On Tuesday, February 9 an Orange Resident gave the public comment below:
My name is Adam. My wife and I are in our early thirties, are homeowners in Old Towne who are wanting to start a family, and are asking ourselves WHY WOULD WE EVER WANT TO RAISE A FAMILY IN THE CITY OF ORANGE?
My wife and I strongly believe in raising our children in a loving, nurturing, peaceful environment where our children have the ability to grow, learn, and flourish in life and in the community. Old Towne Orange is not the community to raise children, rather Old Towne Orange is a community that is littered with beer bottles and loud music. A community where you have couches sitting in the front yard while you can play beer pong in front of your house. A community where you can pull your pants down in the middle of the day exposing yourself and urinate in the front yard just a few feet away from the bedrooms of school aged girls. These are just a few of the activities my neighbors and I have witnessed in the past 10 days, not in the past few months or years. Who would want to live in an environment like this, let alone raise a family?
Since purchasing our home in 2011, my wife and I have happily spent tens of thousands of dollars in renovations. What we are not happy about is the Chapman “mini dorms” that have popped up since our purchase. 1/2 of the homes on our street are occupied with students, with most homes having more students than bedrooms.
The City of Orange needs residents like my wife and me more than we need the City of Orange. Young couples like us do not live on a fixed income such as retirement or Social Security. We have the high paying jobs and the disposable income to drive the local economy. Most importantly we have the vested interest to make the community better for ourselves, our kids, and those around us because theoretically we should be in the community for decades.
In reality, the City of Orange is becoming a place that can’t compete with neighboring cities and communities. The schools in the City of Orange are in terrible shape and will only get worse with the increase of college students in the community and the decrease of family-occupied homes.
Family-Occupied Homes bring stability to neighborhoods.
Real Estate is one of the most studied asset classes and data has consistently shown the importance of homeownership on the economy and community. Aside from the tangible financial benefits, homeownership brings substantial social benefits for families, communities, and school districts. Homeowners move far less frequently than renters, and thus are embedded into the same neighborhood and community for a longer period. Homeownership boosts the educational performance of children, induces higher participation in civic and volunteering activity, and improves health. Equally important, it lowers crime rates. In other words, Chapman “mini dorms” decrease the quality of life.
I wanted to remind The Council that social cohesion are paths through which social control is made.
Policies to decrease the transient college population can raise positive social outcomes, increase support for our schools, and make the area much more attractive to young families who have the resources to drive the economy and future of this city. I strongly encourage The Council to take decisive, vigorous action on the possible solutions presented later tonight to ensure The City of Orange stays relevant and competitive for years to come and does not experience attrition of people like me and families like mine.