Foothills Sentry August 2021

Foothills Sentry Page 2 August 2021 See "Paseo" continued from page 1 with Old Towne standards. “That thoroughfare has been there for 135 years,” he said. “It’s one of the few continuous-use plazas in California. There is nothing in the design standards about shutting down thoroughfares. Residents are getting motorcycles and buses while you’re enjoying your din- ner.” Before bringing the options to the council, city staff had sur- veyed Old Towne merchants, property owners and stakehold- ers. Staff sent out 123 surveys and got 14 responses. Of the 14, 13 supported either a seasonal or permanent Paseo. A Chamber of Commerce outreach garnered similar support. The surveys, according to many neighbors, did not include residents. Worth repeating The Paseo’s success inspired Councilman Chip Monaco to ad- vocate for permanency. Calling it the council’s “greatest achieve- ment” during his tenure, he cited the boost to businesses and the increase in revenue “while the nation was floundering.” He said that he sees the Paseo as a park, and “parks cost money to main- tain.” The estimated $50K per month to maintain a permanent Paseo didn’t bother him, he said, because “it brings people into Or- ange to spend money.” Jon Dumitru suggested that if the Paseo continues, there must be standards. “It looks like a swap meet,” he said. He also noted his concerns about the rest of the city. “If we allow tents in Old Towne, what about everywhere else?” Kim Nichols noted that the long-term future of the Paseo did not have to be decided that night. “We’re not going to hash this out on the dias,” she advised. “We should form a community group of businesses and residents to come up with a negotiated solu- tion. We need to look what ben- efits the most and infringes the least.” Monaco said he was “ready to decide right now. Businesses need to stay open. Kicking the can down the road just loses time.” Think outside the block Arianna Barrios, whose district encompasses Old Towne and the Paseo, acknowledged the three council members (Mark Murphy, Nichols, Monaco) who approved it last year. “It was the right thing to do, but businesses outside the Paseo did not do well. They had no traffic. We’re not here to play winners and losers. We have to be fair. This should be the first of many discussions." “It’s a fallacy to think of the Paseo as a 4% gain,” Murphy said. “It’s more reasonable to look at a 40 to 50% decline without it.” He suggested reinstating the Paseo af- ter the fair, allowing it to be open while the council debated further. The council voted 7-0 to shut down the Paseo for the street fair. Monaco suggested reopening it a week after the fair ended. “I understand your excitement,” Barrios said, “but you don’t live there. Residents need a break, es- pecially right after the street fair. And when the fair ends, Chapman students come back. We’re going to have an influx of new residents. People need a break.” The council voted 7-0 to reopen the Paseo on Sept. 24; options for its long-term status continue to be deliberated. Trails at Santiago Creek EIR rescinded The Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the proposed Trails at Santiago Creek devel- opment was quietly rescinded by the Orange City Council, July 13. Before voters defeated the project via a referendum in 2020, the Orange Park Association had challenged the EIR in court. With no project, the EIR is no longer needed. “We are pleased that the City of Orange has rescinded its certifica- tion of the EIR for the project,"OP Association President Sherry Panttaja confirmed. “This is the result OPA sought when it chal- lenged that EIR in court. While the voters overwhelmingly re- jected the project at the ballot last fall, rescission of the EIR was still needed to ensure that a similar project could not rely on the EIR in the future. Having achieved ex- actly what it intended in suing the city, OPA will be dismissing its lawsuit. OPA does not object to the Mabury project on the north- ern portion of the Sully-Miller property, which is consistent with the City’s planning and zoning.” State Senator David Min (D-37) visited the Orange Home Grown Farmers & Artisans Market, June 26, and met residents, farmers, community stakeholders and elected officials to talk about what was happening in the city. Orange District 1 Councilmember Arianna Barrios (left) and former Orange Mayor Pro Tem Dan Slater (right) toured the senator around the Farmer’s Market, as well as The Plaza and other areas of Orange. Congresswoman Katie Porter (D-CA45) visited the El Modena Family Resource Center in Or- ange, July 8, to introduce the $300 per month per child tax credit that took effect July 15. Porter was joined by the Commu- nity Action Partnership (CAP) of Orange County and leaders from other local family advocate orga- nizations. The child tax credit is part of the American Rescue Plan passed by the U.S. Congress ear- lier this year.