March 2010 home page

  Public Talks Back
John Graybill | 15th Street

Ag District Closes Public Comment Period on Draft EIR

Flooded with responses to the DEIR.  
Photos John Graybill.

The 22nd District Agricultural Association (Ag District) monthly board meeting was held on February 9th. After the meeting was called to order, Barry Nussbaum reported that the comment period for their master plan’s Draft Environment Impact Report (DEIR) closed on February 8th. He wasn’t sure how many responses came in, but he said “a lot” came in on the last day. He emphasized that the board extended the comment period more than was required for a DEIR. He said their master plan committee would review the responses over the next 90 days and come back to the board in six months with suggestions.

Two Del Mar residents spoke on the subject during the public comment portion of the meeting. Jacqueline Winterer asked the board to answer four questions:

1. How many responses to the DEIR were submitted? (later determined to be 128 responses plus a petition with 170 signatures)

2. Would you publish a list of the responders?

3. Do you plan to post the complete responses on your website?

4. Would you simplify your website to make it easier for people to find the DEIR section?

Barry Nussbaum didn’t answer any of her questions. In fact during Winterer’s three minutes at the podium, he started a conversation with Tim Fennell apparently to ignore her. She stopped her presentation until they stopped talking, then she asked if they were listening to her. Fennell smiled and said they always listened to her, sarcastically emphasizing the word “always.” For years Winterer has been an outspoken critic of the Ag District’s stewardship of the documented wetlands bordering the southern edge of the Fairgrounds property. Their dismissive attitude toward critics was again obvious to the audience. Drew Cady spoke about where to go from here. After what he characterized as an overwhelming negative response to the DEIR, he suggested that the board go back to the drawing board and focus on a plan that wouldn’t sacrifice the wetlands and surrounding communities.

The Ag District needs to come to its senses and recognize the obvious conclusion that the public will not accept a master plan that will spoil the area and reduce quality of life.


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