By Marlena Chavira-Medford
The Solana Beach City Council officially announced May 11 that the city is planning to legally challenge the Del Mar Fairgrounds master plan and Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR), which outline a major redevelopment of the state-owned property.
The City of Del Mar and the San Dieguito River Valley JPA will both be joining Solana Beach in this legal challenge of the master plan and FEIR, which must be filed by May 18.
The 22nd District Agricultural Association certified the master plan and FEIR on April 18 and, according to California Environmental Quality Act (CEQUA) regulations, all legal challenges must happen within 30 days. 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.”
The fairgrounds master and FEIR have spurred strong public outcry from Solana Beach and Del Mar residents, as well as elected officials who claim it failed to adequately analyze impacts from traffic, noise, lighting and pollution. Solana Beach councilman Dave Roberts said that this legal step would 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.