Bud Emerson | Klish Way
Del Mar is now embarking on a regional and local program to assign land use policies for this significant area of the City.
The 22nd DAA Fairgrounds property includes a considerable area (roughly 300 acres) located within the City of Del Mar. As an independent state agency, most of the activities and development proposals at the Fairgrounds are currently exempt from the City of Del Mar’s land use regulations and procedures.
However, if adoption of amendments to our Local Coastal Plan (LCP) containing regulatory language applicable to the Fairgrounds were submitted to and certified by the Coastal Commission, the provisions of the LCP would be used by the Coastal Commission as part of its review of Fairgrounds applications.
Del Mar believes there is a clear advantage in having land use regulations articulated and memorialized for the Fairgrounds property.
In contrast to the Fairgrounds master planning process, the City Council stressed the importance of employing a process that would offer maximum opportunities for public participation for both Del Mar residents and the myriad regional stakeholders.
The Sandpiper suggested to the Fair Board adoption of a simple “Good Neighbor Impact” process as part of its decision making process. Before approval, all proposed activities would be screened on a weighted checklist of potential neighborhood impacts such as noise, light, traffic, environment. If the impacts are0 expected to be significant, the Board would devise mitigation measures or consider disapproving the activity. To date there has been no response from the Fair Board.
At the January Fair Board meeting, Brown-appointed Board member Tom Chino proposed two reform measures, including one that would make all Fair Board committee meetings (even those with just 2 members) open to the public, and another that would have resulted in further committee consideration of the CDFA audit recommendation to recoup improper employee leave cash-outs (totaling $524,424 since 2005). Both motions died for a lack of a second, and instead, other Board members accused Chino of a conflict of interest because his personal attorney, with whom he has discussed matters on the Fair Board’s public agenda, is Dwight Worden, who is “of counsel” to the law firm representing the San Dieguito River Valley JPA in master plan-related litigation against the 22nd DAA. Worden and Chino took issue with the conflict of interest allegation, and assert that it is an effort to squelch a reform-minded Board member.