Costa Mesa

Six 25 Ft Lighted Gate Signs with LED Screens Proposed for the OC Fairgrounds - Costa Mesa Planning Commission to Decide on Mon Oct 14, 2019

Freestanding Signage

Example of proposed 25 ft gate signs with LED screens and lighting.

Contact OCFEC and the Costa Mesa Planning Commission to Put a Hold on This Project

Jason Jacobsen from OCFEC is in charge of the project. Ask him to withdraw the project from the Costa Mesa Planning Commission agenda. He can be reached at 714-625-2958 and jjacobsen@ocfair.com

OCFEC CEO Kathy Kramer can also withdraw the project from the Costa Mesa Planning Commission agenda. She can be reached at 714-708-1510 and kkramer@ocfair.com

Ask the Costa Mesa Planning Commission to place on hold Public Hearing 2 Zoning Application 19-23 for a Planned Signing Program for the Orange County Fair and Event Center Located at 88 Fair Drive because the project is being brought forward without the OC Fair Board having approved the plans, in addition to other problems with the project. You can email the Costa Mesa Planning Commission

Attend the Costa Mesa Planning Commission meeting on Monday, October 14, 2019, at 6:00 pm in Costa Mesa City Hall and ask the commissioners to place the project on hold.

About the Project

OC Fairgrounds (aka OCFEC) staff want the Costa Mesa Planning Commission to allow six new gate signs over two stories tall to be built along with three new lighted wall signs. Link to the Costa Mesa Planning Commission Agenda with all of the documents. New gate signs have LED screens, lights at the top, and include the City of Costa Mesa logo to deceive the public into believing the City of Costa Mesa owns, operates, or somehow manages the state owned OC Fairgrounds. These new signs are incompatible with the existing homes around OCFEC and will interfere with the quiet enjoyment of homes. 

Jason Jacobsen is in charge of the project and did not bring the plans dated January 2019 to the Board or public prior to pushing the item through to the Planning Commission. The public learned of this project when signs stating there was a planning commission hearing about an LED signage project popped up about 10 days ago at OCFEC. The first time the public saw the plans was when the Planning Commission agenda was posted on October 10, 2019. Neighbors have not received notification of the project and no outreach has been conducted. OCFEC staff continue to be indifferent to public input and needs of the neighbors.

It is unclear why new gate signage would be built when OCFEC is undergoing an infrastructure analysis in preparation for another attempt at a new master site plan and is in the midst of a rebranding effort. Any of these projects can change the need for gate signage and how that signage appears and is used. This project needs to be put on hold until other projects which may impact signage are completed. 

OCFEC staff made no attempt to fit into the Costa Mesa sign code except make the signs share the same hideous design in order to qualify as a "Planned Signing Program".  Here's the table from the Costa Mesa Planning Commission staff report detailing how out of line with city code this project is:

Staff Report Table 2

Staff Report Table 2 pt 2

 

The OC Fairgrounds is also known as the Orange County Fair and Event Center, OCFEC, 32nd District Agricultural Association, and 32nd DAA.

 


Traffic and Parking Issues at Forefront in Meeting with Costa Mesa City Council Member Marr

20190727_203805 (2)

Photo of Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) on a residential street in Mesa del Mar during the 2019 OC Fair. 

Friends and Neighbors of the OC Fairgrounds (FANSOCF) met with Costa Mesa City Council Member Andrea Marr to discuss how harmful impacts resulting from activities at the Orange County Fair and Event Center (OCFEC) on the neighborhoods around the OC Fairgrounds can be managed and reduced. Council Member Marr represents Costa Mesa District 3 the district where the OC Fairgrounds is located.

Issues about traffic and parking issues which cause nightly backups during the five week annual OC Fair were a primary concern. While OCFEC staff have acknowledged that the amount of traffic attempting to reach the OC Fair exceeds the capacity of the roadways leading to the property, OCFEC staff have not taken steps to make significant impacts on the problems. Neighbors in College Park, Mesa del Mar, and Monticello Community face five weeks each summer where traffic backups in their neighborhoods make travel difficult. Some residents leave on vacation rather than deal with the never ending problems.

