Chapman University has made up a lot of positive ground in the community the past few years by supporting the party ordinance and committing to build additional dorms. We would not want to see the good will built by CU destroyed over this matter. Respect Orange encourages Chapman University to write an official letter directly to the Orange County Board of Education to set the record straight. A letter, similar to this (CLICK HERE), would go a long way to reinforce Chapman’s commitment and, most importantly, RESPECT to the Orange community.
The TLC charter petition “plans to locate in the area immediately surrounding the Chapman University campus in the Old Town Orange area”. While the petitioners are “planning our budgets and operations conservatively, the following are our enrollment projects for the term of this charter:
While the charter petition is planning conservatively with 772 students, the site chosen, 1130 East Walnut Avenue, only has a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) in place for 150 students. You can read the CUP by clicking here. It doesn’t make much sense unless the idea is to “pursue additional potential facilities options in the community”, which is stated in the TLC petition. Keep in mind TLC will not provide transportation to and from school, except as required by law. This means that whatever the TLC population is in a given year, there will be that many morning car trips dropping kids off at school and that many car trips in the afternoon picking kids up from school. This is in addition to additional infrastructure stressors caused by teachers and other school support staff that is needed to operate a facility.
You can read the pages on population, enrollment plan, and transportation by CLICKING HERE.
While there currently is no proposal to add 772 students to the 1130 East Walnut Avenue property, anything above the current 150 students will need an amendment to the CUP, which has yet to be requested. TLC has every intention of 772 students as stated in their charter petition. While Respect Orange could not envision how the site could accommodate too many more students, the map below shows the student population if both TLC adds 772 students and Chapman University increases enrollment to 10,500 as they are expected to request.
I wanted to spend a few minutes this morning and give you some important information that could negatively impact our community and our school children.
Our community needs your help to ensure your tax dollars stay under local control, not given to a private entity, and our local schools continue to be award winning. This Respect Orange informational packet will give you additional information on this very important issue.
WE NEED YOUR PRESENCE AT THE CITY COUNCIL MEETING ON TUESDAY, MARCH 13. ONE WEEK FROM TODAY! The address is 300 East Chapman Avenue.
Chapman University has partnered with Tomorrow’s Leadership Collaborative (CLICK HERE), a 5 month old entity based out of a private residence in San Clemente, wanting to bring a proposed 772 additional students to an area adjacent to Old Towne Orange.
The projected enrollment of 772 TK-8 grade students means pick-ups and drop-offs in our community requiring over 1000 car trips a day into our neighborhoods. There is current no local infrastructure capable of handling a school of this size.
More importantly, this proposed charter school is not managed or operated by OUSD. This means that money ($6-8 million) has to be pulled out of OUSD and given to CU/TLC. Our local schools need more money and educational opportunities, not less! Our community recently passed bonds to fund school improvements and The $288 million Bond Measure S is meant to improve opportunities for our students. The CU/TLC charter takes money and opportunities away from our students.
CU/TLC has already been denied by the OUSD School Board and the fate of this school now lies in the hands of the Orange CountyBoard of Education. If they approve this Charter there will be no local control, or say, in how or where thisschool might operate. The opportunity to commingle public dollars meant to support our local studentscould readily help fund the expenses of Chapman University School of Education. We don’t need CU/TLC taking $6-8 million dollars from OUSD and local tax payers.
Our City Council and staff is in a position to help, but they need to be made aware of the issue. We need YOU AND YOUR NEIGHBORS TO ATTEND THE NEXT CITY COUNCIL MEETING TO SHOW YOU ARE AGAINST THIS PROPOSAL. The meeting is one week from today; Tuesday March 13 at 6pm (300 East Chapman Ave). We will be passing out Respect Orange Stickers to wear to visually show our city council the community is against this proposal and CU/TLC should respect the community and its tax dollars. There will be a few speakers lined up and feel free to speak if you wish. You can contact me directly if you need more information or would like to get further involved.
Daniele Struppa and Chapman University are preparing to roll out of their latest Specific Plan, the City of Orange document that dictates what development is allowed. Will the roll out be at CU’s State of the University Address on February 23, 2018?
We believe the CU’s application for a 10 year specific plan will be formally submitted to the City March 2018 for a May 2019 vote at City Council. We believe the Specific Plan may include, but not be limited to the following:
A MASSIVE 20.6% increase in the student cap on the Orange Campus. This will take the population from 8,700 students to 10,500 students.
Only 50% of the student population living in University owned housing.
Removing the area East of Center Street from the Specific Plan.
Conduct a Full EIR with a “Quality of Life” section.
Chapman University has partnered with Tomorrow’s Leadership Collaborative (TLC), a 4 month old entity, wanting to bring an estimated 772 additional students to an area adjacent to Old Towne Orange and roughly 1/2 mile from the CU campus (1130 E Walnut Ave, Orange, CA 92867). Chapman “is committed to being an active partner” in this endeavor and this will create thousands of new car trips per day in an area that was not designed for such a purpose. In typical Chapman University fashion, CU has not informed the greater community nor asked for the community’s input.
