By Marlena Chavira-Medford
The Solana Beach City Council announced May 11 that the city is planning legal action to challenge the Del Mar Fairgrounds master plan and Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR), which outline a major redevelopment of the state-owned property.
Last week, as reported in this newspaper, Del Mar City Attorney Leslie Devaney publicly stated that Del Mar and Solana Beach would join forces to bring legal action — however, the Solana Beach City Council said it’s premature to comment on the matter right now, as negotiations are ongoing.
The fairgrounds master plan and FEIR spurred strong outcry from residents and elected officials who claimed the 22nd District Agricultural Association failed to adequately analyze potential impacts from traffic, noise, lighting and pollution.
Despite that public disapproval, on April 18 the 22nd DAA board certified the master plan and FEIR. That began a 30-day window during which someone could challenge it by bringing legal action, per California Environmental Quality Act (CEQUA) law. Once that 30-day window closes, the right to file any legal action goes away forever. For that reason, Solana Beach Mayor Lesa Heebner called the measure a “legal step to protect our community’s interests and rights.”
Solana Beach councilman Dave Roberts echoed those thoughts, saying that this legal step would also hopefully “lead to meaningful dialogue with the 22nd District Agricultural Association.”
“This is a precautionary step to lead to meaningful dialogue: It’s nothing more, it’s nothing less,” he said.