Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Historic Old Towne Orange threatened

Historic Downtown Orange has suddenly been thrown into peril and needs your help. The City seems to be planning the methodical destruction of the area's historic fabric and charming small-town feel. The Old Town Preservation Association has sent out an urgent flyer. Excerpts follow...
"Changes are coming to Old Towne [a.k.a. historic Downtown Orange] and they’re not good! The City’s General Plan update is in process. ...Full implementation of the Plan... would result in:
    • 110% increase in total housing units (23,478 units)
    • 354% increase in non-residential building square feet (35.7 million square feet!)
      46% increase in traffic (1,456,700 daily trips vs. the current 995,000)
    • North & South Glassell Streets would become 4 lanes!
    • La Veta to Cambridge would become 4 lanes!
    • Traffic at the Plaza will remain 2 lanes, causing major bottlenecking. The [proposed] General Plan states: .…parallel roadways such as Almond Ave., Palmyra Ave., Lemon St., Olive St., Shaffer St., Grand St.,Palm Ave., and Maple St. will offer relief. That means that if you live on or near these streets, traffic will increase tremendously on your street.
    • Elimination of on-street parking along Chapman & Glassell streets. That means more spillover parking on all surrounding streets.
    • Proposed development could potentially allow for multi-story buildings 2 to 3 times larger than what currently exists along Glassell & Chapman. So much for our quaint Old Towne.
"...The City’s decision makers do not have to accept and approve the plan in its current form,but instead can request the plan be modified to better protect your investments and quality of life.
"...Copies of the proposed General Plan and impact report are available for public review at the City’s three libraries, the Planning Counter at the City, the City Clerk’s Office and on the City’s website, www.cityoforange.org. Questions or need more info? Email [the Old Towne Preservation Association] at : info@otpa.org."
The flyer encourages people to send letters expressing their dismay to the City Council and City Planning Commission (c/o Alice Angus, Community Development Director) and to the City's Principal Planner, Anna Pehoushek. Letters must be received before March 30. OTPA can even provide you with a form letter. The address for Orange City Hall is 300 E. Chapman Ave., Orange, CA 92866.
OTPA's flyer also mentions that an earlier "proposed Plan would have concentrated much development along Lincoln Ave. and on the Mall of Orange [a.k.a. Villages at Orange] property. A lot of vocal resident opposition caused this development to be dropped from the Plan—resulting in much of the development now being concentrated in and around Old Towne. We need to get active, angry and speak up, too!"
The ball is now in your court, dear readers.


The Glamorous Life said...

I am more than a little shocked and upset by this.

I have posted it on my site and will post at OCThen...

And will rally every OC resident I know to send a letter.

Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

visited the old town area with the student club from uc irvine. club members norm lee, yvonne hsu,carl han, gladys gomez, mel lin, gloria vu, victor bazan. meet at the old ice cream shoppe.