The partnership, to form a charter school, has been planned in secret for the most part. The Orange Unified School District (OUSD) DENIEDthe charter earlier this year, but now CU/TLC is going to the Orange County Department of Education (OCDE) to bypass the local community and local decision makers. Basically CU’s feelings were hurt they didn’t get their way. If OCDE approves CU/TLC our local school district and community will have no say in this new school or its impacts.
The proposed leadership includes Dr. Megan Cosier, a professor at CU, and Don Thompson, whose family’s name is associated with The Thompson Policy Institute at Chapman University. The proposed leadership has no experience leading a school. The out of town CU/TLC leaders, based in San Clemente, claim to be local who understand our local community and local issues. When was a 40 mile distance considered local?
SOLUTIONS AND WHAT CAN BE DONE:
RESPECT ORANGE supports education and supports Unity Middle College Charter School, which is run by OUSD and the local community. Respect Orange supports OUSD working with Unity to provide space on a district site that would support their work. More importantly by supporting Unity Middle College Charter School, the money will stay with OUSD rather than CU/TLC having the discretion to use public tax payer money for things not related to student education.
A HUGE THANK YOU to the volunteers who came out to Orange High School Farm this weekend. 100% due to your donated time and energy, the OHS Farm received 800 feet of brand new fencing, clean animal pens, and weed-free raised garden beds. This was a community effort we can all be very proud of and know that the OHS FFA students and animals will continue to thrive. Community volunteers really make our community special. A few photos of the event are below.
A special thank you to :
The Pizza Press for rewarding volunteers with extra special discounts.
Aramsco for donating safety supplies (gloves, masks, protective eye gear)
Chapman University for donating breakfast, drinks (coffee, juice, and water), and safety supplies.
Gordie Smith, who was the brains behind implementing the fencing improvements. Gordie is a very skilled craftsman who has designed and implemented many brick, landscape, and outdoor projects in and around Orange. If anyone is in need of this type of work, Gordie can be reached by dialing 714.930.5568.
RESPECT ORANGE is pleased to announce OHS FARM IMPROVEMENT COMMUNITY DAY! Through the incredible donations of individuals and local businesses, enough money has been raised to repair and upgrade the OHS Farm to keep the animals safe, students learning, and the community educated.
Please join your neighbors in lending a helping hand to improve our community , show your support for OHS FFA, and meet some of the animals.
Community volunteers will be needed for the following improvement projects (there will be a project lead directing each project):
Removal and installation of roughly 800 ft of fencing,
Power wash the animal pens to prepare them for the addition of new animals,
Weed and clean out the raised garden beds,
General tidying up and organization.
As the OHS Farm has limited tools, we are encouraging you to bring your own. Helpful suggestions may include:
gloves and protective eye gear
wire snips (for removal of old fence)
bolt cutters (for removal of old fence)
a good attitude!
Let us know you’re coming! Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org so we know how to best plan.
The OHS FFA Farm is located at the intersection of East Walnut Avenue and North Harwood Street with the Farm parking lot at the end of North Harwood (enter campus). Respect Orange will provide free tee-shirts, window decals, and stickers while supplies last.
There has been a lot of discussion on how to address the short-term and long-term parking issues in and around Old Towne Orange (Read previous Parking Blog here). While long-term parking solutions will take significant time, resources, and energy, our city has decided to experiment with a pilot valet parking service while long term options are put into place. The intention of the pilot program is to determine if a valet service will help ease parking frustrations and bring more people to the OTO section of our city. The program will be closely monitored and tweaked, as necessary, to the demand of the service. The pilot program is expected to last a few months and be reassessed to determine its viability as a realistic short-term parking solution.
Start: The pilot program should start before the month’s end.
Location: 230 East Chapman Avenue (in front of the Economic Development/Community Services building). The city has been finishing improvements to two Municipal Parkings lots located at Grand and Almond that the valet will be using to park and stack vehicles.
Cost:$6 per vehicle.
Hours of Operation: 11am-2:30pm and 5:30pm-11pm 7 days/week.
How it Works: The valet service will be primarily based around your smart phone. This means communication, including vehicle retrieval and payment, can be done through your smart phone. It can be a cashless system. Don’t worry though, for those that do not feel comfortable with a phone-based service, a traditional valet card is available. More on this below.
Valet Drop Off Screen Shot. Simply click the link before you arrive at the valet to pay with your credit card. Your car will be waiting for you when you reach the valet area.
Valet Text Message communicating the valet service will be closing and keys will need to be retrieved.
Valet text message communicating they keys were not left with the valet service and to return to give the valet the key.
Valet Card given if a smart phone is not an option
Did you know Orange, CA is one of the 200 most populated cities in the United States? We’re not as small as we think we are and our local businesses play a vital role in creating jobs and growth in Orange’s economy. As more people visit the local businesses, the business will grow in terms of revenue and number of employees. This growth will generate higher levels of revenue, which means that the business will pay more tax. Also, the employer will add employees as the business grows and pays more in payroll tax. The employees of the business probably eat locally, use local gas stations, and make other contributions to the local economy. The taxes generated are used for local purposes, such as public safety, schools, and infrastructure improvements. Business advancement is currently limited by the lack of parking in our charming Old Towne Orange.
