In the interim, Chapman did support the local party ordinance, which has quieted things down considerably. They also invested heavily in additional housing for students, with the acquisition of an apartment building in Anaheim, and the build-out-in-progress of the Villa Park Orchards packing house property, which will add approximately 400 beds. The Anaheim site will provide an additional 900 beds or thereabouts in the Fall of 2018 when the current leases run out and the property can be configured for students (I'm not sure that I would want to live that far from campus if I was a Chapman student, but that's a discussion for another day). Chapman will also be adding some additional parking to Panther Village on West Chapman, that will allow them to house an additional 100 students.
Prior to the housing (in progress) noted above, Chapman housed approximately 38% of its students (compared to 90%+ achieved by some 97+ other well-known colleges and universities - click here for a list from U.S. News and World Report). With the new dorms, they should be able to house approximately 50% of their students. While an improvement, it's still not enough.
Back to the proposed expansion. Chapman hasn't completed the housing in progress that will add approximately 1,400 beds, and now they want to add 1,800 more students -- we'll be 400 beds behind from where we started -- how does that make any sense?!
As one of my neighbors stated very simply during Chapman's scoping session a few years ago, 1,800 students is 600 3-bedroom houses. So if we get back 467 houses (1,400/3) when the new dorms are ready, and then add another 1,800 students (600 3-bedroom houses) then we're not only back where we started, but are 153 houses worse off!
I've stated before, I'm not opposed to having Chapman University in Old Towne Orange -- I'm just opposed to them getting any larger. We all know about the crazy person with too many cats. Most people are OK with a couple of cats, or maybe even 3 cats. When someone has 20 cats, they've probably crossed the "just- the-right-number-of-cats" line. I think Chapman is at that 2-or-3 cat happy-medium point in their existence right now, but are quickly approaching the "crazy cat person" level. Enough is enough!
To the left is a map of the properties sold by just one agent (in the past 3 years) who specializes in assisting investors in purchasing homes near the Chapman University Campus, generally to lease to Chapman University students. This trend has been accelerating, not only driving up prices, but changing the character/makeup of entire neighborhoods. Click map to enlarge.