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Race Track Proposal for Air Base Opposed

May 30, 1996|BILL BILLITER

City officials have notified the county that they oppose a proposal to make part of the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station into a horse race track after the base closes.

Cypress is the home of Los Alamitos Race Track, which is a major tax source for the city.

In a May 8 letter to the county, city officials said they oppose "planning for a similar facility [at the Marine base] unless studies show that the county can support two such facilities."

City Community Development Director Chris Kelly told the City Council in a memo that one of the county's suggested plans is called "Reuse Alternative C." That alternative suggests uses of the Marine base other than as an airport. One such use would be a race track.

"City concern with Reuse Alternative C is specifically whether the proposed equestrian use would detract from Los Alamitos Race Track," Kelly said.

Council members on Tuesday emphasized that they want to protect Los Alamitos Race Track. They also asked Kelly to research ways the city can impress federal officials with the importance of preserving the Los Alamitos Armed Forces Reserve Center.

"We need to remind our elected officials of the importance of that [military] facility," said Councilwoman Gail H. Kerry.

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