Petaluma weighing future of fairgrounds site

Sixty prime acres in the middle of Petaluma. Land ripe for revenue-generating development or land to be used to encourage the area's agricultural base?

Board members of the Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds and Event Center are hoping the city-owned but state-governed property can be both.

The city began leasing the land to the Sonoma-Marin Fair district in 1936 for $1 a year. Those lease terms are identical today, with the current, 50-year lease running through 2023.

But some would like that to change — for different reasons but the same goal: money.

"It's a gem of a property right here in the middle of our two counties of Marin and Sonoma," said new board President James Burleson during a brain-storming session this week about the fair's sustainability.

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