Battle heats up over OC Fairgrounds

COSTA MESA, Calif. "I will be there with you to make sure everything stays the same," said Van Tran of Costa Mesa.

Tran, whose 68th District covers Costa Mesa, and Jose Solorio of Anaheim, led a public meeting at Costa Mesa City Hall to gather more information about the state's plans to sell the 150 acres of fairgrounds in Costa Mesa. Bids are to go out Jan. 8 and the land would be sold off by October of next year.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger proposed the idea earlier this year as a way to raise money for California. He estimates the state could make as much as $1 billion by selling the fairgrounds and other high valued landmarks.

Some members of the Orange County Fair Board have formed a foundation to raise money to buy the property.

Meanwhile, the Costa Mesa City Council is working on a ballot initiative that would ask voters to zone the property only for its current use, locking out any retail, residential or industrial development.

The City Council must approve the wording of that initiative by February, meaning the council will vote on it by the first meeting in January, Costa Mesa City Councilwoman Katrina Foley said.

Orange County and Costa Mesa officials are looking at buying the property.

CNS contributed to this report.

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