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FOCUS: ORANGE COUNTY COMMUNITY NEWS

Orange

November 26, 1998|Lesley Wright, (714) 966-7824

City officials and consultants listened for more than two hours at a recent meeting as a crowd offered mostly opposition to renovation plans for the Old Towne Plaza.

The community meeting was the first in a series, with the next scheduled for Wednesday. In May, a group of designers recommended making substantial changes to the circular plaza and the park inside the traffic circle. Insisting that the effort would ensure historic preservation, the officials said they are aiming for a "snapshot in time" dating to the 1930s and 1940s.

The plan would replace the pine trees on the sidewalk with palm trees, exchange brick walks for textured concrete and reduce the street to one lane, with 11 fewer parking spaces. The park would be enhanced with some changes, but all the trees save the Italian Cypresses and an avocado would remain, as would the central fountain.

A vocal group of pine tree advocates again protested to save those trees and others complained about the loss of parking. City officials said the plan was still a "work in progress."

The Wednesday meeting is set for 5:30 p.m. in the City Council chambers, 300 E. Chapman Ave. Information: (714) 288-2590.

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