By Andy Abramson
It's time to "Stop the Music" from the Del Mar Fairgrounds, at least until some independent sound measurement studies can be undertaken.
During Labor Day weekend, Ziggy Marley, along with an opening act, rocked not only Solana Beach, but other nearby communities, including homes far beyond Flower Hill Mall east of Interstate 5. Half a dozen local residents expressed concern to the 22nd Agricultural District at their monthly meeting in September about the noise and event overall.
Their response to those concerned — nothing — as not a line of any discussion or pending action referring to the noise complaints even made it to the monthly agenda despite the outspoken criticisms by community residents and local civic leaders and government officials from Solana Beach who reportedly also met privately with Del Mar Fairgrounds officials prior to the monthly meeting.
Over the years, the music from the fairgrounds has gotten progressively louder and louder, and with the increase in physical structures, and the removal of natural sound buffering from trees and shrubs for fire prevention reasons, the sounds now carry farther and farther. Given how sound amplification has also improved, it's no wonder that local residents can avoid attending the events as they can hear it for free from inside their houses without paying anything for the entertainment.
But it's not just the music that causes noise. Following the concerts, the move-out contributes to the noise with the OSHA required backup claxons carrying their high-pitched sounds far from the fairgrounds proper well into the night.
Granted, those of us who live near the fairgrounds understand we bought in to an attractive nuisance, but that buying in was part of knowing what was there, not knowing what the future held for us to hear. We also bought in knowing there were regulations on noise and noise abatement, all couched in rules that were written for a different era, with different technology and a far different fairgrounds physical configuration.
Sadly, the current leadership of the fairgrounds must not be able to hear the rumble that some of us do. No one wants the music to go away. We just want it to be more in line with the neighbors and the community now that we have million-dollar properties so close by.
Andy Abramson is a Solana Beach resident.