Master Site Plan

Is the Proposed Educational Meeting Center a School Building?

Cow Sign Question (2)

No. A proposed “Educational Meeting Center” will take up the open space between Centennial Farm, the Workers Memorial, and the existing buildings while aligning with the Main Mall. The proposed 40,000 sq ft building will have a 20,000 sq ft ballroom. Ballrooms are rentable space and can be used just like the ballrooms in the Anaheim Convention Center. Expect the meeting space to be configured for rental use, not for school age children. Fairgrounds staff and Board are trying to hide that a large convention center building is proposed by calling it an education center. The Fair Board and staff want to move into the convention center business and the “Educational Meeting Center” is key to that.

CEO Kathy Kramer to Make Appearance at March 6, 2018 Costa Mesa City Council Meeting

Check It Out (1)


CEO Kathy Kramer will make an appearance at the March 6, 2018, Costa Mesa City Council meeting which starts at 6 PM at 77 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa to make a presentation at the beginning of the meeting agendized as "2. Upcoming OC Fair Events & Information – Ms. Kathy Kramer, CEO, OC Fair".  As this is an information item and does not have a staff report detailing what is being presented, CEO Kathy Kramer should stick to providing information about upcoming concerts, events, classes, and similar items and refrain from discussion of any and all issues regarding the Master Site Plan, Board of Directors decisions, upcoming items on the Board of Directors agenda, or any matter which is not strictly informational. Council Members should also refrain from discussing issues which do not appear on the agenda with CEO Kramer at this time. 

If CEO Kathy Kramer wants to discuss those items with the Costa Mesa City Council, she needs to come back and ask for the item(s) to be placed on the agenda with a staff report prepared and with both the Council and public allowed to ask questions and make comments regarding the agenda item.  Similarly, if the Council wants a discussion of issues involving the OC Fairgrounds,  Council should place the item on the agenda with a staff report prepared and with both the Council and public allowed to ask questions and make comments regarding the agenda item.


Background on CEO Kathy Kramer

Kathy Kramer has worked as:

Director of Sales and Marketing for Harrah's Casino and Hotel in Council Bluffs, Iowa

Midwest Regional Director of Sales and Marketing for Six Continents Hotels and Resorts in Omaha, Nebraska

Vice President of Convention Sales and Marketing for Century Link Center in Omaha, Nebraska

Deputy Director of Phoenix Convention Center and Venues: Ms. Kramer was part of the executive team that oversaw a $600M expansion project tripling the rentable space to nearly one million sq. ft and placing the convention center in the top 25 convention centers in North America. The expansion of the Phoenix Convention Center permanently changed the area around the property and led to the development of hotels and restaurants near the property. 

Vice President of Business Operations at Northlands in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada










Did You Know the Pacific Amphitheatre Changed California CEQA Law?

Cow Sign Question (2)

On December 1, 1986, the California Supreme Court upheld the rights of Costa Mesa neighbors to sue the OC Fairgrounds over problems caused by the construction of the Pacific Amphitheatre. The case Concerned Citizens of Costa Mesa, Inc. v. 32nd District Agricultural Association granted the neighbors an additional 180 days to bring their case because the OC Fairgrounds (32nd District Agricultural Association) had presented one project to the neighbors and built an entirely different project.

The Pacific Amphitheatre was built facing a into the neighborhoods instead of facing away from the neighborhoods, had the seating capacity doubled,and increased in size from 6 to 10 acres.

This California Supreme Court case Concerned Citizens of Costa Mesa v. 32nd Dist. Agric., 727 P.2d 1029, 42 Cal. 3d 929, 231 Cal. Rptr. 748 (1986) is a case which continues to be cited to this day. This case also teaches why it is important to participate in the CEQA process and to do so in writing.

Do the Mitigation Measures Really Have to Be Done? Are Mitigation Measures Legally Enforceable?

Dig Question (2)

Yes, mitigation measures really have to be implemented and are legally enforceable. Following the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) is not just the preparation of documents and reports about possible environmental impacts but is the actual reduction or elimination of environmental impacts.

The OC Fairgrounds has tried to get out of mitigation measures required under prior environmental studies, so pay attention to the new mitigation measures required for the implementation of the Master Site Plan. Check back to find out if all of the mitigation measures required were implemented the way they were supposed to be implemented and in a timely manner.

How Can Environmental Impacts be Mitigated or Avoided?

Funnel Cake Question (2)

Environmental impacts can be mitigated or avoided at the source of the problem. Examples are: Reduce event traffic impacts by limiting the size of events and not allowing concurrent events to be scheduled over a set limit. Reduce lighting and noise impacts by enforcing a curfew and enforcing limits on the amount of lighting and noise spilling into neighborhoods. Limit truck traffic entering and exiting the property to the gates and times which impact the neighborhoods the least.

Environmental impacts can be mitigated or avoided by including project features which make implement permanent mitigation measures. Examples are adding traffic stacking lanes using property owned by the agency to avoid traffic stacking on city streets and adding a second main entry gate to avoid traffic stacking on city streets, among other measures.

Mitigation measures are funded in part by the agency causing the environmental impact.


What Are Alternatives to the Project?

Goat Question (2)

Alternatives to a project include a smaller project on the same property, remodeling existing facilities instead of building new facilities, dropping or reducing the portions of the projects which cause the most problematic potential environmental impacts, and changing the project to fit in better with the surrounding neighborhoods.

Alternatives to a project also include disapproving the project and going back to the drawing board or not going forward with any project. An agency is not supposed to come forward with only one project which is acceptable. Alternatives must be given serious consideration.

How Will the Extra Traffic from the Fairgrounds be Managed?

House Question (2)

Unknown. Records are unclear if the Fairgrounds participated in the Costa Mesa General Plan Amendment and associated environmental impact report (EIR). A traffic management plan is part of both the General Plan Amendment and EIR, and it looks like the Fairgrounds did not tell the City to expect a lot more traffic from the Fairgrounds. It is not clear how the extra traffic from the Fairgrounds will be dealt with. You could talk to the City Council about how the Fairgrounds can pay their fair share of changes to roads and streets needed to accommodate their traffic.

How Can the Agency be Required to Protect the Environment Under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)?

House Question (2)

CEQA requires more than merely preparing environmental documents. The EIR by itself does not control the way in which a project can be built or carried out. Rather, when an EIR shows that a project could cause substantial adverse changes in the environment, the governmental agency must respond to the information by one or more of the following methods:

(1) Changing a proposed project;

(2) Imposing conditions on the approval of the project;

(3) Adopting plans or ordinances to control a broader class of projects to avoid the adverse changes;

(4) Choosing an alternative way of meeting the same need;

(5) Disapproving the project;

(6) Finding that changes in, or alterations, the project are not feasible.

(7) Finding that the unavoidable, significant environmental damage is acceptable as provided in California Code of Regulation Section 15093.