Master Site Plan

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.  

 

 

 

 

 

 


Clarifying "Community Use" in the Master Site Plan

Man Question (2)

Statements have been made that the 20,000 sq ft  ballroom and 50,000 sq ft to 150,000 Ag-Expo Center shown in the Master Site Plan proposals are for "community use".  It's not clear what is driving the perceived need for a massive amount of "community use" space at the OC Fairgrounds, and a letter was sent to the Directors asking for more information about "community use" claims. The letter is as follows: 

Members of the community are trying to understand how the Educational Meeting Center with a 20,000 sq ft ballroom, the Ag-Expo Center ranging from 50,000 sq ft to 150,000 sq ft, and other new buildings proposed to be included in the Master Site Plan will be used only for community use and not for commercial rental use. I am seeking your assistance in obtaining information about community usage of facilities at the 32nd District Agricultural Association (32nd DAA). Please assist the public by providing the following information to help us better understand what is being contemplated:

1 .Please identify community groups which wanted to have events at the 32nd DAA but were unable to conduct the event due to inadequate facilities for their event for the period from 2015 to present.


2. For each community group identified in (1), please provide a description of the event, the planned date(s) of the event, and the reasons stated by the community group for not being able to hold the event at the 32nd DAA.


3. Please identify community groups which wanted to have events at the 32nd DAA but were unable to conduct the event due to budget concerns for the period from 2015 to present.


4. For each community group identified in (3), please provide information regarding the proposed budget and the actual budget needed to conduct the event at the 32nd DAA.


5. Please identify community groups which have used the conference rooms in the Administration Building for the period from 2015 to present.


6. For each community group identified in (5), please provide a description of the event, the planned date(s) of the event, and the cost of the event for the period from 2015 to present. If a contract was signed, a copy of the fully executed contract with all amendments, riders, and attachments, and event reconciliation should be provided.


7. Please provide copies of fully executed contracts with all amendments, riders, and attachments and event reconciliations for all events considered to be “community events” by the 32nd DAA for the period from 2015 to present.

 

8. Please provide copies of any and all documents, studies, research, and analysis of the need for community use facilities in Orange County which were considered in the Master Site Plan process for the period from 2015 to present. 

Contact CEO Kathy Kramer at kkramer@ocfair.com

Contact VP of Operations Ken Karns who is in charge of the Master Site Plan at kkarns@ocfair.com

Contact Fair Board Directors 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


Master Site Plan: Is a $58,239 Contract Amendment Funding Studies of Cannibalization of Existing Facilities?

When Everything is for Sale (1) 

In October 2017, the contract with C. H. Johnson Consulting, Inc.  was amended by $58,239.00 which raised the contract total to $252,369.00. CEO Kathy Kramer, VP Ken Karns,  and the Directors (Ashleigh Aitken, Barbara Bagneris, Nick Berardino, Sandra Cervantes, Doug La Belle, Gerardo Mouet, Newton Pham, Robert Ruiz, Stan Tkaczyk) were asked what the additional money would be used for and refused to answer the questions.    This post discusses a section of the C. H. Johnson Consulting, Inc. RFP which is listed as an optional task and could be the work being performed but CEO Kathy Kramer, VP Ken Karns and the Directors refuse to let the public know what they are doing with public money.  Directors and Executive Management of the OC Fairgrounds choose to act as if they are above the law and do not have to answer for their expenditures of public money or use of public property. 

The Master Site Plan process is a revenue centered process, not a community, education, agriculture, or recreation centered process.  This is the section from the winning proposal for the Master Site Plan process which discusses financial plans and projections. It should be noted that multiple requests have been made for documents regarding this work and no documents have been produced. [A] This section is from pgs. 25-26 of the C. H. Johnson Consulting, Inc. proposal:

This Task commenced in Task 5 and will be finalized in this Task (Task 9). It will consider the initial work done by all parties and will result in finalized economic and fiscal impact analyses considering the developed business and masterplan. Our Impact approach is described below .

