Tuesday, April 19, 2011

San Diego's Fairgrounds to be Improved

More from the in box:

In case you are wondering how today's Fairground expansion hearing went here is a report from Adam Kaye (Pam Slater-Price's office). Most disturbing to me was board member Adam Day's comment as to how few project opponents showed up to the hearing. This after numerous people mentioned the fact that the meeting was scheduled on a Monday morning and noticed only 10 days ago.
Jenny

April 18, 2011
Hotel dropped from fairgrounds plan
The Del Mar fair board today dropped a controversial, 330-room hotel from plans to intensely develop its 400-acre, seaside property.

The board also agreed that an electronic “reader board” sign along the freeway should be subject to additional hearings and public scrutiny, as should a lighted ball field proposed for the roof of a planned exhibit hall.

Board members welcomed a 100-foot-wide buffer along the San Dieguito River, even though they fiercely opposed legislation calling for the greenway last year. They said the greenway, however, would come only with the approval and construction of a new exhibit hall.

They also agreed to fast-track the study of restoring wetlands on land now used for parking.

With members Vivian Hardage and Michael Alpert absent, the board unanimously approved an environmental study that examines the consequences a development plan that calls for new buildings, parking lots, garages and other facilities.

The vote came after three hours of intense criticism leveled by nearly 30 public speakers. Many of them demanded that the board postpone its hearing because the public had been granted only 10 days to review more than 1,000 pages of newly-released paperwork included with environmental document.

Board members deferred to their attorney, who defended fairgrounds officials’ compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act.

The board seemed to run roughshod over the Brown Act, however.

Board President Barry Nussbaum didn’t seem to understand that state law prohibits a majority of board members from convening to talk about the district’s business. During the afternoon session, Nussbaum announced publicly: “We’ve been meeting at lunch, talking about it,” he said in reference to the morning session.

Dwight Worden, an attorney from Del Mar, shook his head in disbelief.

Worden said later: “I hope (the fairgrounds’) lawyers soiled themselves when (Nussbaum) said that.”

Note: The Del Mar Fair and Races generates a lot of Leucadia 101 automobile traffic in the summer. This report doesn't mention building a train station at the race tracks. It does mention building expensive parking structures.

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