Costa Mesa, California

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Costa Mesa, California
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Motto: 
"City of the Arts!"
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Location of Costa Mesa in Orange County, California
U.S. - Los Angeles Metropolitan Area location map.svg
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Costa Mesa
Location within Greater Los Angeles
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Costa Mesa
Location in California
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Costa Mesa
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 33°39′54″N117°54′44″W / 33.66500°N 117.91222°W / 33.66500; -117.91222
CountryUnited States
State California
County Orange
Incorporated June 29, 1953 [1]
Government
  Type Council-manager
   Mayor John Stephens
   Mayor Pro Tem Jeff Harlan
   City Council [2] Don Harper
Loren Gameros
Andrea Marr
Manuel Chavez
Arlis Reynolds
   City Manager Lori Ann Farrell Harrison [3]
Area
[4]
  Total15.81 sq mi (40.96 km2)
  Land15.81 sq mi (40.94 km2)
  Water0.01 sq mi (0.02 km2)  0.29%
Elevation
[5]
98 ft (30 m)
Population
 (2020)
  Total111,918
  Rank 8th in Orange County
60th in California
  Density7,080.73/sq mi (2,733.85/km2)
Demonym Costa Mesan
Time zone UTC−8 (PST)
  Summer (DST) UTC−7 (PDT)
ZIP Codes
92626–92628
Area code 714/657/949
FIPS code 06-16532
GNIS feature IDs 1652692, 2410239
Website www.costamesaca.gov

Costa Mesa ( /ˌkstəˈmsə/ ; Spanish for "Mesa Coast") is a city in Orange County, California, United States. Since its incorporation in 1953, the city has grown from a semi-rural farming community of 16,840 to an urban area including part of the South Coast Plaza–John Wayne Airport edge city, one of the region's largest commercial clusters, with an economy based on retail, commerce, and light manufacturing. The city is home to the two tallest skyscrapers in Orange County. [6] The population was 111,918 at the 2020 census.

Contents

History

Don Bernardo Yorba, a wealthy Californio ranchero, owned Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana, which included all of modern-day Costa Mesa. Portrait of Don Bernardo Yorba by an unknown artist.jpg
Don Bernardo Yorba, a wealthy Californio ranchero, owned Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana, which included all of modern-day Costa Mesa.

Members of the Tongva and Acjachemen nations long inhabited the area. The Tongva villages of Lupukngna, at least 3,000 years old, and the shared Tongva and Acjachemen village of Genga, at least 9,500 years old, were located in the area on the bluffs along the Santa Ana River. [7] [8]

After the 1769 expedition of Gaspar de Portolà, a Spanish expedition led by Junípero Serra named the area Vallejo de Santa Ana (Valley of Saint Anne). On November 1, 1776, Mission San Juan Capistrano became the area's first permanent European settlement in Alta California, New Spain. [9]

In 1801, the Spanish Empire granted 62,500 acres (253 km2) to Jose Antonio Yorba, which he named Rancho San Antonio.

After the Mexican-American War, California became part of the United States, and American settlers arrived in this area and formed the town of Fairview in the 1880s near the modern intersection of Harbor Boulevard and Adams Avenue.

To the south, meanwhile, the community of Harper had arisen on a siding of the Santa Ana and Newport Railway, named after a local rancher. This town prospered on its agricultural goods. On May 11, 1920, Harper changed its name to Costa Mesa, which means "mountain coast" in Spanish. This is a reference to the city's geography as being a plateau by the coast. Fanny Bixby Spencer and her husband sponsored the contest which selected the city's new name. [10]

Costa Mesa surged in population during and after World War II, as many thousands trained at Santa Ana Army Air Base and returned after the war with their families. Within three decades of incorporation, the city's population had nearly quintupled. [11]

Geography

Costa Mesa is located 37 miles (60 km) southeast of Los Angeles, 87 miles (140 km) northwest of San Diego and 425 miles (684 km) southeast of San Francisco. Costa Mesa encompasses a total of 16 square miles (41 km2) with its southernmost border only 1 mile (1.6 km) from the Pacific Ocean.

Climate

Costa Mesa has a semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification BSh) with mild temperatures year round. Rain falls primarily in the winter months and is close to nonexistent during the summer.

