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Costa Mesa is a suburban city in Orange County, Californiamarker, United Statesmarker. 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.

History

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 Capistranomarker became the area's first permanent European settlement in Alta Californiamarker, New Spain.

In 1801, the Spanish Empire granted to Jose Antonio Yorba, which he named Rancho San Antonio. Yorba's great rancho included the lands where the cities of Olivemarker, Orangemarker, Villa Parkmarker, Santa Anamarker, Tustinmarker, Costa Mesa and Newport Beachmarker stand today.

After the Mexican-American war, Californiamarker became part of the United Statesmarker 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 Basemarker and returned after the war with their families. Within three decades of incorporation, the city's population had nearly quintupled.

Commerce and culture

Costa Mesa's local economy relies heavily on retail and services. The single largest center of commercial activity is South Coast Plazamarker, 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 Orange County Performing Arts Centermarker and South Coast Repertorymarker Theater are based in the city. A local newspaper, the Daily Pilot, is owned, operated, and printed by the Los Angeles Times.

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 Amphitheatermarker, which has hosted acts such as Madonna, Bill Cosby, Jessica Simpson, Steppenwolf, Kelly Clarkson and many more.

Government

Local

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.

Management of the city and coordination of city services are provided by:

Office Officeholder
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.

Emergency services

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.

State and federal

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.

Transportation

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.

Geography

Costa Mesa is located at (33.664969, -117.912289). Located southeast of Los Angelesmarker, north of San Diegomarker and south of San Franciscomarker, Costa Mesa encompasses a total of with its southernmost border only 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.

Climate

Costa Mesa has a Mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification Csb).

Demographics

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.

Education

Institutions of higher learning located in Costa Mesa include Orange Coast Collegemarker, 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.

Sister city



Notable natives and residents



References

  1. http://www.sobeca.net/
  2. City of Costa Mesa Website retrieved 2009-06-04


External links




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