To the extent that state and local governments will be participating in the project, part of the return is measured in economic benefits of the project. For this project, it may be important to determine where impacts would occur, as this data can be used to advance the project through the public review and approvals process. It may also be helpful in obtaining final funding grants and ongoing operating support by communicating how the project can help drive demand to the area, how much employment will occur and how much tax revenue will be generated. As such, for this analysis, we will:

  • Use the most recent ExPact survey, an excellent survey prepared by Destination Management Association International (DMAI, formerly known as the International Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus), to estimate direct spending by attendees, associations, exhibitors, and the facility itself, adjusted for local market price indices.

  • Identify from where attendance will likely originate.

  •  Indicate the volume of hotel room nights generated by the project.

  • Identify where spending will most likely be captured.

  • Use the IMPLAN model (an input-output model of the local economy) to estimate indirect and induced spending and employment impacts of the proposed facility for both the projected events and attendees in a stabilized year of operations, based upon the demand projections and the construction of the facility. 

  • Summarize local and state tax structures, including all relevant City, State, County, and other municipal taxes that may be appropriate.

  • Project the facility’s impact on City revenue collections, which include retail sales, lodging, restaurants, and any other areas impacted by the project, and determine whether there will be any cannibalization of existing facilities. 

  • Analyze the impact of the one-time construction activity.

[A] The documents regarding the work performed may have been disposed of or in the custody or control of another unnamed state or local agency or may not be able to be located according to CEO Kathy Kramer. 

Contact CEO Kathy Kramer at kkramer@ocfair.com

Contact VP of Operations Ken Karns who is in charge of the Master Site Plan at kkarns@ocfair.com

Contact Fair Board Directors Ashleigh Aitken, Barbara Bagneris, Nick Berardino, Sandra Cervantes, Doug La Belle, Gerardo Mouet, Newton Pham, Robert Ruiz, Stan Tkaczyk by emailing Summer Angus sangus@ocfair.com

C. H. Johnson Consulting, Inc. from Chicago, IL  is the contractor for the Master Site Plan process. A copy of the entire proposal is available on the "OC Fairgrounds Documents" page listed on the right side of this page. We have no idea why the OC Fairgrounds hired a company from Chicago and could not find a planning firm in the Los Angeles-Orange County area or even in California.   

This is one in a series of posts looking at individual Master Site Plan tasks to gain a greater understanding of how the OC Fair Board Directors (Ashleigh Aitken, Barbara Bagneris, Nick Berardino, Sandra Cervantes, Doug La Belle, Gerardo Mouet, Newton Pham, Robert Ruiz, Stan Tkaczyk) and Executive Management want to push the OC Fairgrounds away from being the fairground we currently enjoy. 


Master Site Plan: "Development Report"

When Everything is for Sale (1)

The Master Site Plan process is a revenue centered process, not a community, education, agriculture, or recreation centered process.  This is the section from the winning proposal for the Master Site Plan process which discusses the plans for development of the Master Site Plan. It should be noted that multiple requests have been made for documents regarding this work and no documents have been produced. [A] This section is from pgs. 24-25 of the C. H. Johnson Consulting, Inc. proposal:

TASK 8 – MASTER SITE PLAN DEVELOPMENT

This task will produce a Master Site Plan Report containing summary of key findings and initial recommendations for planning and future use of the Fairgrounds. Our recommendations will stem from a thorough understanding of background data, community input, operational and facilities optimization, market demand, and the OCFEC mission, thereby translating community-based programming and operational strategies into physical place-making that serves the County for generations to come.

The master site planning will include evaluation of local market demand to formulate and evaluate alternative approaches to uses, relationship of uses, phasing, and integration of existing activities.

The cohesive development of a comprehensive, data-driven, visionary MSP will be the culmination of the well- established fluid exchange of information (data) and ideas from the Internal and Community Stakeholders which will empower the 32nd District Agricultural Association’s Board of Directors to make the most informed decisions regarding the future of how OCFEC will fulfill its Mission Statement: “Celebration of Orange County’s Communities, Interests and Heritage.”

TASK 8.1 – MASTER SITE PLAN

Following the Options Workshop/Meetings, and based on additional input from internal and community stakeholders, we will prepare a Master Site Plan with initial recommendations for future use of the OCFEC site and facilities.