A portion of the never ending traffic back up is due to a lack of OCFEC staff planning for offsite parking with shuttle service. The Experian parking structure located near South Coast Plaza is only used on weekends for OC Fair parking. The only offsite parking during the week is at Orange Coast College across from OCFEC with current overuse of the parking lots causing headaches for College Park residents.

FANSOCF is encouraged that Council Member Marr understands the issues faced by residents of her district and is willing to work with FANSOCF to gather information to work with OCFEC, City of Costa Mesa, Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) and other stakeholders to develop plans to reduce negative impacts on her constituents.


OC Fair Buses and Shuttles Must Stop Cutting Through Residential Neighborhoods

20190727_203805 (2)

OCTA buses and parking shuttles cutting through residential neighborhoods is not acceptable and must end.

On Saturday, July 27, 2019, OCTA OC Fair Express and parking shuttles were cutting thru Mesa del Mar. Two OCTA OC Fair Express and a parking shuttle were photographed on Junipero Dr passing a “No Parking” sign near TeWinkle Park. Traffic was backed up on Newport Blvd going into the OC Fairgrounds causing the 55 Fwy to back up to the Paularino Ave overpass. Buses and shuttles were diverting through residential neighborhoods to avoid the stopped traffic.

There are 47 weeks between the end of the 2019 OC Fair and the beginning of the 2020 OC Fair which can be used to make changes to reduce the traffic problems which crush neighborhoods during the fair.  Possible ways to reduce traffic impacts for the 2020 OC Fair include:

  • Increasing offsite parking with shuttle bus service. Shuttle bus lots can be in neighboring cities.
  • Routing OC Fair patrons to offsite parking lots with shuttle when parking lots on the Fairgrounds are filling up.
  • Ensuring the efficient use of adequate parking during periods of peak attendance.

There are a number of other possible changes which are not listed. What would you do to end buses and shuttles going to the OC Fair cutting through the residential neighborhoods?

Tell the OC Fairgrounds Executive Management and Fair Board to Stop the Buses Cutting Through Your Neighborhoods
OC Fairgrounds executive management and Fair Board claim they do not hear about problems caused by the OC Fair. You can invite Fair Board members to your neighborhood to show the problems experienced during the OC Fair. Share your problems and suggestions for fixing the problems:

Contact Fairgrounds Executive Management 
CEO Kathy Kramer kkramer@ocfair.com

VP of Operations Ken Karns kkarns@ocfair.com

 

Contact the Fair Board

Chair Robert Ruiz rruiz@ocfairboard.com

Vice Chair Sandra Cervantes scervantes@ocfairboard.com

Ashleigh Aitken aaitken@ocfairboard.com

Barbara Bagneris bbagneris@ocfairboard.com

Doug La Belle dlabelle@ocfairboard.com

Andreas Meyer ameyer@ocfairboard.com

Newton Pham npham@ocfairboard.com

Natalie Rubalcava-Garcia nrubalcavagarcia@ocfairboard.com
 

Contact OCTA Customer Relations to Lodge a Complaint About OCTA Buses Cutting Through Your Neighborhood
Call 714-636-7433 and choose from the menu (available weekdays from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm) or use the online complaint form. https://octa.net/About-OCTA/Who-We-Are/Contact-Us/Customer-Comment-Form/

Contact Your OCTA Board Member 
Costa Mesa is represented by OC Supervisor Michelle Steel.

Phone 714-834-3220

District Representative is Tim Whitacre Tim.whitacre@ocgov.com

 
The OC Fairgrounds is also known as the Orange County Fair and Event Center (OCFEC) and the 32nd District Agricultural Association (32nd DAA.)

