Costa Mesa is a suburban city in Orange County, California, United States. The population was 116,479 as of January 1, 2009 . Since its incorporation in 1953, the city has grown from a semi-rural farming community of 16,840 to a suburban city with an economy based on retail, commerce and light manufacturing.
Members of the Gabrieleño/Tongva and Juaneño/Luiseño nations long inhabited the area. After the 1769 expedition of Gaspar de Portolà, a Spanish expedition led by Father 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.
In 1801, the Spanish Empire granted 62,500 acres (253 km2) to Jose Antonio Yorba, which he named Rancho San Antonio. Yorba's great rancho included the lands where the cities of Olive, Orange, Villa Park, Santa Ana, Tustin, Costa Mesa and Newport Beach stand today.
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. An 1889 flood wiped out the railroad serving the community, however, and it shriveled.
To the south, meanwhile, the community of Harper had arisen on a siding of the Santa Ana and Newport Railroad, named after a local rancher. This town prospered on its agricultural goods. On May 11, 1920, Harper changed its name to Costa Mesa, which literally means "coastal table" in Spanish. This is a reference to the city's geography as being a plateau by the coast.
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.
Costa Mesa's local economy relies heavily on retail and services. The single 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 322 stores, places it among the highest volume regional shopping centers in the nation. It generates more than one billion dollars per year. 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.
The commercial district surrounding South Coast Plaza, which contains parts of northern Costa Mesa and southern Santa Ana, is sometimes called South Coast Metro.
The commercial district within the triangle that is formed by Highways 405, 55 & 73 is sometimes called SoBeCa, which stands for "South On Bristol, Entertainment, Culture & Arts".
Costa Mesa offers 26 parks, a municipal golf course, 26 public schools and 2 libraries. It is also home to the Orange County Fairgrounds, which hosts one of the largest fairs in California, the Orange County Fair, each July. The Fair receives more than one million visitors each year. Adjacent to the Fairgrounds is the Pacific Amphitheater, which has hosted acts such as Madonna, Bill Cosby, Jessica Simpson, Steppenwolf, Kelly Clarkson and many more.
A general law city, Costa Mesa has a council-manager form of government. Voters elect a five-member City Council, all at-large seats, who in turn select a mayor who acts as its chairperson and head of the government. Day to day, the city is run by a professional city manager and staff of approximately 600 full-time employees.
|City Manager||Allan L. Roeder|
|Assistant City Manager||Thomas R. Hatch|
|City Attorney||Kimberly Hall Barlow|
|Director of Administrative Services||Steven N. Mandoki|
|Director of Development Services||Donald D. Lamm|
|Director of Finance||Vacant|
|Director of Public Works||Peter Naghavi|
|Fire Chief||Michael F. Morgan|
|Police Chief||Christopher Shawkey|
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.
Fire protection is provided by the Costa Mesa Fire Department. 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.
In the state legislature Costa Mesa is located in the 35th Senate District, represented by Republican Tom Harman, and in the 68th Assembly District, represented by Republican Van Tran. Federally, Costa Mesa is located in California's 46th congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of R +6 and is represented by Republican Dana Rohrabacher.
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.
Costa Mesa is located at Located 37 miles (60 km) southeast of Los Angeles, 88 miles (142 km) north of San Diego and 425 miles (684 km) south 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. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 40.6 km² (15.7 mi²). 40.5 km² (15.6 mi²) of it is land and 0.2 km² (0.1 mi²) of it (0.38%) is water.(33.664969, -117.912289).
|Weather data for Costa Mesa|
|Average high °F (°C)||64 |
|Average low °F (°C)||48 |
|Precipitation inches (mm)||2.60 |
|Source: Weather Channel|
As of the census of 2000, there were 108,724 people, 39,206 households, and 22,778 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,685.8/km² (6,956.3/mi²). There were 40,406 housing units at an average density of 998.1/km² (2,585.2/mi²). 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.
There were 39,206 households out of which 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 all households were made up of individuals and 6.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.69 and the average family size was 3.34.
In the city the population was spread out with 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% who were 65 years of age 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.
The median income for a household in the city was $50,732, and the median income for a family 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.
Institutions of higher learning located in Costa Mesa include Orange Coast College, Vanguard University (affiliated with the Assemblies of God), Whittier Law School (a satellite of Whittier College) and National University (a private university based in La Jolla, California).
Costa Mesa has two high schools, Costa Mesa High School and Estancia High School. Costa Mesa has 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. Costa Mesa High School's sports programs have been very successful, and Costa Mesa graduates include 2008 Olympic high jumper Sharon Day.