Our team’s approach to physical master planning will stem from an understanding of local conditions and an intimate relationship with the site, including topography, drainage, existing uses, relationship to surroundings, and the social context of human activities. It will incorporate sustainable, low impact development techniques that will allow a more intensified program of uses to “sit lightly” on the land. The master plan will be suitable as a basis for detailed site planning and entitlement processing to be conducted as part of a future contract.

The master planning process will translate community-based, evidence-driven programming and operational strategies into physical place-making. This will include alternative land use concepts that describe different approaches to uses, relationship of uses, phasing, and integration of existing activities.

  • Establish zones for County Fair and other major events, active and passive open space, neighborhood and community destinations and recreation, and economic “drivers” including an optimized mix of new infill development.

  • Integrate usable buildings and outdoor spaces that will provide efficiency and serve as high-functioning venues for community activities.

  • Address site drainage through sustainable system integrated into the roadway and open space network.

  • Incorporate sustainable landscape strategies and a multi-purpose open space system.

  • Design for walkability and interconnected urban form and compact relationship of complementary uses.

  • Create possibilities for a hierarchy of circulation, entry, identity, and image for key landmarks, with more private or support uses buffered and served by more minor roadways.

TASK 8.2 – PREPARE REPORT DELIVERABLES

The Consulting Team, in conjunction with the Executive Management Team and Key Management Support, and Master Site Plan Committee, will prepare drafts and a final fully documented 10-Year OCFEC Master Site Plan that addresses the best options for the District and addresses all of the key issues and planning process listed in your RFP. A presentation will be made to the full Board of Directors for review prior to implementation.

 

[A] The documents showing the work performed may have been disposed of or in the custody or control of another unnamed state or local agency or may not be able to be located according to CEO Kathy Kramer. 

Contact CEO Kathy Kramer at kkramer@ocfair.com

Contact VP of Operations Ken Karns who is in charge of the Master Site Plan at kkarns@ocfair.com

Contact Fair Board Directors Ashleigh Aitken, Barbara Bagneris, Nick Berardino, Sandra Cervantes, Doug La Belle, Gerardo Mouet, Newton Pham, Robert Ruiz, Stan Tkaczyk by emailing Summer Angus sangus@ocfair.com

C. H. Johnson Consulting, Inc. from Chicago, IL  is the contractor for the Master Site Plan process. A copy of the entire proposal is available on the "OC Fairgrounds Documents" page listed on the right side of this page. We have no idea why the OC Fairgrounds hired a company from Chicago and could not find a planning firm in the Los Angeles-Orange County area or even in California.   

This is one in a series of posts looking at individual Master Site Plan tasks to gain a greater understanding of how the OC Fair Board Directors (Ashleigh Aitken, Barbara Bagneris, Nick Berardino, Sandra Cervantes, Doug La Belle, Gerardo Mouet, Newton Pham, Robert Ruiz, Stan Tkaczyk) and Executive Management want to push the OC Fairgrounds away from being the fairground we currently enjoy. 

 


More About the Master Site Plan Process: Financial Plans, Projections & Funding Sources

When Everything is for Sale (1)

The Master Site Plan process is a revenue centered process, not a community, education, agriculture, or recreation centered process.  This is the section from the winning proposal for the Master Site Plan process which discusses financial plans and projections. It should be noted that multiple requests have been made for documents regarding this work and no documents have been produced. [A] This section is from pgs. 23-24 of the C. H. Johnson Consulting, Inc. proposal:

TASK 7 – FINANCIAL PLAN & PROJECTIONS [A]

This Task commenced in Task 5 and will be finalized in this Task (Task 7). It will consider the initial work done by all parties and will result in finalized financial projections, considering revenue, expenses and profit from each business element as well capital improvement assumptions prepared by HPI.

Based on the market data and demand projections, working closing with the Executive Management Team and the Audit Consultant, the Consulting Team will prepare a 10-year operating pro forma for the proposed OCFEC initiatives discussed in the previous tasks. The model will list all revenues and fixed and variable expenses in line-item detail throughout the period of the projection, and include data for each individual type of business use initiative.

