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) DENIED the 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.

Proposed Leadership:

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?


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.

Attend the OC Department of Education March 14, 2018 Meeting at 10am (200 Kalmus Drive Costa Mesa) where the CU/TLC proposal will be decided.  Take three minutes to speak out against the CU backed plan to jam more students into Old Towne Orange.

Attend Orange City Council Meeting March 13, 2018 at 6pm at our City Hall.  Take three minute to share with our elected leaders that you support Unity Middle College Charter School and are AGAINST CU/TLC.

Email OC Board of Education at

Call OC Board of Education at 714-966-4012

Read More about at Foothills Sentry



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 :

  1. The Pizza Press for rewarding volunteers with extra special discounts.
  2. Aramsco for donating safety supplies (gloves, masks, protective eye gear)
  3. Chapman University for donating breakfast, drinks (coffee, juice, and water), and safety supplies.
  4. 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):

  1. Removal and installation of roughly 800 ft of fencing,
  2. Power wash the animal pens to prepare them for the addition of new animals,
  3. Weed and clean out the raised garden beds,
  4. 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
  • sledge hammers
  • wire snips (for removal of old fence)
  • bolt cutters (for removal of old fence)
  • shovels
  • rakes
  • wheel barrow
  • power drills
  • sun screen
  • water
  • a good attitude!

Let us know you’re coming!  Send an email to 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.

We look forward to seeing you there!


Valet Parking Details in OTO

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.

Important Details:

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 Service Location

Valet Drop Off

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 Closing Screen Shot

Valet Text Message communicating the valet service will be closing and keys will need to be retrieved.

orgot Keys Text Message

Valet text message communicating they keys were not left with the valet service and to return to give the valet the key.


Valet Card

Valet Card given if a smart phone is not an option

Public Parking: A Multiple Solution Approach

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:


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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:

Old Towne Orange Private and Public Parking Lots
Old Towne Orange Private and Public Parking Lots


Old Towne Orange Parking Utilization Summary
Old Towne Orange Parking Utilization Summary

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.


Short-Term Options:


  1. Active enforcement of parking time limits.
  2. Better signage for public parking lots.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.



Mid-Term Options:


  1. 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:


  1. 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.
  2. 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.




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.



Did you know Orange High School (OHS) has a working farm on its campus where students raise all forms of livestock, exotic animals, fish, plants, and participate in other projects, such as floral design, landscaping, and gardening through Future Farmers of America (FFA)? The OHS FFA even has a traveling petting zoo! It really is quite amazing and so are the students who dedicate so much time caring for the animals, putting on demonstrations, teaching the community how to plant gardens, helping seniors in need with gardening, and more.


The Orange High School Farm is in desperate need of repairs and upgrades to keep the animals safe, students learning life lessons, and for FFA students to continue their working relationships with Orange Home Grown, Pitcher Park Foundation, City of Orange Youth Programs, Orange County Animal Control, Orange County Fair, City of Orange, and others.

You can help the Orange High School Farm and FFA. Community support is key in improving the farm.


Orange High Donation Boxes
Orange High Donation Boxes


We thank you in advance for your support! Your donation is greatly appreciated and will be used for OHS FFA and Farm Improvements, such as livestock fencing, upgraded security, and more.

Please make out your tax deductible donation to Orange High FFA and send to:


655 North Hariton Street

Orange, CA 92868

Checks must be made out to Orange High FFA and receipts will be mailed to you upon receiving your donation. If your donation includes goods or services, please contact us.

Donations bins are also located the following businesses in Old Towne Orange: A&P Collectibles, The Pizza Press, and Paris in a Cup.

Once we collect donations, we plan on having a community day at the Orange High School Farm to build the improvements. We hope you will be able to join us!

Let’s continue to provide the opportunity for young students to find out how far they can go, to interact with the community, and to learn responsibility and commitment at the OHS Farm!


Support Local Orange Businesses

Local businesses play a vital role in creating jobs and growth in Orange’s economy.  As our city continues to grow and expand, our community needs places to shop for goods and services, entertainment, dining, and of course places to drink coffee!  When consumers spend money locally, they are essentially giving money back to their local community.  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.

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.

Respect Orange supports local business in OTO and wants to local businesses to thrive.

Will Chapman University’s Acquisition Solve Problems?

At December’s City Council Meeting, our elected leaders voted unanimously to approve the sale of a $6.5 million surplus property to Chapman University.  The plan for the property is student housing.  Respect Orange supports this transaction because it is a step in our recommendation of 90% of the student population in Chapman owned housing.  However, we are cautiously optimistic about the impacts due to the proximity of the educational campus.


The uniqueness of this property is that it is outside of Old Town Orange – way outside of Old Towne  and about 3 miles to the West.  The property, located Panther Village adjacent, allows The University very little restriction in regards to building limits, specially height restrictions.  This means that more students can be housed at this location because The University can develop vertically (think apartment tower).  But will this solve the problems and negative impacts Chapman University expansion has had on Old Towne Orange?  Will students want to move out of the Old Towne neighborhood, where they can walk/bike to the educational campus in exchange for a commute either by car or by bus?  Parking and vehicle congestion is already a major issue in Old Towne, will more cars be driving into Old Towne and does CU have the parking infrastructure to support this?


Respect Orange supports the land purchase and supports the students at Chapman University.  We want to ensure the student’s college campus experience is not compromised.  We hope that Chapman University can have the infrastructure and, more importantly, the amenities students want to create the perfect college experience.  Reach more about the Panther Village experiences here and here.

Chapman University Produced Flyer For Off-Campus Students

The Chapman University produced Flyer for off-campus students can be found here.


Tomorrow marks the first day of instruction for Chapman University students and Respect Oranges wishes the students all the best in their upcoming school year.  With many CU students living off, Chapman University has produced a flyer for off-campus students.  The CU produced flyer can be found here and will be mailed with the Respect Orange flyer.  The Respect Orange flyer can be found here.  


The CU produced flyer talks about Breach of Peace Policy, Tips to avoid fines and sanctions, Policy violations, and helpful suggestions to be a good neighbor.  Definitely check it out and have the information that your Chapman student neighbor has.


Chapman University is also hosting Good Neighbor classes throughout the academic year for students.  The purpose of this class is to familiarize students with University and City policies and offer tips on how to build relationships with residents and homeowners.