Fullerton : Appeal Filed to Prevent Razing Leo Fender Site

A last-minute appeal was filed Friday to prevent the city from razing the site where Leo Fender created his now-famous electric guitars.

Meanwhile, James Kachler, who runs his Handcrafted Pottery business out of the 122 S. Pomona Ave. building, has until Sunday to move out his ovens, equipment and crafts in accordance with a five-day eviction notice he received this week.

If Kachler doesn’t move, the city will do it for him. His possessions would then be placed in storage, where he has 15 days to retrieve them before the city disposes of the items. Kachler said he needs more time and may not be out by Sunday.

“I have a very complex move. It’s not just like moving a garage where everybody picks up their tools and goes,” Kachler said. “I have been extremely patient but I don’t like being treated like a criminal.”


Attorneys for Kachler, Carl Kymla, the building’s owner, and the Rios family, owners of one remaining house in the area, filed an appeal Friday of Superior Court Judge Judith M. Ryan’s May 22 decision denying a stay. A second home owned by Frank Rios and his family was demolished May 16, said Gregory Hile, an attorney for both Kachler and Rios.

The city’s Redevelopment Agency, which acquired the land through eminent domain, plans to build a four-story parking garage, said Terry Swindle, Fullerton engineering and community development real property agent.

The lot is part of the massive Fullerton Transportation Center project at Pomona and Santa Fe avenues. The proposed structure would be on the site of the building where Fender first developed and produced in the late 1940s the Fender Precision Bass and Fender solid-body electric guitars, which influenced rock music.

Deborah Fox, Kymla’s attorney, said the building has historical value and should be preserved. The city, she said, failed to comply with historical and environmental regulations.


For Kachler, time is running out.

“They (city officials) said I want more money. I don’t want more money. I want a reasonable amount of time to move out . . . There’s going to be a parking lot here. I haven’t had one car stop and say ‘when are you going to move out so that I can park my car here.’ ”