How Is the 2019 OC Fair Impacting Your Neighborhood: Ask OC Fairgrounds Executive Management & Board for Help to Solve Problems

Bullhorn Meeting (1)
 
How did the first week of the 2019 OC Fair go for you and your neighbors? Some of what we have heard:
  • Traffic routing and road closures created headaches for Fairgrounds neighbors traveling to and from their homes because changes were made during the day. Neighbors found themselves stuck in the traffic they were trying to avoid.
  • Eastside Costa Mesa was parked bumper to bumper with cars left by people walking to the OC Fair. Trash was left in the neighborhood by the fairgoers.
  • Merrimac Way was used as a cut thru from Harbor Blvd.
  • Maxed out parking at the OC Fairgrounds and Orange Coast College (OCC) caused fairgoers to find other places to park. 
Are You Facing These Problems in Your Neighborhood During the 2019 OC Fair:
  • Are "No OC Fair Parking" signs and parking enforcement needed for your neighborhood? Where are the signs and enforcement needed?
  • Does your neighborhood need OC Fair Ambassadors to pick up trash? If there are OC Fair Ambassadors in your neighborhood, are more needed?
  • Do neighbors need to be given traffic routing maps including restricted turns and street closures? Should neighbors be told when traffic routing changes to plan for trips to and from their homes?
  • Should offsite parking with shuttle service be offered during the weekday evenings of the OC Fair? Hollywood Bowl and Ventura County Fair have been offering shuttle service during the weekdays for a number of years.
  • Is more weekend offsite parking with shuttle service needed?
  • Is there a better way for the OC Fair to let fairgoers know parking is maxed out other than signs on the 55 Fwy and Fairview Rd? How could fairgoers be told before getting to Fairview Rd that parking is maxed out? Where should fairgoers be routed to when parking is maxed out?
What is happening in your neighborhood and what can be done to resolve the problems? What are your ideas?
 
Ask for Help to Solve the Problems
CEO Kathy Kramer, VP of Operations Ken Karns and the OC Fair Board need to hear from you about problems experienced in the neighborhoods around the OC Fairgrounds. Please share your experiences with executive management and the OC Fair Board and include your ideas for solving the problems.
 
Executive Management
CEO Kathy Kramer kkramer@ocfair.com
 
VP of Operations Ken Karns kkarns@ocfair.com
 
Fair Board
Chair Robert Ruiz rruiz@ocfairboard.com

Vice Chair Sandra Cervantes scervantes@ocfairboard.com

Ashleigh Aitken aaitken@ocfairboard.com

Barbara Bagneris bbagneris@ocfairboard.com

Doug La Belle dlabelle@ocfairboard.com

Andreas Meyer ameyer@ocfairboard.com

Gerardo Mouet gmouet@ocfairboard.com

Newton Pham npham@ocfairboard.com

Natalie Rubalcava-Garcia nrubalcavagarcia@ocfairboard.com
 

You can copy leadership@fansocfairgrounds.com on the emails to help us track issues experienced in the neighborhoods and resolution of the issues.


Costa Mesa Neighborhoods Near OC Fairgrounds Need Neighborhood Policing & Reduced Use of OCC Parking Lots

Attention Question (1)
Neighborhoods near the OC Fairgrounds need relief from problems caused by growing OC Fair attendance and a push to have  year round daily use of the property.  Growth in year round use of the OC Fairgrounds has increased traffic, parking in the neighborhoods, and use of parking lots at Orange Coast College (OCC.)  
Problems once only experienced during the OC Fair are now year round problems for the neighbors.  

Steps can be taken to check the problems caused by increased use of the OC Fairgrounds include funding for neighborhood police services and reducing use of OCC parking lots by the OC Fairgrounds.

Fund Neighborhood Police Services in Addition to Traffic Control Services

Contracts between the Costa Mesa Police Department (CMPD) and the OC Fairgrounds provide traffic control services and do not include neighborhood police services to deal with parking, cut-through traffic, and problems caused by OC Fairgrounds patrons. Neighbors have reported difficulty in having CMPD respond to requests for service during the OC Fair. Read the contract between the OC Fairgrounds and City of Costa Mesa for police services. Download Costa Mesa Police Contracts

The OC Fairgrounds needs to fund CMPD services in the neighborhoods during the OC Fair and large year round events. CEO Kathy Kramer is pushing for increased year round use of the OC Fairgrounds, which will burden the neighborhoods even more. With annual revenues over $50 million with a profit of about $7 million (about 14%) and cash reserves are over $54 million, the OC Fairgrounds has the money to protect the neighborhoods from the problems caused by their operations and needs to step up to address issues caused by their operations.

