Fair Board schedules meeting to roll out Master Site Plan, while Denying Public CEQA Rights.


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[Cross-posted from the Fans of the OC Fairgrounds blog]

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 (right) with the apparent support of the OC Fair Board Directors (Ashleigh Aitken (left, running for Anaheim mayor), 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.

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Ask the OC Fairgrounds for Copies of CEQA Procedures Required Under Statute:

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


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