2nd Pacific Amphitheatre Settlement Protects the Neighborhoods

Oops Man Question (2)

In 2012, the Orange County Fairgrounds Preservation Society reached a settlement with the OC Fair Board regarding the site plan for the Pacific Amphitheatre remodel in which the berm was resculpted, a new lobby was built, and the plaza area facing the interior of the Fairgrounds was built. Terms of the settlement agreement include using a qualifed noise monitor and maintaining a tracking system for noise complaints.

Download Pac amp finalagreement copy


OC Fairgrounds Celebrates $1 Million in Monthly Revenue in Move Towards Becoming Convention & Expo Center

When Everything is for Sale (1)

OC Fairgrounds CEO Kathy Kramer, formerly of the Phoenix Convention Center,  announced that the all-time monthly revenue record for year round events (events held outside of the OC Fair) was broken in December 2017 with over $1 million in monthly revenue.  Ms. Kramer called the $1 million a month sales as a “benchmark for next year” which is being celebrated on February 23, 2018, with a lunch for Fairgrounds staff. 
 
Hit the goal, get a reward. The OC Fairgrounds is a sales focussed organization with the Fair Board directing Executive Management to those actions. If the focus was education and agriculture, there would be celebration of increasing the number of Centennial Farm visitors and increases in the amount of space devoted to agricultural and educational use.  
 
Increases in revenue and rewarding staff for the increase gives rise to a number of issue to be examined:
  • While the Fairgrounds Board and Executive Management claim the property is about agriculture and community service, their actions show the goals of the Board and Executive Management are about increasing revenues.  It is not clear why all of this money is needed or how the money is used to benefit the community with increased agricultural and educational programming and community use of the facility. Exactly what does the Public who own the OC Fairgrounds get from this $1 million benchmark month?
  • Who asked the OC Fairgrounds to do this?  Who benefits? We need names.
  • Does the increase in year round sales mean that there will not be increases in admission prices for the 2019 OC Fair and no increases in parking charges? We need a commitment to no price increases for the 2019 OC Fair. 

The Fair Board and Executive Management  continue to deny that their goal is to become a year round convention and event center with daily, heavy use. Executive Management hired by the Fair Board are from the convention and expo business and converted a fairground into a 364 day a year, 24 hour a day entertainment and expo center.  Executive Management were hired to change the OC Fairgrounds from a fairground to a convention and expo center. 

The Fairgrounds is a 150 acre island surrounded by Costa Mesa and nothing gets on or off the island without going through Costa Mesa.  Costa Mesa neighbors should not be asked to bend their needs to fit what the Fairgrounds wants but the Fairgrounds must fit into the existing Costa Mesa neighborhoods.
 
Fairgrounds Executive Management Contact Information to Address Your Questions and Concerns
CEO Kathy Kramer
714-708-1510
Ms. Kramer was the Deputy Director of the Phoenix Convention Center and was part of the team that oversaw a $600 million expansion project tripling the rentable space to nearly one million sq ft and placing the Phoenix Convention Center in the top twenty-five convention centers in North America.  The expansion of the Phoenix Convention Center changed the character of the area


VP of Operations Ken Karns 
 714-708-1552
Oversees safety, security, facilities, equestrian center, entertainment booking and ticketing, parking, and the Master Site Plan process, among other duties. Mr. Karns worked to convert Western Fair in London, Ontario, Canada to the Western Fair District which has year round 24 hour a day use. 
 

VP of Business Development Michele Richards 
714-708-1716
Oversees event bookings and scheduling, sponsorships, community programs, and community exhibits during the OC Fair, among other duties. Year round events are not booked by state employees but by Tandem, a company from San Francisco which is paid on commission. 

1996 Settlement with City of Costa Mesa Over the OC Fairgrounds 1991 Master Plan

Women Oops Question (2)

The settlement was ratified at the only joint meeting between the OC Fair Board and the Costa Mesa City Council in July 1996. The agreement capped the number of people allowed on the property at 25,500 when the OC Fair was not being held, require use of leased parking with shuttles when needed, and required cooperation with the City of Costa Mesa on traffic control. Plans for a hotel and off track betting facility were also dropped.

A copy of  the 1991 Master Site Plan is included in the City Atty Report files.