Reduce Neighborhood Disruptions by Curtailing OC Fairgrounds Use of OCC Parking Lots

Parking lots at OCC are now being used year round for OC Fairgrounds events in addition to the five week OC Fair. OCC parking lots have becoming a defacto extension of the OC Fairgrounds parking lots. Events using the OCC parking lots during 2019 are:

  • Tet Festival on February 8, 9, 10
  • Musink on March 8, 9, 10
  • Pet Expo on April 26, 27, 28
  • OC Marathon on May 5
  • OC Night Market on May 17, 18, 19
  • Scottish Festival on May 25, 26
  • OC Night Market on June 14, 15, 16
  • OC Fair from July 12 to August 11
  • OC Night Market on August 23, 24, 25
  • Sand Sports Super Show on September 13, 14, 15

Read the contract between OCC and the OC Fairgrounds for year round use of the OCC parking lots. Download OCC Parking Contract

Use of OCC parking lots during the OC Fair and year round events disrupts the neighborhoods near the parking lots with noise from patrons coming and going carrying into the neighborhoods. Patrons leaving late at night may be intoxicated which has its own set of problems to deal with. Problems from the five week annual OC Fair are now occurring throughout the year.  CEO Kathy Kramer is pushing for growing attendance of the OC Fair and conducting events every day of the year which will grow the problems for the neighbors including increasing use of OCC parking lots.

Steps need to be taken to protect the neighbors from problems caused by ongoing use of OCC parking lots by the OC Fairgrounds:

  • Reduce use of OCC parking lots for year round event parking. Events at the OC Fairgrounds need to be parked at the OC Fairgrounds.

  • The OC Fairgrounds needs to pay for staff in OCC parking lots at the conclusion of events to move patrons out quickly and quietly.

  • Place DUI patrol in the OCC parking lots to deal with patrons who are too drunk to drive.

  • Create a way to have an immediate response to and resolution of a problem reported in the OCC parking lots. One point of contact to report, resolve and track problems at OCC parking lots caused by OC Fairgrounds events needs to be created. 

Contact the Fair Board

Chair Robert Ruiz rruiz@ocfairboard.com

Vice Chair Sandra Cervantes scervantes@ocfairboard.com

Ashleigh Aitken aaitken@ocfairboard.com

Barbara Bagneris bbagneris@ocfairboard.com

Doug La Belle dlabelle@ocfairboard.com

Andreas Meyer ameyer@ocfairboard.com

Gerardo Mouet gmouet@ocfairboard.com

Newton Pham npham@ocfairboard.com

Natalie Rubalcava-Garcia nrubalcavagarcia@ocfairboard.com

 

The OC Fairgrounds is also known as the 32nd District Agricultural Association, 32nd DAA, Orange County Fair and Event Center, and OCFEC.  

 


What Johnson Consulting Didn't Tell You About the OC Fairgrounds Master Site Plan Bond Financing Plans

A Master Site Plan proposal for the OC Fairgrounds (also called Orange County Fair and Event Center or OCFEC) created by a team of Johnson Consulting, HPI Architecture, and landscape architects SWA relies upon a $170 million bond issue to fund projects including doubling the size of the Administration Building, moving the Main Entrance about 200 ft closer to the 55 Freeway, demolishing the Equestrian Center, and reviving a parking garage next to a residential neighborhood cancelled in 2015 after loud neighborhood opposition, among other changes. The $170 million bond funding proposal was glossed over in two slides which are deficient in material facts, at the most charitable. As you consider these matters, remember that over a quarter of a million dollars has been paid to the consultants to create this work product in addition to countless hours of staff and Board Directors involved with the Master Site Plan process.

OCFEC was founded in 1949 by a grant of land from the former Santa Ana Army Air Base (SAAAB) for use as a public park, fairground, and recreation. Download the deed and most recent title report  

Since 1949, construction has been financed without going into debt. This has allowed OCFEC to weather economic problems better than other fairgrounds.  For unknown and unclear reasons, Johnson Consulting, HPI Architecture, and SWA propose a high priced set of projects of little real value which could bankrupt OCFEC or force a major change in operations while causing long term and irreversible harm to the surrounding residential neighborhoods. This process cost over a quarter of a million dollars in consultant fees, uncounted staff time, and took over a year to conduct.  More scrutiny is needed of what has transpired before the Master Site Plan process can move ahead. 

