Wednesday, September 09, 2015

OCC's Scaled-back "Modernization" Plan Unveiled

A STANDING-ROOM-ONLY CROWD
Wednesday evening officials from Orange Coast College unveiled their scaled-back "modernization" plans to a standing-room-only room full of residents and students in the library building on campus.  My best guess is that about 50 people attended the meeting - fewer than previous meetings and, interestingly, not a single City of Costa Mesa senior staffer was present.

BENNETT THE MC
Doug Bennett, Executive Director of College Advancement for OCC explained the format of the meeting, then introduced Dr. Dennis Harkins, President of OCC.

DR. HARKINS EXPLAINS THE CHANGES
Dr. Harkins spoke very briefly about the new plan - he made a point to be sure we understood that this was a brand new plan, with a new Environmental Impact Report.  He also made sure we understood this was a "modernization plan",  NOT a "growth plan", since OCC presently is well below the high point of enrollment a few decades ago.  This plan presumes a student population of 28,000 by 2020.
(Click on Image to enlarge)

Issues being presented at this meeting were Traffic, Student Housing and Health issues.
  • The parking structure - that would have accommodated 2,000 cars - has been moved on-campus.  There is no funding for it yet - Dr. Harkins told it is several years off.
  • The gymnasium will be relocated closer to the football field.
  • There will be some solar panels covering part of the parking lot.
  • The Recycle Center will be enhanced, with more parking available.
  • The Planetarium is ready to be built.
  • The controversial College Village - which had included a hotel - is on hold and will require a separate CEQA report.
  • Some of the historic buildings will be retained, including some of them by renowned architect Richard Neutra.  However, some of those will be removed.
PAGEL EXPLAINS THE FORMAT
Rich Pagel, Vice President of Administrative Services, expanded on the current plans and told the audience that there will be tables around the perimeter of the room at which experts in each of the fields being discussed that night were available to answer all questions.  However, there would be NO public comments before the group - a "recorder" was available to take questions/comments to become part of the permanent record of the meeting.

PART OF THE MEETING HIJACKED
With that announcement the audience was unleashed to wander around, talking to experts.  However, not everyone was happy about that.  A local architect named John Linnert sprung to his feet with an associate, whipped out a chart showing an alternative plan and hijacked the meeting - at least, in part.  He held court for nearly an hour - he was still going on and on and on when I left - preaching to an amorphous, but attentive group of mostly students.  There was no attempt to stop him, which seemed like the right decision.

INPUT WILL BE COLLECTED AND COLLATED
So, the information provided at this meeting will be consolidated and become part of the report and will impact how the college will move forward with this project.  Most of the things that caused nearby neighbors heartburn - the hotel and parking structure, for example - have been put on hold.  Progress is being made.
THE NEW RECYCLING CENTER
OCC's Environmental Sustainability Coordinator, Mike Carey, explains his new Recycling Center to an interested visitor.

IF YOU REALLY WANT TO....
If you wish to read the full documents, the brief overview (11 pages) can be found HERE.
The Full Revised Master Plan (550 pages) can be found HERE.
And, for you diehards, the full technical information (4,754 pages) can be found HERE.

The PDF does not provide a table of contents but I have listed the Appendices and there starting and ending pages which are as Follows:

Appendix A – NOP/Initial Study (page 1 – 91) and Comment Letters (pages 97-126)

Appendix B – Air Quality and GHG Emissions Calculations (pages 127 – 1378)

Appendix C – Biological Resources Letter Report (pages 1379 – 1434)

Appendix D – Cultural Reports – Part 1 (pages 1435 – 1580)

Dudek letter on:  Negative Phase I Findings for the CCCD Vision 2020 Plan, Orange Coast College Project, Orange County, CA (Pages 1437 – 1446)
Historic Resources Technical Report – Jan Ostashay, Principal, Ostashay & Associates Consulting, Long Beach, CA (Pages 1447 – 1555)

Paleontological Resource Survey – Paleo Solutions, Monrovia, CA (Pages 1557 – 1580)

Appendix D – Cultural Reports Part 2 (pages 1581 – 3457)

            Historic Resource Report – Page & Turnbull, Los Angeles, CA (pages 1583 – 3457)
Appendix E – Hazards Assessment – (pages 3459 – 4180)

Appendix F – Noise Calculations – (pages 4181 – 4188)

Appendix G – Traffic Impact Analysis, Linscott, Law & Greenspan, Irvine, CA – (pages 4189 – 4754)

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