Documents regarding this matter

Download City Atty Report 96-53A copy

Download City Atty Report 96-53C copy

Download City Clerk Changes to Legal Settlement copy 

Download Executed Settlement Sep 9 1996 copy

 


Why Can’t the Buildings We Have Be Used for Community Events?

Money Question (2)

Good question. High costs to use the facilities keep community groups on limited budgets from using facilities. Unlike a city facility which is open to all users able to pay a nominal fee and meeting published user guidelines, Fairgrounds staff pick and choose the events to be allowed on the property. Anyone find it odd that rowdy events which sell a lot of alcohol and fill up the parking lots at $10 a car take priority over a community group trying to find a reasonably priced place for a meeting?


Two Huge Buildings, the Educational Meeting Center and the Ag-Expo Building, are on the Master Site Plan Proposals. Will Those Buildings ONLY Used for Education and Agriculture?

Money Question (2)

No. The Board and staff want to build new buildings to rent out. They think the Public will be fooled with a building with the word “educational” in it will be used ONLY for education, like a school building. They also think the Public will fall for calling a huge expo building an “agricultural” building and believe that the building will ONLY be used for agriculture. The Public sees through the scam and knows that the “Educational Meeting Center” and “Ag-Expo Building” are big convention center and expo buildings.


Concerned Citizens of Costa Mesa Settlement Quieted the Pacific Amphitheatre

 

Oops Man Question (2)

The OC Fairgrounds built the Pacific Amphitheatre facing into the neighborhoods, with twice as many seats as what the neighbors were told, and on a 10 acre footprint instead of a 6 acre footprint. The Pacific Amphitheatre was operated by Nederlander, which proceeded to book hard rock acts which were very loud, which blew out the neighborhoods with the noise. Nederlander and the Fairgrounds did not coordinate well, which led to Nederlander concerts jamming City streets and people parking in the neighborhoods. The Concerned Citizens lawsuits took over a decade to resolve and ended with noise limits placed on the Pacific Amphitheatre. Nederlander and the Fair Board claimed that the noise limits made the Pacific Amphitheatre unusable. No concerts were held from 1995 to 2003 because no way could be found to hold concerts without disturbing the neighborhoods. The Pacific Amphitheatre opened in 2003 when the Fair Board hired Gary Hardesty to design the sound system and to manage compliance with the sound limits.

Documents related to the matter

Download CONCERNED CITIZENS OF COSTA MESA INC. v. 32nd AGRICULTURAL ASS'N 

Download Concerned Citizens v 32nd DAA 1984 copy


1980 Settlement with the City of Costa Mesa Protects OC Fairgrounds Neighbors

Women Oops Question (2)

The OC Fair Board created a Master Plan in 1977 which was not compatible with the neighborhoods around the Fairgrounds. The settlement obligated the Fairgrounds to follow City standards for road construction and to pay for traffic signals to be installed. The Fairgrounds was required to dedicate land for creation of turning lanes to improve traffic flow and to create the entries at the intersection of Fair Drive and Vanguard and at Fairview Road and Merrimac. Sound limits consistent with the Costa Mesa municipal code were imposed. A planned commercial development was deleted with the a museum to be substituted if the Fairgrounds was able to do so.

A copy of the settlement  Download CM City_ 32 Ag Agrmnt Aug 1980


Why Are No New Agriculture Buildings Being Built in the Master Site Plan Proposals?

Dig Question (2)

If you find out, please tell us because the Fair Board and staff claim that agriculture is a primary focus, but agriculture is treated like an afterthought.

Claims are made that the “Ag-Expo Hall” is strictly for agriculture, but how realistic that a 50,000 to 150,000 sq ft exposition building will be used only for agricultural shows. When was the last time there was a farm show in Orange County?  An Ag-Expo building with 50,000 sq ft of rentable space would have more rentable space than the meeting space on the second level of the Anaheim Convention Center over Halls A and B which can accommodate over 4,000 guests. 

An Ag Expo building with 150,000 sq ft of rentable space would have more rentable space than in three out of five exhibit halls at the Anaheim Convention Center, and could accommodate up to 12,000 guests.

The Ag-Expo building is being built as rentable space and will be used as part of a convention center in much of the same ways that the exhibit halls at the Anaheim Convention Center are used.

The “Big Farm” in the “Bold” proposal requires a convention and expo center to be built to get this project done. This is unacceptable.