Fair use in voter hands

Daily Pilot

Costa Mesa residents can help decide the future use of the fairgrounds Tuesday when they cast votes on Measure C, which would limit the land's use to being a fairgrounds and an exposition center.

The roughly $130,000 measure, put on the state primary ballots by city officials, would limit the use of the 150-acre property to traditional fair uses.

Approving the measure would keep the annual, four-week Orange County Fair at its current site and allow for the equestrian center and swap meets to remain. Agricultural and livestock activities, concerts and emergency operation uses would also be allowed.

If passed, the land cannot be developed for residential uses, a hospital, gambling or casinos, a shopping center or hotels or motels, among other limitations. The City Council approved putting the measure on Tuesday's ballot in February.

Any future use of the fairgrounds not approved in Measure C would have to be voted on by residents.

Even if the measure passes, it takes effect only if California sells the property. The state is trying to balance its budget with money earned in a potential sale.

Costa Mesa is in the midst of negotiations with the state to buy the land for $96 million in a partnership with Facilities Management West, a private company that aims to improve the Equestrian Center and Centennial Farm.

No groups came out against Measure C on the ballot statements, according to the Orange County Registrar of Voters.

In other local races, Costa Mesa Mayor Allan Mansoor is seeking to fill Republican Assemblyman Van Tran's seat in the 68th District. Both Tran and Mansoor are in their final terms in office this year.

Mansoor is running on a platform of balancing the budget, adding jobs and addressing illegal immigration. He's running against Long Pham, an education trustee and engineer.

Tran is looking to be the Republican candidate to unseat Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (D-Santa Ana), who is running unopposed for the Democratic nomination.

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