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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary

Judges Allows Spending for El Toro Airport

May 05, 2000

LOS ANGELES — In a boost to supporters of an airport at the former El Toro Marine base, a judge ruled Thursday that Orange County can resume spending money on airport planning, because the section of a successful ballot initiative that stopped expenditures was too vague.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge S. James Otero acknowledged that his ruling did not affect Measure F's overall intent, but said the wording about spending limits was so vague that "no reasonable person could understand what is prohibited. . . ."

On March 7, voters overwhelmingly passed Measure F, a ballot initiative that limits spending to promote an airport and requires two-thirds voter approval before it could be built. Since then, a majority of supervisors have been unwilling to take further steps on El Toro until a judge ruled on a lawsuit challenging the measure.

The judge has scheduled a June 23 hearing to discuss the spending limits, though it could be expanded to include the entire initiative.

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