Old Towne Orange has become a destination, similar to Main Beach in Laguna Beach, State Street in Santa Barbara, or Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena. People from all over the region come to our historic town to experience the charm we have all come to love and respect and shop at our unique collection of merchants. Unfortunately, the lack of parking has made it difficult and frustrating to enjoy Old Towne Orange and the local businesses that call Orange home.
Parking in the business district of Old Towne Orange is going to get a lot worse before it gets significantly better. With Urth Café and Pandor opening soon, three restaurants potentially going into the former Swift and Swift building, and the COBA School space available, patrons are going to have difficultly parking and shopping and eating locally.
Ultimately, there are a three goals Respect Orange want to accomplish by addressing parking issues:
Derive parking solutions in a way that are respectful to residents, business owners, and visitors to our city, which includes maintaining the character, charm, feel, and uniqueness of our city.
Ensure parking enforcement is established and maintained to not only keep vehicles and traffic out of the neighborhoods, but to enforce the parking issues that many residents are experiencing in others parts of the city.
To bring together residents and merchants to create a greater sense of community.
Since August 2016, Respect Orange has been meeting with local business owners and restaurateurs located in Old Towne Orange about the shortage of parking. We support local business and want to make sure they have the tools needed to be successful. In the beginning of 2017 a larger group approached city executives, which included additional businesses and residents, including OTPA, to voice concerns about parking.
There are both short-term and long-term options that have been discussed and we wanted to spend some time sharing this information.
Many options were discussed and while many of the options are appropriate, not all of the options are viable potential solutions. A comprehensive solution to parking will include the sum of multiple smaller solutions over time. It is our responsibility to ensure the framework and infrastructure is in place for local business to thrive and provide services and local experiences to residents. I will only be touching on the solutions that are most viable.
Let’s first look at some data so that we know the situation in front of us:
There is a Metrolink parking structure that is breaking ground around July 2017 with a project completion time of 18 months. This will be located on Lemon Street and, while this will provide some additional parking, we do not believe the parking is close enough for patrons to realistically use. Additionally, the primary usage for this structure is for Metrolink with 611 total parking spaces and approximately 100 spaces are designated for non-Metrolink usage (i.e. patrons for OTO). Therefore, other options need to be explored.
Active enforcement of parking time limits.
Better signage for public parking lots.
It is highly recommended that OTO merchants have employees park outside of The Plaza District (and out of the neighborhoods) to free up parking. To accommodate this, our city is exploring options of using the city-owned land at Water Street and Chapman Avenue (the future home of a new Fire Station) for parking and shuttle service for daytime use only. Additionally, we are engaging Chapman University in exploring utilizing property and/or structures for this same shuttle service.
Utilizing Technology for convenience. The data shows that the parking issues are the worst mid-day, during lunch time. An App-based Valet Service is being explored and a trial run is to potentially begin soon.
Re-striping city owned parking lots and/or diagonal parking. While these options were disused, diagonal parking does not provide much benefit relative to the cost. For example, Respect Orange has safety concerns with diagonal parking and this option nets a total of 2 parking spaces. However, re-stripped potentially does make sense. For example, the North Orange Street Lot can add 15 additional spaces.
New Parking Structure Options:
Remember it was mentioned that Water Street is the potential new home of the Orange Fire Department? Well, our city also owns the entire block of Grand Street from Almond to Chapman Avenue, including the surface parking lot that currently houses a mere 33 parking spaces. With the Fire Station and Economic development building staying, an unobtrusive 250 parking space structure can be built in the space with a net gain of 217 parking spaces. If, and when, the Orange Fire Department moves to Water street this structure can be expanded for a total net gain of 426 spaces with at least one parking level underground.
A second parking structure is also being explored on the city owned property on Olive Street and Almond Avenue. A new Senior Center has been discussed and, if that project progresses, a parking structure can be built on that block. A net of 267 spaces can be gain.
WHAT IS THE INCENTIVE FOR USING THE SUGGEST PARKING STRUCTURES?
In the questionnaire sent out last month, most Respect Orange members were in favor of smart parking meters if it made parking easier and quality of life better. To drive or steer (yes, that was on purpose) motorist to the free parking structures, parking meters must be established in the areas immediately surrounding the local businesses. The idea is to have parking structures free of charge and metered parking around the businesses of OTO. This is the best way to incentivize drivers to utilize a parking structure
For those of you who have been to Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, or Pasadena recently you know how easy it has become to use parking meters. Gone are the days of searching for loose change. A simple swipe of a credit/debit card will take care of the meter and technology has advanced enough where alerts can be sent to your phone when time is running low. You can even add more time through your phone.
We have been focused on big picture solutions and the more intimate details, such as non-metered times before or after certain times of the day, will occur later.
As Respect Orange continues to work on parking issues, we will reach out to you for additional suggestions and input before more formal steps are taken with our city.