The analysis will document OCFEC’s approach to delivery of services, such as staffing, food and beverage, parking, and other major line items affecting the operation, thus providing the District with a clear understanding of how the initiative will earn and spend money, fit into the broader operations of the OCFEC, and what the expected financial picture will be at the end of each year. To the extent that public dollars are to be used to support operations, capital improvements, or other items, these sources will also be considered and integrated into the financial analysis.

We will also offer a specific discussion regarding revenue sources that are available to public assembly facilities, including benefactor naming rights and other specialized revenue streams, such as advertising, and based on market conditions.

The Team will outline potential funding sources that could be considered for the proposed OCFEC business initiative, as well as for ongoing operating support, that will consist of a detailed analysis for each option. These approaches may include private investments, incentives, sales, meals and room taxes, Tax Increment Finance Districts, revenue bonds, empowerment/enterprise zones, tax-exempt bonds, and taxable bond revenue streams, among other tools.

[A] The documents regarding the work performed may have been disposed of or in the custody or control of another unnamed state or local agency or may not be able to be located according to CEO Kathy Kramer. 

Contact CEO Kathy Kramer at kkramer@ocfair.com

Contact VP of Operations Ken Karns who is in charge of the Master Site Plan at kkarns@ocfair.com

Contact Fair Board Directors Ashleigh Aitken, Barbara Bagneris, Nick Berardino, Sandra Cervantes, Doug La Belle, Gerardo Mouet, Newton Pham, Robert Ruiz, Stan Tkaczyk by emailing Summer Angus sangus@ocfair.com

C. H. Johnson Consulting, Inc. from Chicago, IL  is the contractor for the Master Site Plan process. A copy of the entire proposal is available on the "OC Fairgrounds Documents" page listed on the right side of this page. We have no idea why the OC Fairgrounds hired a company from Chicago and could not find a planning firm in the Los Angeles-Orange County area or even in California.   

This is one in a series of posts looking at individual Master Site Plan tasks to gain a greater understanding of how the OC Fair Board Directors (Ashleigh Aitken, Barbara Bagneris, Nick Berardino, Sandra Cervantes, Doug La Belle, Gerardo Mouet, Newton Pham, Robert Ruiz, Stan Tkaczyk) and Executive Management want to push the OC Fairgrounds away from being the fairground we currently enjoy. 

 


"Vetting of Business Opportunities" Key Component of Master Site Plan Process

When Everything is for Sale (1)

The Master Site Plan process is a revenue centered process, not a community, education, agriculture, or recreation centered process.  This is the section from the winning proposal for the Master Site Plan process which discusses business opportunities. It should be noted that multiple requests have been made for documents regarding this work and no documents have been produced. [A] This section is from pgs. 20-21 of the C. H. Johnson Consulting, Inc. proposal available the OC Fairgrounds Documents page:

TASK 5 - VETTING BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES

This task will produce a report containing a summary of independent business cases for future uses/ initiatives of the OCFEC based upon vetted business ideas, opportunities and findings. The Team’s work will stem from a thorough understanding of background data, community input, operational and facilities optimization, market demand, and the District’s guiding principles; thereby translating community-based programming and operational strategies into physical placemaking that serves the District for generations to come.

The planning process will include evaluation of local market demand to formulate and evaluate business opportunities/ ideas, alternative approaches to existing and/ or proposed uses, relationship of uses, phasing, and integration of existing activities.

TASK 5.1 – MARKET AND DEMAND ANALYSIS [A]

The methodology we propose to assess market demand and estimate overall performance for each business sector is outlined below:

Market Demand and Supply Analysis:  We will analyze pertinent economic, demographic, and market factors that impact land use, business expansion, and space utilization within the area surrounding the site which could contribute to overall planning opportunities. This analysis will focus on key economic and real estate issues such as market demand and supply conditions and includes a trade area analysis of retail/entertainment (not including fairgrounds), office, residential, and others. The goal is to provide a comprehensive understanding of market conditions for the overall site.

