Orange Paseo Community Input

During the heights of the pandemic when indoor dining was not permitted, in an effort to save jobs and businesses, the Orange City Council closed down Glassell Street one block north and south of the downtown plaza to turn this main north/south thoroughfare into a pedestrian-friendly section of town free of vehicle traffic. Known as “The Paseo,” restaurants were permitted to use city streets for free to serve their customers outdoors.

Now that the pandemic is waning, what is the future of the Paseo? Should this main city street be re-opened for traffic flow? Should these businesses be permitted to use the public streets on a seasonal basis? Or should the Paseo be made permanent? Should the city conduct any studies of the community impacts of re-routing tens of thousands of vehicles daily through our neighborhoods before making their decision? And who should pay for the costs related to maintaining the Paseo? The survey link below will remain active as long as the survey is live. We plan on presenting the comprehensive results to the City Council on August 10.

The survey can be found here.

Studies Needed on Orange Paseo

When the City of Orange voted to temporarily close Glassell Street north and south of the Plaza during the pandemic, the effort had near unanimous support from the community.  Businesses were struggling and restaurants could not serve their customers inside.  Closing the streets was a lifeline to many restaurants and even though there were impacts to the surrounding community by closing off a major city street, we were all in it together.

Now that the worst of the pandemic is behind us and indoor seating is again permitted, there was an assumption from many in the community that Glassell would reopen to traffic and life would resume as normal.

The City Council, however, has voted to keep the Paseo open indefinitely and has no plans on doing an impact study on this major change in the community.  City staff provided a report noting that keeping the Paseo closed is costing Orange taxpayers $50,000 per month in cleaning, trash pick-up and other city services.  Additionally, the City is gifting the public streets to the restaurants and shops on Glassell for free.

The City polled the restaurants that benefit from this gift of public funds and found, unsurprisingly, that 13 of the 14 shops surveyed would like to continue receiving this benefit at no additional cost.  They City did not bother to check in with even one resident who lives in the area about the impact the closure of a major city street has on us.

Tens of thousands of vehicles each week, including public busses, have been rerouted to go down residential streets creating noise, air quality and traffic impacts.  The impact to the residents, however, is apparently irrelevant to this city council.

At a minimum, the City should at least review the impacts of closing down one of the city’s major arterial roadways before doing so by fiat.  The lack of regard for the residents in Orange and for the history of the Plaza is staggering, but based on the history of this city council, not surprising.

Closing this street down not only has a negative impact on the residents, but also on the vast majority of Orange businesses that do not enjoy the added benefit of significantly increasing their operating space.  These businesses that are not blessed to be located on North or South Glassell asked the council to consider their struggles and their efforts to get back on their feet post pandemic, but this council is clearly interested in creating an uneven playing field, by picking winners and losers, when it comes to businesses in Orange.  And once again the residents end up getting ignored entirely.

If this city council is for socializing loss, then by definition it must be for socializing gain.  When one thinks of a government spending tax dollars to benefit certain businesses, while denying others, and simultaneously casting aside the interests of their citizens, countries like Cuba or China come to mind. This is not the Orange I know, and this is not the direction Orange should be taking.

Published in the Foothills Sentry , August 2021

Issues with Chapman University Specific Plan #7

The Respect Orange team has reviewed Chapman University’s Specific Plan  Amendment #7 (SP7).  The City of Orange will be studying the SP7 over the course of the next few months and want input from local residents.  All letters are due by Monday, January 27, 2020.

 

Send comments to: Kelly Christensen Ribuffo, Associate Planner – Historic Preservation City of Orange, 300 East Chapman Avenue, Orange, CA. 92866 (714) 744-7223, and kribuffo@cityoforange.org

 

A few things we believe the community should be aware of and we encourage you to include in your letter to the City.:

FULL-TIME EQUIVALENT (“FTE”) vs. ACTUAL NUMBER OF STUDENTS

SP7 is defining a full-time student as one taking 12 units.  Rather than putting a hard cap on the number of students, Chapman want to count students based on FTE.  This means that a student taking 12 units is one student  A student taking 6 units is 1/2 a student.  Their FTE cap is 10,185

Unfortunately the real world does not drive a fraction of a car, make a fraction of a noise, or create a fraction of traffic congestion.

