 p.m. on weekdays and to restrict weekend outdoor activities to only a very small number of official school activities held only on Saturdays and only during daylight hours. We also will move and improve the North Tustin Campus’ sound system so the noise level of outdoor announcements will be reduced for our neighbors.
Your Questions Answered
If you are adding students, how can you be reducing the allowed intensity?
Will adding 100 students mean adding 100 more cars to local traffic?
We believe that it will not, but the traffic analysis that is now underway will provide a definitive answer. Because much of the need to request an increase in our student cap came from parents’ requests for a larger early childhood education program, we expect that many of the new students will be driven to and from school with their older siblings who already attend Fairmont. Since acquiring the church property, we have implemented new drop-off and pick-up procedures that utilize its parking lot, have informed parents that U-turns on Newport Ave. and Vanderlip Ave. are against school policy, and are monitoring for conformance. Many neighbors have told us these new procedures have resulted in noticeable improvements.
Were churches actually interested in the property?
We were contacted by several churches, including one large church that wanted to lease the entire church property on evenings and weekends. Despite their strong interest, we declined in part due to our commitment to decrease the overall intensity of use of the combined properties, and because the church wanted to use the Fairmont playgrounds on evenings and weekends, which would have violated our promises to our neighbors.
Were any developers interested in the property?
Since you now have the church’s sanctuary available to you, will you have more evening programs? Will there be more people at those programs?
What will you do to discourage on-street parking during events?
If you are expanding your early childhood program by converting the auditorium to classrooms, why do you need to move three junior high classes to the church’s Sunday school building?
Will a larger student body lead to more playground noise?
Use this section to comment and ask questions. We will get right back to you. If you need any information, have questions or would like to share something with us, please let us know by contacting our Project Coordinator, Laura DeLeon, at (310) 810-7395 (during business hours) or firstname.lastname@example.org, or by filling out the contact form.