The two slides about bond finacing presented by Johnson Consulting, HPI Architecture and SWA follow and can be downloaded here  Download Financials_CHJC-OCFEC-Board-Presentation-April-2018

Balance Sheet Bond Slides_Board-Presentation-April-2018

Phases Bond Slides_Board-Presentation-April-2018

Bond Payments are Missing from the Financial Projections

The phased build out of the Master Site Plan proposal takes more than a decade and relies on $170 million in bond financing. No analysis of the impacts of bond financing or supporting information is presented in the April 2018 proposal. The hard consequences of the massive debt issue are ignored, at the most charitable. Payments for the bonds are missing from the financial projections prepared by the consultants.  Estimated payments on a one time capital infusion of $170 million at 6% is about $15 million per year for 30 years.  Johnson Consulting, HPI Architecture, and SWA slides show project phases being paid for and revenues generated by the phases but do not show the $15 million per year deduction needed to pay for the $170 million in bond debt.  

When asked about this during the April 2018 Board meeting, representatives from Johnson Consulting seemed surprised that this was an issue. 

 

Nearly Half a Billion Dollars Paid Out to Build What Amounts to Parking Lots

Interest more than doubles the $170 million bond to $450 million (30 years X $15 million/year = $450 million). Paying nearly half a billion dollars to build what amounts to a few more parking places is insane. This proposal was a non-starter and should have been shredded instead of being brought forward. 

 

Project Locked In & Cannot Be Changed Under Bond Financing

Bond financing locks in a project once the bonds are underwritten. The underwriting process sets the cash flows which must be obtained to maintain solvency and to meet debt covenants entered into as part of the bond underwriting process. It is difficult if not impossible to change a project once the bonds are sold. A future Board would face a high if not impossible hurdle to changing a project funded by bonds.  Representatives from Johnson Consulting did not mention this during the April 2018 Board meeting and it is not clear if OCFEC Directors understand that bond financing locks in a project. 

 

No Good Choices Come from $170 Million in Bonds: Bankrupt OCFEC or Quadruple Annual Revenues to Pay Debt Service 

Annual payments on the $170 million bond issue are $15 million per year for 30 years at 6%. Each and every year a $15 million check needs to be written to pay off the debt of building what amounts to parking lots. Current OCFEC operations have revenues of around $45 million per year and around 10% in net proceeds in 2017 which is about $4.5 million. How is that going to pencil out? 

Choose to Declare Bankruptcy: Once the $15 million annual debt payment starts, current reserves of about $45 million only last a few years until an over $10 million deficit occurs each year because the $4.5 million in annual net proceeds is not enough to pay the $15 million in debt payment.  At that point, OCFEC faces long term insolvency of their own making. A private company could declare bankruptcy to restructure the debt but it is not clear what happens to a state agency which becomes bankrupt caused by actions of the state agency.

Choose to Quadruple Annual Revenues to Avoid Bankruptcy: Quadrupling annual revenues from $45 million to about $180 million can produce annual net proceeds of $18 million, if everything goes just right. Annual revenues of $180 million pay the annual debt bill due but do not provide enough cash flow to re-build depleted cash reserves. Going to five (5) times annual revenues which is about $225 million per year allows debt to be paid and reserves to be re-built.

Achieving annual revenues of at least $180 million will bring heavy year round use of OCFEC such as that experienced by the residential neighborhoods during the annual OC Fair. Traffic will clog public streets, lights and noise will continue into the night every night of the year and it is unclear if the drive to book events for the sake of booking events will be kicked into hyperdrive to make more money to stay solvent. Who knows what events will be booked to make at least $180 million a year in revenues.

The current buildings may not be enough to bring in $180 million in annual revenues. New buildings may be needed to have more events to make the minimum required $180 million in annual revenue. New buildings will need new debt financing because OCFEC does not have significant reserves at this time because OCFEC is barely keeping up with what they owe. More debt needs more revenue and the debt death spiral of OCFEC becomes obvious. OCFEC destroys College Park, Mesa del Mar, and Vanguard neighborhoods along with themselves with self-created problems arising from their greed.

Johnson Consulting, HPI and SWA did not discuss the financially destructive nature of the proposal brought forward by their firms.  The Public is owed answers from Johnson Consulting, HPI and SWA regarding these matters. 