With the rapid pace of how educational instruction is being administered, such as more content being delivered online and woven into work and family schedules, is plausible to  have 100,000 students each taking 1 credit on  campus.  This would put the FTE under the 10,185 number, but create enormous impacts to the neighborhood and community.

Adding students necessitates more faculty, staff, administrative support, etc.  These employees, volunteers and docents that also have impacts on the community.

STUDENTS LIVING ON CAMPUS

Chapman University has done a good on building student dormitories, however they still have a long way to go to reverse the negative impacts of their decision to outsource student housing.  CU has committed to housing only 50% of their student population.

CU is proposing an increase of roughly 1843 students.  50% housed equates to 922 not housed.  At 4 students per house, this is the equivalent of 230 additional  houses in the community that will be student occupied.  Respect Orange firmly believes this erodes the family community that roots our community.

Respect Orange want to support Chapman University and believes 90% of students should be housed by CU.

ORANGE PD CALLS RELATED TO CU CONTINUES TO INCREASE

Residents continue to be frustrated at Chapman University outsourcing student housing the the family-oriented community.  Chapman University disruptions to the community continue to climb and were up more than than 21% last year.  The number should be higher on a per capita basis, considering a portion of CU student housing was sent to Anaheim.

TIME PERIODOPD CALLS% INCREASE
07/01/15 - 06/30/16227-
07/01/16 - 06/30/17198(12.77%)
07/01/17 - 06/30/1821810.1%
07/01/18 - 06/30/1926421.1%

CHAPMAN UNIVERSITY IS PROPOSING A 32%  REDUCTION IN PARKING

Chapman University  is proposing to reduce its parking requirements from 0.6 per dorm unit to 0.41 per dorm unit arguing that they have a shuttle service for students and that on campus parking is not maximized.  However, only 632 students use the shuttle to get to campus, which is only about 7% of their student population.  CU has received parking complaints at .33 per dorm in Panther Village and had to build temporary parking to relieve the parking issue.

CHAPMAN UNIVERSITY IS PROPOSING A 16.7%  REDUCTION IN OPEN SPACE

Chapman University  is proposing a reduction of close to 20% in open space according to SP7.  Open space has a significant role in urban development.  Open space joins the surrounding environments, provides a sense of direction in a campus by integrating and organizing different places and elements; they also can provide an esthetic sense by involving attractive surroundings and creating visual surprises.

Additionally, it was Chapman’s choice to build an under used Musco Center and other campus amenities that are not geared to the majority of the student population.

BUILD MORE STUDENT HOUSING

There was community support for Chapman University purchasing the property behind Panther Village because it was understood that the property would be developed for student housing. According to CU, the property Panther Village is no longer a priority.  The University should use some of its resources to maximize the density on this property to build a second student housing facility in order to provide housing for more of their students.

Earth Moving Hauls and Grading

The current SP suggests any hauling of earth materials (i.e. dirt) in excess of 30,000 cubic yards requires City Council Approval.  Let’s put that in perspective: 30,000 cubic yards is the equivalent of 6,000 round trip dump truck trips.  6,000 vehicles in the historic district creating dust, additional traffic, and impacting the lives of residents.  Respect Orange suggests City Council Approval in excess of 1000 cubic yards.

Chapman University Scoping Presentation

CLICK HERE TO VIEW SCOPING MEETING PRESENTATION

 

Kelly Christensen Ribuffo, Associate Planner – Historic Preservation City of Orange, 300 East Chapman Avenue, Orange, CA. 92866 (714) 744-7223, and kribuffo@cityoforange.org

The City of Orange wants to know your views and your specific concerns related to the potential environmental effects of the revised project. Information gathered during the NOP comment period will be used to shape and focus future analyses of environmental impacts. If you are a public agency, the City is interested in the views of your agency as to the scope and content of the environmental information germane to your agency’s statutory responsibilities.

The City invites you to submit written comments describing your specific environmental concerns, and if representing a public agency, please identify your specific areas of statutory responsibility. Written comments are desired at the earliest possible date. Although time limits mandated by State law require a 30-day notification period, The City will accept your responses for 45 days after receipt of this notice. The NOP public comment period begins on December 12, 2019 and ends on January 27, 2019. Please send your written comments to Kelly Christensen Ribuffo at the City of Orange (contact information above), and please include your name, address, and contact information in your correspondence.

