December 2012 home page

Fair to All
Bud Emerson | Klish Way

Fair to All | Vanishing Valitar


Thrills on the Pirate Ship. Photo Virginia Lawrence


Governor Brown has asked for recommendations on how to reorganize the state’s 54 agricultural associations in order to achieve more local control and involvement.

In San Diego discussions are under way between the Fair Board and County Supervisors about a potential partnership to manage the local fairgrounds, 300 acres of which are within the boundaries of the city of Del Mar ( 70 acres in the East Lot are within San Diego city limits.).

Del Mar and Solana Beach are attempting to get seats at the table so that local issues can be represented. Del Mar’s lobbying firm is representing our interests in Sacramento discussions.

Del Mar owns and maintains the streets and bridges surrounding the area. Del Mar provides municipal services to the fairgrounds. Most of Del Mar’s safety and security calls come from the fairgrounds. Solana Beach streets and neighborhoods are directly impacted by fairgound activities.

Del Mar’s stated position “favors local control over the Fairgrounds and the adoption of a governance model that will be in the public interest and provide for the normal municipal oversight of non-fair enterprises. The City as a primary party of interest should be included as a participant in discussions concerning a change in the DAA structure.”

Del Mar cites as a model its planning effort to amend our Local Coastal Plan to include the fairgrounds in which we have “ included all the stakeholders in the planning process because we recognize that the fairgrounds is a regional asset.”
Del Mar Council members assert that “If we do not collectively come up with a proposal to accomplish this goal Sacramento will...we respectfully submit that this process must include local jurisdictions which are directly affected by the fairgrounds operations and who have a good understanding of the complex issues involved."

In addressing the County Board soon to be Mayor Terry Sinnott listed 7 key measures of success to consider:

1. Will the Partnership provide better focus on the core mission of the Fairgrounds?
2. Will the financial decisions made by the Partnership be sound and result in improved infrastructure investments on the 370 acre facility?
3. Will the Partnership comply with State and local regulations, including environmental laws?
4. Will the Partnership provide better stewardship for the San Dieguito River Park (150 acres, $90 Million)?
5. Will the Partnership be inclusive, not exclusive, and reach out to all stakeholders?
6. Will the Partnership pay for municipal services used at the Fairgrounds?
7. Will the Partnership help sustain and grow our agriculture and racing industries?

Breaking News! On November 21 the Sandpiper learned that the Fairgrounds Master Plan lawsuit had been settled.

According to Del Mar Council member Lee Haydu all four parties to the suit have signed off on a settlement: the Fair Board, Del Mar, Solana Beach, and the San Dieguito River Valley JPA. Terms of the settlement are yet to be disclosed to the public until final signatures are obtained from the four entitities, but Haydu says “the Del Mar Council members are quite pleased with the outcome.”

Because the original suit filed against the fairgrounds cited issues concerning traffic, noise, pollution, and lagoon protection the Sandpiper presumes that the settlement will require the Fair Board to re-open the Master Plan and EIR to address these concerns.



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