 

Bond Financing Proposal Shows Why Audits of Fairgrounds Operations are Needed

The April 2018 Master Site Plan should have never seen the light of day and was treated like a homework assignment that had to be handed in to be checked off in a grade book.  Consultants and staff handed in their homework and expected a star sticker in return but were met with well earbed negative responses and hard questions regarding the plans. Over a quarter of a million dollars has been paid to consultants who did not seem to notice that their proposal would offer OCFEC a choice between bankruptcy or destroying OCFEC along with the quality of life in the surrounding neighborhoods. Board Directors who wanted to press forward on the Master Site Plan process without having a workable, buildable plan which is supported by the Public in hand are not serving the interests of the Public who own OCFEC and whom the Directors represent.  

A Board Director who touts her financial credentials did not question the impact of the bond payments on OCFEC solvency and wanted to hurry the process along for the sake of moving things along. A Director such as this is not needed and may find themselves to be happier outside the scrutiny of the Public and with more free time to use as they choose. We thank you for your service and wish you well on your future endeavors. 

 

What Needs to Happen to Regain Public Trust
Work on the Master Site Plan needs to stop.  An audit of the Master Site Plan process is needed to find out where the money went, how two sets of Master Site Plan proposals which were not acceptable to the Public and destroy the nature of  OCFEC were brought forward and who could benefit from these proposal, among other questions to be answered. 

The Voice of OC has joined Director Nick Berardino in calling for a performance auditor to be hired at OCFEC to aid in staff oversight. Empowering a performance auditor is supported. Hiring a performance auditor is money well spent and needs to happen as soon as possible.

  

Contact Information to Follow Up on Issues

Contact the Fair Board 

Chair Barbara Bagneris bbagneris@ocfairboard.com
Vice Chair Robert Ruiz rruiz@ocfairboard.com
Newton Pham npham@ocfairboard.com
Sandra Cervantes scervantes@ocfairboard.com
Stan Tkaczyk stkaczyk@ocfairboard.com
Doug La Belle dlabelle@ocfairboard.com
Gerardo Mouet gmouet@ocfairboard.com
Ashleigh Aitken aaitken@ocfairboard.com
Nick Berardino nberardino@ocfairboard.com

Contact CEO Kathy Kramer kramer@ocfair.com

Contact VP of Operations Ken Karns  kkarns@ocfair.com

Contact the Governor's Appointments Secretary Mona Pasquil Rogers at mona.pasquil@gov.ca.gov to discuss OCFEC Director performance issues. Fair Board Directors are appointed by the Governor and may be removed for cause by the Governor at any time. (Cal. Food & Agriculture Code § 3959-3960.)

Contact Parent State Agency OCFEC is a state agency under the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA)  because OCFEC is a state run county fair created to support California agriculture. Please refer to as OCFEC as the 32nd District Agricultural Association (32nd DAA) when dealing with the state.

CDFA Secretary Karen Ross 916-654-0433 secretary.ross@cdfa.ca.gov

Fairs and Exhibitions (F&E) are under the Marketing Services Division. 

F&E Branch Chief John Quiroz 916-900-5025 john.quiroz@cdfa.ca.gov


Parking Structure Shot Down in 2015 Arises Anew in Latest Fairgrounds Master Site Plan Proposal

WTF Nautical Flags (3)

The latest OC Fairgrounds (Orange County Fair and Event Center or OCFEC) Master Site Plan proposal (see page 38 and on “Phase VII - Other Projects” page 45) shows a parking structure and pedestrian bridge at the corner of Fairview Road and Arlington Drive and states that Orange Coast College (OCC) would be partnering on the project.  Representatives of OCC were contacted and multiple officials stated that they had no knowledge of the inclusion of the proposed parking structure in the Master Site Plan and OCC had not requested that the parking structure be included in the OCFEC Master Site Plan. OCFEC  Executive Management made the following statements regarding the proposed parking structure without consulting let alone obtaining an agreement from OCC: 

  • Partner with OCC 
  • Screened to lessen impact on neighbors
  • With elevators
  • Build West Tower at OCC
  • Build bridge over Fairview Dr to OCC
  • Parking garage assumed 3 stories @ +210 stalls per floor 
  • Footprint of parking garage removes -323 stalls of surface parking

