Today is the first day of the annual Orange County Fair, but a long, wild ride over the fate of its venue may be nearing its end.
Under Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, the state put the Orange County Fairgrounds up for sale to try and drum up money to fill the state budget gap. A company called Facilities Management West offered $100 million for the Costa Mesa facility.
But an appellate court ruled that deal was fatally flawed because the state didn’t properly determine a fair market value for the fairgrounds and didn’t have a procedure in place for people to protest the sale. Facilities Management West has until Monday to appeal that court decision to the California Supreme Court.
The California Department of General Services, the agency in charge of the property’s sale, says state officials don’t want to sell it any more. Department officials say that instead, they’ll evaluate the pros and cons of selling state-owned properties in the coming months.