Estimated Market Performance: Based upon our analysis of market demand and our recommendations outlined in the preceding work steps, we will address the market performance of the indicated uses. For each specific use, we will also profile operating expense information based upon information gathered and summarized in preceding tasks, as well as general information provided through industry resources and other credible secondary sources of information.

Cash Flow Analysis: From the results of the estimated market performance of potential additional/alternative business uses,which are the supporting mechanisms for pricing, performance, operating, and cost assumptions, we will prepare comprehensive cash flow analysis.

The demand profile, current cost structures, and data from existing operations as well as comparable facilities will be used to model the operating revenues and expenses of the proposed uses. Johnson Consulting has modeled numerous similar fairground facilities and will draw on its experience with these facilities. Projections will extend over a 10-year period.

Economic and Fiscal Impact Analysis: Each aspect of the business model will be added to the market. The procedures for the Economic and Fiscal analysis are described in the specific task requested in the RFP in Task 9, below.

TASK 5.2 – JUSTIFICATION/ P&L FOR EACH BUSINESS CASE  [A]

We will work with the MSP Committee to develop a justification analysis for the District on the advantages and/or disadvantages of the OCFEC relative to certain uses. We will develop a P&L and opportunities-and- constraints diagrams based on information obtained and review of the various business case initiatives proposed.

TASK 5.3 – PREPARE REPORT DELIVERABLE  [A]

Based on the Market Demand Analysis, we will research and report on the opportunities/ideas for planning and future business case uses of the OCFEC, as well as constraints. The Business Case Report will include business cases for uses of whatever portion of the venue is not needed for the OC Fair, Centennial Farm, Pacific Amphitheatre, Imaginology, Heroes Hall, and the other anticipated current programmed events and community-based activities, and will include rough schematic drawings of at least three (3) possible alternative facility and/or land use configurations for possible business initiatives, including their relative strengths and weaknesses. It will be both qualitative and quantitative, providing approximate market value estimates for what alternative business use can generate as potential ground rent to the District, for the area considered for new initiatives.

[A] The documents regarding the work performed may have been disposed of or in the custody or control of another unnamed state or local agency or may not be able to be located according to CEO Kathy Kramer. 

Contact CEO Kathy Kramer at kkramer@ocfair.com

Contact VP of Operations Ken Karns who is in charge of the Master Site Plan at kkarns@ocfair.com

Contact Fair Board Directors Ashleigh Aitken, Barbara Bagneris, Nick Berardino, Sandra Cervantes, Doug La Belle, Gerardo Mouet, Newton Pham, Robert Ruiz, Stan Tkaczyk by emailing Summer Angus sangus@ocfair.com

C. H. Johnson Consulting, Inc. from Chicago, IL  is the contractor for the Master Site Plan process. A copy of the entire proposal is available on the "OC Fairgrounds Documents" page listed on the right side of this page. We have no idea why the OC Fairgrounds hired a company from Chicago and could not find a planning firm in the Los Angeles-Orange County area or even in California.   

This is one in a series of posts looking at individual Master Site Plan tasks to gain a greater understanding of how the OC Fair Board Directors (Ashleigh Aitken, Barbara Bagneris, Nick Berardino, Sandra Cervantes, Doug La Belle, Gerardo Mouet, Newton Pham, Robert Ruiz, Stan Tkaczyk) and Executive Management want to push the OC Fairgrounds away from being the fairground we currently enjoy. 

 

 

 


Is Permeable Pavement in the Master Site Plan Proposals Open Space or Pavement?

Carnival Question (2)
Permeable pavement is pavement, not open space. The OC Fairgrounds is a cluster of buildings surrounded by acres of asphalt pavement with about 60% of the property being pavement. Members of the Public asked for more open space, which can be obtained by removing portions of the asphalt pavement and installing landscaping. Instead of actual open space and landscaping, permeable pavement is proposed. Permeable pavement is pavement, not open space. We wanted open space.