CEO Kathy Kramer should recall that in 2015 a proposed parking structure on the same site was met with strong opposition by the College Park neighbors who would bear the brunt of the impacts from the project.  Current Board Directors Ashleigh Aitken, Barbara Bagneris, Nick Berardino, Doug La Belle, Gerardo Mouet, Robert Ruiz, and Stan Tkaczyk should also recall vocal neighborhood opposition to the project and suggestions that other solutions found such as building a parking garage (if one is needed) in the corner of Newport Blvd and Fair Dr below the billboards.  The parking structure proposed now in 2018 is the same unwanted parking structure proposed in 2015. If CEO Kathy Kramer and Directors Ashleigh Aitken, Barbara Bagneris, Nick Berardino, Sandra Cervantes, Doug La Belle, Gerardo Mouet, Robert Ruiz, and Stan Tkaczyk don't recall that the parking structure was unwanted in 2015 and aren't smart enough to figure out that the same parking structure is unwanted in 2018, none of them should be in charge of a public agency, allowed  to drive a car, or have sharp objects in their possession because there is something wrong with them. They may also eat paste, so lock that up.

If a Parking Structure is Needed, Put It Under the Billboards on Newport Blvd Side

If a parking structure is needed (and it is not sure if a parking structure is actually needed) the structure should be built at the corner of Newport Blvd and Fair Dr under the billboards. Building a parking structure at this location can be part of the relocation of the Main Entrance from Fair Dr to Newport Blvd. The new Main Entrance can be designed to speed up parking and move stacking of cars waiting to park from the public streets and onto OCFEC property.  This plan was previously proposed to the OCFEC and should be reconsidered:

Alt 2 Community Master Plan Executive May 17 (1) Alt 3 Community Master Plan Executive May 17 (1)

Alt 4 Community Master Plan Executive May 17 (1)

Alt 5 Community Master Plan Executive May 17 (1)

 CEO Kathy Kramer needs your help to be reminded that the parking garage at the corner of Fairview Rd and Arlington Dr is not wanted. kkramer@ocfair.com

VP of Operations Ken Karns who is in charge of the Master Site Plan  & the Fair Board Directors need to also hear from you on this matter.

Ken Karns kkarns@ocfair.com

Email Summer Angus and ask her to forward the email to the Directors sangus@ocfair.com


Submit Your Ideas for the OC Fairgrounds Master Site Plan

MasterSite Plan Info (1)

Under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), an agency such as the OC Fairgrounds (Orange County Fair and Event Center aka OCFEC aka 32nd District Agricultural Association) is supposed to propose more than one project to be considered. Bringing forth one version of a project and declaring that the project brought forth is the only way to satisfy the need for the project is not supposed to be the way things are done under CEQA. This is referred to as consideration of alternatives where a reasonable range of feasible alternatives must be considered. 

If you have been noodling around with ideas about how the OCFEC can better serve the community and fit into the residential neighborhoods around the property, now is the time to start putting your ideas on paper to get them ready to submit to the OC Fair Board (Ashleigh Aitken, Barbara Bagneris, Nick Berardino, Sandra Cervantes, Doug La Belle, Newton Pham, Robert Ruiz, Stan Tkaczyk.)

A map of the OCFEC is is available here and on Google maps. Use of the OCFEC is governed by legal settlements limiting noise levels in the neighborhoods to approximately the noise limits in the Costa Mesa municipal code (and again in 2012) and limiting the total number of people on the property outside of the annual OC Fair to a little over 25,000 persons, which is the number of persons accommodated by the onsite parking without resorting to offsite or neighborhood parking.

Creating overlays of your proposal and the existing facilities can be the easiest way of communicating your vision. You may also want to include a description of what the purpose is of your proposal including the community need your proposal serves. Start thinking and sketching because the community served by the OCFEC, which is all of Orange County, needs ideas to better serve the community.

Start sketching out your ideas and we will publish information about how to submit your ideas when the information is available.  