Climate data for John Wayne Airport, California, 1991–2020 normals, extremes 1998–present
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Record high °F (°C)90
(32)
91
(33)
95
(35)
99
(37)
99
(37)
96
(36)
99
(37)
100
(38)
110
(43)
106
(41)
100
(38)
90
(32)
110
(43)
Mean maximum °F (°C)83.1
(28.4)
81.5
(27.5)
83.2
(28.4)
87.3
(30.7)
85.6
(29.8)
85.0
(29.4)
89.0
(31.7)
90.5
(32.5)
97.0
(36.1)
93.8
(34.3)
88.6
(31.4)
79.7
(26.5)
99.6
(37.6)
Mean daily maximum °F (°C)67.0
(19.4)
66.7
(19.3)
67.7
(19.8)
70.2
(21.2)
71.3
(21.8)
74.1
(23.4)
78.9
(26.1)
80.4
(26.9)
79.9
(26.6)
76.5
(24.7)
71.9
(22.2)
66.5
(19.2)
72.6
(22.6)
Daily mean °F (°C)57.8
(14.3)
58.4
(14.7)
60.0
(15.6)
62.6
(17.0)
65.3
(18.5)
68.3
(20.2)
72.5
(22.5)
73.8
(23.2)
72.5
(22.5)
67.8
(19.9)
62.6
(17.0)
57.4
(14.1)
64.9
(18.3)
Mean daily minimum °F (°C)48.6
(9.2)
50.1
(10.1)
52.3
(11.3)
54.9
(12.7)
59.3
(15.2)
62.6
(17.0)
66.2
(19.0)
67.1
(19.5)
65.0
(18.3)
59.2
(15.1)
53.3
(11.8)
48.3
(9.1)
57.2
(14.0)
Mean minimum °F (°C)39.8
(4.3)
40.7
(4.8)
44.8
(7.1)
48.8
(9.3)
53.5
(11.9)
58.3
(14.6)
61.8
(16.6)
62.7
(17.1)
59.7
(15.4)
53.3
(11.8)
44.8
(7.1)
39.2
(4.0)
37.7
(3.2)
Record low °F (°C)33
(1)
36
(2)
41
(5)
41
(5)
49
(9)
54
(12)
57
(14)
58
(14)
56
(13)
46
(8)
37
(3)
36
(2)
33
(1)
Average precipitation inches (mm)2.59
(66)
2.64
(67)
1.62
(41)
0.52
(13)
0.27
(6.9)
0.01
(0.25)
0.04
(1.0)
0.01
(0.25)
0.10
(2.5)
0.54
(14)
0.80
(20)
2.04
(52)
11.18
(284)
Average precipitation days5.67.45.73.71.90.70.70.10.63.34.76.941.3
Source: NOAA [12] [13]

Demographics

Historical population
CensusPop.Note
1960 37,550
1970 72,66093.5%
1980 82,56213.6%
1990 96,35716.7%
2000 108,72412.8%
2010 109,9601.1%
2020 111,9181.8%
U.S. Decennial Census [14]

2020

Costa Mesa, California – Racial and ethnic composition
Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos may be of any race.
Race / Ethnicity (NH = Non-Hispanic)Pop 2000 [15] Pop 2010 [16] Pop 2020 [17] % 2000% 2010% 2020
White alone (NH)61,77856,99354,16956.82%51.83%48.40%
Black or African American alone (NH)1,3131,3521,3061.21%1.23%1.17%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH)3292662320.30%0.24%0.21%
Asian alone (NH)7,4218,4839,4556.83%7.71%8.45%
Pacific Islander alone (NH)6014864120.55%0.44%0.37%
Other race alone (NH)2202436180.20%0.22%0.55%
Mixed race or Multiracial (NH)2,5392,7344,9312.34%2.49%4.41%
Hispanic or Latino (any race)34,52339,40340,79531.75%35.83%36.45%
Total108,724109,960111,918100.00%100.00%100.00%

2010

At the 2010 census Costa Mesa had a population of 109,960. The population density was 7,004.0 inhabitants per square mile (2,704.3/km2). The racial makeup of Costa Mesa was 75,335 (68.5%) White (51.8% Non-Hispanic White), [18] 1,640 (1.5%) African American, 686 (0.6%) Native American, 8,654 (7.9%) Asian, 527 (0.5%) Pacific Islander, 17,992 (16.4%) from other races, and 5,126 (4.7%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 39,403 persons (35.8%). [19]

The Census reported that 106,990 people (97.3% of the population) lived in households, 2,232 (2.0%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 738 (0.7%) were institutionalized.[ citation needed ]