OC Fairgrounds Schedules Meeting to Roll Out Master Site Plan While Denying the Public Their Rights Under CEQA

What They Arent Telling You (1)

On April 23, 2018, at a meeting starting at 9 AM on a Thursday morning, the OC Fair Board will present their concepts to change the OC Fairgrounds into a convention center. The effort is led by CEO Kathy Kramer who worked on the $600 million remodel of the Phoenix Convention Center which placed the property in the top 25 convention centers in North America and caused dramatic changes in the neighborhood with the addition of hotels and restaurants. CEO Kathy Kramer is assisted by VP of Operations Ken Karns who worked to transform Western Fair in London, Ontario, Canada, into the 364 days a year, 24 hour a day Western Fair District. Neither CEO Kramer or VP Karns worked in the public sector in California prior to being hired by the current OC Fair Board Directors (Ashleigh Aitken, Barbara Bagneris, Nick Berardino, Sandra Cervantes, Doug La Belle, Gerardo Mouet, Robert Ruiz, Stan Tkaczyk)

State law known as the California Environmental Quality Act or CEQA requires processes and procedures to be followed when development projects are proposed to mitigate potential environmental impacts and to protect the rights of the public.  Agencies such as the OC Fairgrounds (known to the State as the 32nd District Agricultural Association or 32nd DAA) are required to have procedures in place for making decisions under CEQA (see Section 15022. Public Agency Implementing Procedures in Title 14 Natural Resources): 

(a) Each public agency shall adopt objectives, criteria, and specific procedures consistent with CEQA and these Guidelines for administering its responsibilities under CEQA, including the orderly evaluation of projects and preparation of environmental documents. The implementing procedures should contain at least provisions for:
(1) Identifying the activities that are exempt from CEQA. These procedures should contain:
(A) Provisions for evaluating a proposed activity to determine if there is no possibility that the activity may have a significant effect on the environment.
(B) A list of projects or permits over which the public agency has only ministerial authority.
(C) A list of specific activities which the public agency has found to be within the categorical exemptions established by these guidelines.
(2) Conducting initial studies.
(3) Preparing negative declarations.
(4) Preparing draft and final EIRs.
(5) Consulting with and obtaining comments from other public agencies and members of the public with regard to the environmental effects of projects.
(6) Assuring adequate opportunity and time for public review and comment on the Draft EIR or Negative Declaration.
(7) Evaluating and responding to comments received on environmental documents.
(8) Assigning responsibility for determining the adequacy of an EIR or negative declaration.
(9) Reviewing and considering environmental documents by the person or decision making body who will approve or disapprove a project.
(10) Filing documents required or authorized by CEQA and these Guidelines.
(11) Providing adequate comments on environmental documents which are submitted to the public agency for review.
(12) Assigning responsibility for specific functions to particular units of the public agency.
(13) Providing time periods for performing functions under CEQA.
 
In August 2017 (over 180 days ago), a request was made to the OC Fairgrounds for copies of these procedures and no procedures were produced.  Several more attempts to receive copies of the procedures have been made and have been ignored by the OC Fairgrounds. CEO Kathy Kramer and VP Ken Karns, with the apparent support of the OC Fair Board Directors (Ashleigh Aitken, Barbara Bagneris, Nick Berardino, Sandra Cervantes, Doug La Belle, Gerardo Mouet, Newton Pham, Robert Ruiz, Stan Tkaczyk) have refused to produce copies of these procedures which are required under California law.  The OC Fair Board Directors and Executive Management act as if they are above the law. The public has rights which the OC Fair Board and Executive Management are trampling on those rights.
 
Ask the OC Fairgrounds for Copies of CEQA Procedures Required Under Statute
  1. Contact CEO Kathy Kramer at kkramer@ocfair.com 
  2. Contact VP of Operations Ken Karns who is in charge of the Master Site Plan.  kkarns@ocfair.com
  3. Fair Board Directors choose to not have email addresses to be used by the public to contact them and have Summer Angus sangus@ocfair.com forward messages from the public to them. 
  4. You can follow up on your messages by doing a public records request at cpra@ocfair.com

 

Look Up the CEQA Statutes

CEQA is a statute (Public Resources Code Section 21000 et seq.) enacted by the California Code of Regulation (Title 14 Natural Resources, Chapter 6 Resources Agency, Chapter 3 Guidelines for Implementation of the California Environmental Quality Act).