Chapman University Submits New Specific Plan Application

Respect Orange is currently reviewing the details of Chapman University’s application. At this time, we do not feel it is right to comment on the details of the plan because the application has not been fully reviewed.  We look forward to releasing a statement and additional information in the coming days, weeks, and months related to the lengthy process. Respect Orange is looking forward to being actively involved in this process to ensure, amongst other things, the quality of life for the family-focused community is not compromised.

2018 Candidates Forum Video

Couldn’t make the 2018 Candidates Forum, watch the entire event below!

The 2018 Candidates Forum was hosted by the Old Towne Preservation Association and co-hosted by the Foothills Sentry Newspaper, United Neighborhoods of Orange, and Respect Orange. Questions to the candidates focused on public safety, homelessness, business development, pension liability, the Orange Park Acres Specific Plan, Chapman University expansion, crime, council districting, the state of city finances, Barrio rezoning, parking meters, Street Fair contract renewal, and several other issues.

Candidates for Mayor included John Russo, Doug Vogel and Mark Murphy; and candidates for City Council included Daniel Correa, Zachary Collins, Jon Dumitru, Betty Valencia, Kimberlee Nichols, Chip Monaco and Adrienne Gladson. Council candidate Marilyn Rollins had a conflict and did not attend.

2018 CANDIDATE FORUM

click here to view program flyer.
click here to view program flyer.

 RSVP here as seating will be limited!

Respect Orange is co-hosting the 2018 Candidates Forum in conjunction with the host, Old Towne Preservation Association (OTPA), and co-hosts United Neighborhoods of Orange, and Foothills Sentry Newspaper.  Candidates and their positions on issues facing the City of Orange will be featured at the Orange Candidate Forum at 6:00 pm, Tuesday, October 2 in the Council Chambers of City Hall.

The program is free and open to the public.  Refreshments will be served immediately after the Forum so voters can meet the candidates.

Issues expected to be raised include:

  • Chapman University Expansion
  • Public safety
  • Homelessness
  • Business development
  • Pension liability
  • The Orange Park Acres Specific Plan
  • Council districting
  • The state of city finances

Candidates for Mayor:

  • John Russo
  • Doug Vogel
  • Mark Murphy

Candidates for City Council:

  • Daniel Correa
  • Zachary Collins
  • Marilyn Rollins
  • Jon Dumitru
  • Betty Valencia
  • Kimberlee Nichols
  • Chip Monaco
  • Adrienne Gladson

RSVP here as seating will be limited!

OHS FFA PRESENTS FARM FEST 2018

The Orange High School Agriculture Program is opening its barn doors to the community on Saturday, May 12, 2018.  The OHS FFA working farm is where students raise all forms of livestock, exotic animals, fish, plants, and participate in other projects, such as floral design, landscaping, and gardening.

Come out to the East side of campus (corner of Walnut and Harwood) to tour the farm, see the animals, including sheep, pig, cattle, rabbits, chickens, and more.  There will also  be games for kids, farm demos by the OHS students, food for purchase, and prizes.

CLICK HERE to view the event flyer.

Meeting with City Council Candidates

Fair – Rational – Reasonable

During the 2018 Fall elections our city will be voting to fill available seats on the city council.  Respect Orange has met with two non-incumbent candidates (the only two non-incumbents to date), Ms. Adrienne Gladson and Mr. Chip Monaco (click on the non-incumbent name to be directed to their website).  Council member Kim Nichols is also running to keep her seat  and we have not had the opportunity to sit down with Ms. Nichols as of yet.

Our meetings with each non-incumbent candidate were good and it gave us the opportunity to get to know them, hear their platform, and where they stand on the issues that are going to be driving Fall’s election; Chapman University projects, Sully-Miller site projects, and homelessness.

While we are looking forward to October’s candidates forum, we believe candidates should be fair, rational, and reasonable to properly tackle the complex issues that face our city.

Meeting with First Christian Church

Respect Orange recently met with the senior pastor at First Christian Church of Orange, the landlord of the school facility in which the TLC Charter School has entered into a lease agreement. First Christian Church of Orange reiterated they are committed to being a good neighbor.  Respect Orange also had the opportunity to walk the grounds with church representatives and saw first hand the space allotted for the school, including play/recreation areas and parking spaces.