City OKs land lease to EOCWD

The City of Orange has agreed to lease an 11,580-sq.-ft. parcel, located at 210 N. McPherson Road, to the East Orange County Water District (EOCWD).

The property is across the street from the water district’s current headquarters, a doublewide trailer situated at 185 N. McPherson. EOCWD wants to lease the property, primarily to house sanitation vehicles.  No chemicals or hazardous materials will be stored there.The city-owned site has been paved with asphalt and houses a modular office trailer.  It has not been used by the city in recent years, and likely will not be needed in the future.

EOCWD will pay the city $2,300 per month

Walters to host town hall

Representative Mimi Walters (R-45) will host a Natural Disaster Preparedness Town Hall at Santiago Canyon College on Thursday, Aug. 11. Walters invites 45th District residents to join her and a panel of public safety and emergency response experts to learn how they can prepare and respond to such disasters as floods, fires and earthquakes. Additionally, members of Rep. Walters’ staff will be available during the town hall to help anyone experiencing difficulties with a federal agency.

“Our community is prone to these natural disasters, and we need to do everything we can to be prepared,” she said. “I look forward to having a panel of experts at this town hall, and I hope you will be able to join us.”

The  Town  Hall  takes  place from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at 8045 E. Chapman Ave., Bldg. H, Rm. 10.  The event is free. Complimentary parking will be available in Lot 4.  For more information or to RSVP, please contact Donovan Higbee at (949) 263-8703, or

Townhomes okayed at Washington and Hamlin

Emphasizing that its proposed housing development plan “follows the zoning,” the Olson Company received Orange City Council approval for 37 townhomes slated to be built on a four-acre parcel at Washington Avenue and Hamlin Street.

The developer stressed this project’s compliance with zoning, because its previous plans had not complied, and were rejected.

The approved plan contains fewer units than originally proposed, and provides more resident/guest  parking  spaces  (96) than the city requires (88).  Washington Avenue neighbors, concerned that street parking, which is already scarce, will become impossible, have been assured that the new development’s parking policies will be enforced, and that there will be “no need for residents to park on the street.”

The Olson Company’s Doris Nguyen told the city council that the project “exceeds city requirements and was created with lots of community input.”  It was the community’s objections to the original project’s zoning violations, privacy infringement, traffic and parking shortcomings that scuttled it two years ago.

The new development will be gated, include two- and three-bedroom single-story townhomes with two-car garages.  Each unit will have a small back or side yard.  Neighbors’ privacy concerns will be met with appropriately placed trees and shrubs, as well as a six-foot perimeter fence.

Fred Kelly Stadium upgrade gets a reprieve

The  Office  for  Civil  Rights (OCR) granted an extension to the Orange Unified School District (OUSD) to comply with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements at Fred Kelly Stadium.

OUSD now has until August 31, 2018 to complete structural modifications needed to make the stadium accessible to disabled individuals.  The district has already added accessible parking and passenger loading zones, installed accessible ticket booths, and altered the path for public travel in several locations.

The district was originally notified of the stadium’s ADA violations in 2010.  OUSD entered into an agreement with OCR, calling for the deficiencies to be corrected by 2014.  An extension was subsequently granted until August 2016. As the August deadline approached, the district presented plans to the public detailing three levels of stadium upgrades and modifications, ranging from $21, to $24, to $25 million. The lowest estimate was to meet federally mandated requirements only; the higher costs included operational fixes that the 47-year-old facility also needs.

No funding source for the work has been identified.  OUSD has said it will not use money from the November ballot initiative (if it passes) to fix the stadium.

New corral for Pacific Ranch Center riders

Hitch your horse and hit the market. OPA board member and Trail Committee Chairman Lance
Mora spearheaded a much-needed safety project to enclose the hitching area at the Pacific Ranch
Market Center. This improvement ensures that an accidentally loose horse will not run free and
into traffic.

Bobby Torrez Welding created the custom steel work, allowing the corral to be assembled in only four hours, thanks to volunteers Dan Mills, Lance Mora, Bob Torrez, Mark Sandford; Cole Tachdjian, Bob Davis, Mark Maize, David Hillman and Alex Icaza. Char
Davis was on hand as photographer and general morale booster.

This trail project was funded by OPA Association membership dues, proceeds from community
fundraisers and private donations​.

News briefs from around town: August 2016