There were 39,946 households, 12,298 (30.8%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 16,478 (41.3%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 4,369 (10.9%) had a female householder with no husband present, 2,392 (6.0%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 3,013 (7.5%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 281 (0.7%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 10,963 households (27.4%) were one person and 2,775 (6.9%) had someone living alone who was 65 or older. The average household size was 2.68. There were 23,239 families (58.2% of households); the average family size was 3.30.[ citation needed ]

The age distribution was 23,682 people (21.5%) under the age of 18, 12,847 people (11.7%) aged 18 to 24, 38,211 people (34.7%) aged 25 to 44, 25,106 people (22.8%) aged 45 to 64, and 10,114 people (9.2%) who were 65 or older. The median age was 33.6 years. For every 100 females, there were 103.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 102.7 males.[ citation needed ]

There were 42,120 housing units at an average density of 2,682.9 per square mile, of the occupied units 15,799 (39.6%) were owner-occupied and 24,147 (60.4%) were rented. The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.2%; the rental vacancy rate was 5.9%. 42,517 people (38.7% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 64,473 people (58.6%) lived in rental housing units.

During 2009–2013, Costa Mesa had a median household income of $65,830, with 15.1% of the population living below the poverty line. [18]

2000

At the 2000 census there were 108,724 people in 39,206 households, including 22,778 families, in the city. The population density was 6,956.3 inhabitants per square mile (2,685.8/km2). There were 40,406 housing units at an average density of 2,585.2 per square mile (998.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 69.48% White, 1.40% Black or African American, 0.78% Native American, 6.90% Asian, 0.60% Pacific Islander, 16.57% from other races, and 4.27% from two or more races. 31.75% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. [20] Of the 39,206 households 29.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.8% were married couples living together, 10.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.9% were non-families. 28.1% of households were one person and 6.3% were one person aged 65 or older. The average household size was 2.69 and the average family size was 3.34.[ citation needed ]

The age distribution was 23.2% under the age of 18, 11.2% from 18 to 24, 39.0% from 25 to 44, 18.1% from 45 to 64, and 8.4% 65 or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females, there were 105.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 103.9 males.[ citation needed ]

The median household income was $50,732 and the median family income was $55,456. Males had a median income of $38,670 versus $32,365 for females. The per capita income for the city was $23,342. About 8.2% of families and 12.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.0% of those under age 18 and 6.2% of those age 65 or over.[ citation needed ]

Housing

Measure Y is a ballot initiative approved by voters in 2016. It requires public approval of projects that have a general plan amendment or zoning change and would add 40 or more dwelling units or 10,000 or more square feet of commercial space. [21] The median housing price is $807,000 ($505 per sq ft) and $3,500 for the median rent per month. [22] Measure Y was amended in 2022 by Measure K.

Economy

The city's economy relies heavily on retail and services. The largest center of commercial activity is South Coast Plaza, a shopping center noted for its architecture and size. The volume of sales generated by South Coast Plaza, on the strength of its more than 270 stores, places it among the highest volume regional shopping centers in the nation. It generates more than $1 billion per year in revenue. [23] South Coast Metro is a commercial, cultural, and residential district surrounding South Coast Plaza in northern Costa Mesa and southern Santa Ana, itself part of the South Coast Plaza–John Wayne Airport edge city.

Some manufacturing activity also takes place in the city, mostly in the industrial, southwestern quarter, which is home to a number of electronics, pharmaceuticals and plastics firms. Business services company Experian is the largest employer in the city,[ citation needed ] and has its North American headquarters in Costa Mesa.

Ceradyne, El Pollo Loco, Emulex, Hurley, RVCA, Toyota Racing Development, the Trinity Broadcasting Network, Vans, and Volcom are among the businesses headquartered in Costa Mesa. A local newspaper, the Daily Pilot , is published by the Los Angeles Times .

