Working for a Livable City

We believe in putting the residents of Costa Mesa First

Costa Mesa First is working to give the residents of Costa Mesa the right to vote on their future. Our primary objective is to require Costa Mesa’s leaders to put the residents of Costa Mesa first. Under the Costa Mesa First Smart Growth Initiative passed into law in November 2016, Costa Mesa voters now have a say in approving major changes to our existing zoning and General Plan. Only developments that propose a significant increase in density and traffic that need zoning and General Plan changes require a vote by the residents. The ordinance allows (without an election) any development that conforms to the General Plan and zoning. There is no taking away of existing entitlements or change to any planning or zoning rules. The City Council still reviews and approves General Plan and zoning prior to an election for any major change in land use. The ordinance requires that the City provide documents so voters can educate themselves about proposed projects. See our Initiatives and Highlights page for more information.

What makes a city a great place to live?

Does it support a mix of ages, incomes and jobs so it can be sustained over time? Does it include cycling, walking and public transportation choices in addition to driving? Are the schools outstanding and within cycling/walking distance? As it grows and more people make it their home, will existing neighborhoods and open spaces be protected?


Costa Mesa First helps find positive answers to questions like these. Costa Mesa First shares your concerns about the size, amount, and speed of development in our unique, manageable-size coastal town. We’re here to help create solutions that can benefit everyone. We explore and share proven ways to grow a balanced, lasting and vibrant community. Costa Mesa First wants voters to have the right to decide if major land use changes and zoning changes that impact the community should be allowed.

What does smart growth mean for you?

•Diverse options of housing and transportation that fit your lifestyle

•Neighborhood and open space preservation

•Healthy air, water, and quality of life

•Great places to do business

•Efficient use of taxes—low cost of services


Smart growth communities offer a sense of place and local flavor that make them sought-after to residents, businesses and visitors.