Costa Mesa might be in for a new era of housing construction after a ‘Yes’ vote has narrowly pulled ahead on a fiercely-debated ballot measure that would, if approved, roll back development restrictions and pave the way for new homes and neighbors in town.

The results on the city ballot measure, known as Measure K, have been close since election night, but Tuesday’s 5 p.m. results update showed support now leading opposition to the measure by just 16 votes. 

Nearly 33,000 votes have been counted on the ballot measure so far, according to the OC Registrar of Voters. 

And there’s about 4,700 ballots left to count throughout Orange County.

If approved, Measure K would roll back restrictions put in place by a 2016 voter-approved ballot measure that requires voter approval for certain housing developments. 

The ballot measure has made Costa Mesa an inflection point in the debate over a statewide housing affordability crisis and the local decisions needed to act – from upzoning the density of certain parts of a city, to signing off on apartment projects.

Supporters said Measure K’s loosened building curtails would reduce overcrowding, lessen the burden on people paying more than 50% of their paycheck on rent, and ensure that with the construction of new homes, their children could afford to stay in town. 

Opponents said it would subvert residents’ say and pave the way for massive new developments and influxes of new neighbors, and that more residents in town would ramp up traffic problems and impact their safety.

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