Newport Boulevard, 1950s Newport Boulevard, Costa Mesa, 1950s.jpg
Newport Boulevard, 1950s

Wahoo's Fish Taco was founded in Costa Mesa in 1988 by Chinese-Brazilian brothers Eduardo "Ed" Lee, Renato "Mingo" Lee and Wing Lam. [24]

Costa Mesa offers 26 parks, a municipal golf course, 26 public schools and two libraries.[ citation needed ]

Top employers

According to the city's 2023 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, [25] the top employers in the city are:

#Employer# of employees
1EPL Intermediate, Inc.3,998
2 Experian 3,700
3Coast Community College District2,900
4 Orange Coast College 1,900
5 Automobile Club of Southern California 1,773
6Anduril Industries1,100
7 Deloitte & Touche LLP 700
8 FileNet 600
9 Vans 550
10 Vanguard University 319

Arts and culture

Annual cultural events

The Orange County Fair takes place at the fairgrounds in Costa Mesa each July. The Fair receives more than one million visitors each year. [26]

The Annual Scarecrow & Pumpkin Festival was first held in 1938, went on hiatus for seven decades, and then was restarted in 2013. [27]

Facilities

Fairgrounds, Costa Mesa, in 2020 Costa-mesa-ca.jpg
Fairgrounds, Costa Mesa, in 2020

Adjacent to the Fairgrounds is the Pacific Amphitheatre, which has hosted acts such as Madonna, Jessica Simpson, Steppenwolf, and Kelly Clarkson.

The Segerstrom Center for the Arts and South Coast Repertory Theater are based in the city. [28]

National Football League

Costa Mesa has been home to the NFL's Los Angeles Chargers training center, training camp and cooperate headquarters since 2017. The team agreed to a lease with the facility they moved into prior to their relocation from San Diego. [29]

The building, called the Jack Hammett Sports Complex is a former office space, but Chargers players and coaches said it was an upgrade from what the team had in San Diego. [30] The team has a 10-year lease on the building and plans to stay there until 2024 when it will depart it for a purpose built practice facility in El Segundo. The team gutted the first floor of the building to make room for team rooms. Construction cost more than $3.8 million. After the Chargers derpart for El Segundo, the facility will become the training camp home of the Las Vegas Raiders. [31]

Decades prior, the facility was a lima bean farm owned by a Swedish immigrant family who became prominent developers in Orange County. [32]

Government

Local

A general law city, Costa Mesa has a council-manager form of government. In November 2016, voters approved changing the City Council seats from five at-large seats to six voting districts and a directly elected mayor, who acts as the chairperson for the council and head of the government. [33] The mayor serves two-year terms and councilmembers serve four year terms, with each office having a two-term limit. Municipal elections are held every two years, during which the mayor and three councilmembers are up for election.

Day to day, the city is run by a professional city manager and staff of approximately 460 full-time employees. [34] Management of the city and coordination of city services are provided by: [35]

OfficeOfficeholder
City ManagerLori Ann Farrell Harrison
Assistant City ManagerSusan Price
City AttorneyKimberly Hall Barlow
City ClerkBrenda Green
Acting Economic & Development Services DirectorJennifer Le
Finance DirectorCarol Molina
I.T. DirectorSteve Ely
Public Works DirectorRaja Sethuraman
Parks and Community Services DirectorJason Minter
Fire ChiefDan Stefano
Police ChiefRonald Lawrence

Residents of the city are also governed by various special districts, including the Mesa Water District, the Orange County Water District, the Municipal Water District of Orange County, the Irvine Ranch Water District, and the Costa Mesa Sanitary District.

State and federal

In the California State Legislature, Costa Mesa is in the 37th Senate District , represented by Democrat Dave Min, and in the 73rd Assembly District , represented by Democrat Cottie Petrie-Norris. [36]

In the United States House of Representatives, Costa Mesa is in California's 47th congressional district , represented by Democrat Katie Porter. [37]

Costa Mesa city vote
by party in presidential elections
Year Democratic Republican Third Parties
2020 [38] 56.00%29,80441.44% 22,0562.55% 1,358
2016 [39] 50.95%21,52840.75% 17,2198.30% 3,507
2012 [40] 47.66% 18,41448.60%18,7783.74% 1,443
2008 [41] 51.88%20,54245.32% 17,9452.80% 1,107
2004 [42] 42.91% 16,44255.55%21,2841.54% 590
2000 [43] 40.06% 13,73354.13%18,5565.81% 1,990
1996 [44] 36.97% 11,94950.16%16,21312.87% 4,161
1992 [45] 32.46% 12,70240.02%15,65927.52% 10,769
1988 [46] 33.90% 11,84964.47%22,5341.63% 571
1984 [47] 26.16% 8,90872.39%24,6521.45% 493
1980 [48] 24.67% 7,79663.38%20,02811.95% 3,775
1976 [49] 35.51% 9,80562.16%17,1612.33% 643

