July 2010 home page

  Fairgrounds Truth
Jacqueline Winterer | President Friends of the San Dieguito River Valley, www.fsdrv.org


Victor Sturm of Public Works measuring the river height. Photo Jacqueline Winterer

The California State Senate passed SB Bill 1177 related to the Del Mar Greenway with 21 in favor, 13 opposed. The bill, amended after some modifications proposed by the 22d DAA includes a 100 ft. environmental buffer along the river south of the Fairgrounds .

The 22d DAA still opposes the State Senate bill and prefers its own design for that area: a landscaped levee running north-eastward, 10 feet away from the river Floodwaters from the eastern lagoon are constrained by the Jimmy Durante Bridge producing a faster and higher flow level. The levee, 12 to 14 feet high, would protect the Fairgrounds property from flooding and but it would also deflect all flood waters over the Del Mar Public Works property and the area scheduled to be the site of our Fire Station if it is moved outside of the Fairgrounds according to the Master Plan. The photograph shows how close the river water is from the bank at high tide on a normal rain year like last year. Therefore the Fairgrounds plan for the south side of their property is simply unacceptable in terms of public safety for the City of Del Mar.

Other 22d DAA statements are questionable. Seventy- one percent of recycled material is generated by horses and not processed in the recycling center. At the present time that center is a small asphalt area surrounded by concrete blocks. The cost of 1.8 M dollars quoted to move this facility is puzzling. Who submitted this bid: Halliburton?

Contrary to its assertions, the Fairgrounds does NOT comply with environmental laws. In a 2003 decision the Coastal Commission specifically re-stated its position that the Fairgrounds could only use the dirt lots for parking during the Fair and Races because they are wetlands. In defiance of this the Fairgrounds uses these lots for pumpkin and Christmas tree sales, large storage trailers etc. The Fairgrounds builds huge advertisements along the freeway in defiance of the federal law which prohibits this.
What will happen next?

The bill, (still SB 1177) will weave its way through the Assembly. It will next be heard by the Assembly’s Agricultural Committee.


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