Santa Monica Airport (File photo)

SUNSET PARK — Supporters of the Santa Monica Airport suffered a loss on election night, with the failing of Measure D. Measure D would have required a public vote on any changes to aviation uses on the airport land. Two national aviation groups spent more than $500,000 combined in support of the measure. All told, more than $800,000 was raised in support of Measure D.

Measure LC, which was introduce by City Council to compete with Measure D, will retain council’s right to control the airport land but will require land-use guidelines to be approved by voters before anything can be built on the airport land.

Nearly 60 percent of the electorate favored Measure LC. Only about 42 percent of the electorate voted in favor of Measure D.

The mood was jubilant at the party in support of Measure LC after early results were released showing the initiative ahead of the competing Measure D.

Dozens of supporters decked out in “Yes on LC/ No on D” t-shirts and hats gathered at the home of John Fairweather, a few blocks from the controversial Santa Monica Municipal Airport.

Fairweather, the chair of theCommittee for Local Control of Santa Monica Airport Land, couldn’t hide his smile as he received shouted updates about the progress.

“I feel like we have the majority on our side across the city,” Fairweather said. “People are motivated by the issues here.”

Residents from near the vicinity of the airport came to the house to celebrate and trade stories about the negative effect that the air traffic has on their daily lives and property values..

“I think the truth of the matter with (the Measure D campaign) was there was so much material that looked so expensive and was so full of questionable information that people took a step back,” Fairweather said. “Measure D is history.”

Susan Hartley was less willing to be optimistic, preferring to wait until results were in before celebrating. The former city council candidate said she knew better than to prematurely call the election that early.

Fairweather said the passage of the measure is still only one step toward closing the airport and turning it into a park.

“It’ll be our greatest work to turn nothing into something,” he said.

Local airport activist John Jerabek said that voters “bought the fabrications” put forth by the Measure LC supporters.

“The campaign is disappointed and will fight on,” he said.

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