 

 

 


Community-Centered Alternatives to Consider for OC Fairgrounds Master Site Plan

During May 2017, a group of residents met with OC Fairgrounds (Orange County Fair and Event Center aka OCFEC) staff and presented their ideas for how to improve the OCFEC during the Master Site Plan process. The complete presentation is available here  Download Community Master Plan Executive May 17

 Highlights from the presentation are follow.

Proposals center on the Community, Agricultural, Recreational, Educational Space and Programming (CARES Space and Programming). This is a community-centered series of alternatives. These are reasonable and feasible alternatives which maintain current programming while allowing for increased use by both the community and revenue generating groups.

CARES_Community Master Plan Executive May 17 (1)

Alternative 1 is to remodel and improve existing structures which are currently in use. 

Alt1 Community Master Plan Executive May 17 (1)

The next 4 alternatives create green space by relocating parking to a parking structure behind the billboard at the corner of Newport Blvd and Fair Drive. A legal settlement with the City of Costa Mesa limits occupancy outside of the annual OC Fair to about 25,000 persons, which is about the number served by the current number of parking places. No new parking spaces need to be added because of the cap on occupancy. However, parking can be relocated to create open space and make the OC Fairgrounds feel more like a fairground and less like a huddle of buildings hiding in the back of a huge parking lot. 

Alternatives include moving the main entrance to Newport Blvd and making the needed changes to make traffic move quickly off the 55 Fwy and into the parking lots. Stacking traffic waiting to park or making cars turn onto Fair Drive and then onto Fairview Road or even onto Arlington Drive to park should be eliminated because OCFEC has more than enough space to stack cars waiting to park on their property and not on City streets. 

Walking paths are included in the Alternatives to connect the Arlington Drive trail with the interior of the property to provide recreation the the community and to aid in pedestrian flow inside the property.

Alt 2 Community Master Plan Executive May 17 (1)

Unlike the Master Site Plan proposals brought forward by Johnson Consulting, the open space was supposed to be open space with grass or plants and not trees in a parking lot as proposed in the proposals from Chicago based Johnson Consulting. The alternatives also maintain the current footprint of the annual OC Fair. 

Alt 3 Community Master Plan Executive May 17 (1)

Alt 4 Community Master Plan Executive May 17 (1)

Alt 5 Community Master Plan Executive May 17 (1)

What are your ideas for a new Master Site Plan for the OCFEC?

 


OC Fairgrounds Master Site Plan Information from March 2018 Board Meeting

Attention Question (1)

During the March 22, 2018 OC Fair Board meeting at the Orange County Fair and Event Center, the following updated information regarding the Master Site Plan process was provided:

  • A workshop will be held during the Thursday, April 26, 2018, Board meeting. The meeting starts at 9 AM with the workshop scheduled to begin around 10:30 AM.  If you want to speak during the workshop, your card to speak must be handed in before the meeting begins at 9 AM. 
  • More than one site plan concept will be brought forward to the Board Directors.
  • Work product from Johnson Consulting hired to manage the Master Site Plan process will be posted on the OC Fair website on or around April 2, 2018. The work product posted is promised to be the same as the information given to the Board. 
  • A second workshop to be held in the evening during early May has been promised but not scheduled as of this time.
  • A request for proposal (RFP) for services related to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) has been released.
  • The Board Directors will review draft concepts at the May 24, 2018, Fair Board meeting. The formal CEQA process will start after the draft concepts are reviewed.
  • No final selection of a plan will take place until after the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) is certified.
  • The CEQA process is expected to take 6 to 8 months.

OC Fair Board Director Contact Info Added May 3, 2018

Chair Barbara Bagneris bbagneris@ocfairboard.com
Vice Chair Robert Ruiz rruiz@ocfairboard.com
Ashleigh Aitken aaitken@ocfairboard.com
Nick Berardino nberardino@ocfairboard.com
Sandra Cervantes scervantes@ocfairboard.com
Doug La Belle dlabelle@ocfairboard.com
Gerardo Mouet gmouet@ocfairboard.com
Newton Pham npham@ocfairboard.com
Stan Tkaczyk stkaczyk@ocfairboard.com

Questions to Executive Management can be sent to CEP Kathy Kramer kkramer@ocfair.com and VP of Operations Ken Karns kkarns@ocfair.com.