Politics

According to the California Secretary of State, as of February 10, 2019, Costa Mesa has 55,849 registered voters. Of those, 17,920 (32.1%) are registered Democrats, 17,900 (32.1%) are registered Republicans, and 17,019 (30.5%) have declined to state a political party/are independents. [50]

Until 2008, Costa Mesa was a Republican stronghold in presidential elections. Since 2008, Costa Mesa has mostly voted Democratic in presidential elections, owing to the GOP's shift towards cultural conservatism. In 2008, Barack Obama was the first Democrat to carry Costa Mesa in decades, while Republican nominee Mitt Romney carried the city by only 364 votes in the 2012 presidential election. Costa Mesa flipped back to Democratic in 2016, voting for Hillary Clinton by a 10.2% margin, and for Joe Biden by a 14.6% margin in 2020. [ citation needed ]

In 2008, Costa Mesa was one of four cities in Orange County to vote against Proposition 8 (along with Aliso Viejo, Irvine, and Laguna Beach), a statewide ballot measure that banned same-sex marriages. [51]

Education

Institutions of higher learning located in Costa Mesa include Orange Coast College, and Vanguard University (affiliated with the Assemblies of God). Whittier Law School was a former school.

Costa Mesa has two public high schools, Costa Mesa High School and Estancia High School. There are also two public middle schools; TeWinkle Middle School, which was named after Costa Mesa's first mayor, and Costa Mesa Middle School which shares the same campus as Costa Mesa High School. Costa Mesa also has two alternative high schools that share the same campus, Back Bay High School and Monte Vista High School and another, Coastline Early College High School which is on its own facility. These are located in the Newport-Mesa Unified School District.

Infrastructure

Transportation

OC Bus in Costa Mesa OCTA Unit 5509.jpg
OC Bus in Costa Mesa

Costa Mesa is served by several bus lines of the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA), but most transportation is by automobile. Two freeways terminate here, State Route 73 and State Route 55 (also known as the Costa Mesa Freeway). The San Diego Freeway, Interstate 405, also runs through the city. [52]

Civic Center

The 9.5 acre (38,000 m2) Costa Mesa Civic Center is located at 77 Fair Drive. City hall is a five-story building where the primary administrative functions of the city are conducted. Also contained in the Civic Center complex are Council Chambers, the Police facility, Communications building and Fire Station No. 5. [53]

Emergency services

Fire protection is provided by the Costa Mesa Fire Department. [54] Law enforcement is the responsibility of the Costa Mesa Police Department. Emergency Medical Services are provided by the Costa Mesa Fire Department and Care Ambulance Service. [55]

Notable people

Sister city

See also

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Orange is a city located in northern Orange County, California, United States. It is approximately 3 miles (4.8 km) north of the county seat, Santa Ana. Orange is unusual in this region because many of the homes in its Old Town District were built before 1920. While many other cities in the region demolished such houses in the 1960s, Orange decided to preserve them. The small city of Villa Park is surrounded by the city of Orange. The population of Orange was 139,911 as of 2020.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Rancho Santa Margarita, California</span> City in California, United States

Rancho Santa Margarita is a city in Orange County, California, United States. One of Orange County's youngest cities, Rancho Santa Margarita is a master-planned community. The population was 47,853 at the 2010 census, up from 47,214 at the 2000 census. Although it is named for Rancho Santa Margarita y Las Flores, which was in San Diego County, the city limits fall within the borders of Rancho Mission Viejo. At 20 characters long, it is the longest city name in California.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Stanton, California</span> City in California, United States

Stanton is a city in northern Orange County, California, United States, within the Los Angeles metropolitan area. The population was 37,962 at the 2020 United States Census. The city was incorporated in 1956 and operates under the council–manager form of government, providing a full range of municipal services. Stanton is bounded by Cypress on the west, Anaheim on the north, and east, and Garden Grove on the east and south.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tustin, California</span> City in Orange County, California, US

Tustin is a city located in Orange County, California, United States, within the Los Angeles metropolitan area. In 2020, Tustin had a population of 80,276. The city does not include the unincorporated community of North Tustin.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Villa Park, California</span> City in California, United States

Villa Park is a city in northern Orange County, California, United States. It was founded in 1962. At the 2010 census, the city had a population of 5,812, making it the smallest city in Orange County.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Westminster, California</span> City in California, United States

Westminster is a city in western Orange County, California, United States. Westminster was founded in 1870 by Rev. Lemuel Webber as a Presbyterian temperance colony and was incorporated in 1957.

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