September 2012 home page

Fair Board: Stay Tuned
Bud Emerson | Klish Way


Fairgrounds in 1953. Courtesy Del Mar Historical Society

The Governor has not appointed new members to fill the four Board vacancies. It has been a challenge to achieve a quorum for meetings. His office has been contacted repeatedly by Del Mar and Solana Beach officials, as well as other interested parties. No answers have been forthcoming. At least six Del Mar applicants have been interviewed and several from Solana Beach. Reportedly, one Del Mar applicant was offered an appointment but decided to withdraw her appliction. One source says they would like to appoint a Del Mar female with no record of criticism of the Fair Board over the years. But no action as of mid-August. Stay tuned.

Informal sources say agreement has been reached on the terms of a settlement of the master plan lawsuit filed by Del Mar, Solana Beach, and the Sierra Club. State lawyers are reviewing the specifics of the proposed settlement. Stay tuned.

Terms of the cease and desist order involving environmental damage require measurements of the wetlands in the east and south overflow lots (EOL and SOL). Concerns are being addressed to the Coast Commission about the methodology being employed to measure the wetlands. A letter from Supervisor Pam Slater Price says: “Put simply, here is my concern: The site has been so profoundly altered that the results of a survey will not show the true hydrology of the area. If the survey finds no areas that are ponding or otherwise reflective of wetland hydrology to meet the first of the three criteria, it will be the result of illegal grading and filling. We know illegal grading and filling has been, in part, to accommodate parking and that means eliminating areas that pond. If hydric soils are not found, how will the survey prove that they have been removed by scraping and grading, or buried by imported fill? If no wetland plants are found, it will be because the area was scraped clean of vegetation...

I also know that you and the Commission share my support for the restoration of the San Dieguito lagoon. In this context, the EOL and SOL are key remaining pieces of the restoration. They are already in public ownership so there should be no issue of private property rights conflicting with restoration goals. The evidence seems overwhelming that, in their natural condition, the EOL and SOL were entirely, or nearly entirely, wetlands comprising a functioning part of the lagoon system. It is important for the long-term not only that the ongoing wetland delineation be properly done, but that interested parties like myself also have confidence in the methodology and in the result.” Stay tuned.



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