Opinion: Solana Beach must be included as an equal partner with Del Mar in any proposed fairgrounds sale


Allen Frisch/Solana Beach

Editor’s Note:

The following letter was addressed to Senators Mark Wyland and Christine Kehoe and submitted to this newspaper for publication.

I am writing you to urge that you vote against SB 1 (unless it is amended to include Solana Beach as an equal partner with Del Mar wherever Del Mar is noted in the proposed bill) for the following reasons:

  1. The City of Solana Beach is immediately contiguous to the Del Mar Fairgrounds and has at least the same right to purchase as Del Mar.
  2. The process used by Sen. Kehoe and Supervisor Slater-Price was at the least unethical and underhanded and possibly illegal in excluding Solana Beach from being considered either individually or as an equal partner with Del Mar.
  3. Solana Beach, because of the strength of its fire department, has always provided significant fire and emergency services to the fairgrounds and racetrack, much of which is not reimbursed. Del Mar could not even match these services until they entered into a sharing agreement with Solana Beach and Rancho Santa Fe. This sharing is further evidence of the unfairness in excluding Solana Beach from even being mentioned in SB1 as a potential buyer. The region, Solana Beach, Del Mar and other entities need to be involved in these negotiations before SB 1 is allowed to move forward.
  4. The traffic concerns, congestion, parking, loss of regular customers business by locals avoiding the area during certain fairgrounds events are at least equally shared by Solana Beach and perhaps more so than even Del Mar. Solana Beach must be given this opportunity to gain all of the same controls and responsibilities that SB 1 is offering exclusively to Del Mar.
  5. This is a once-in-a-lifetime proposal being offered by the state and Solana Beach must be included in the bill and all negotiations regarding the fairgrounds sale. To do otherwise would be a gross disservice to all the residents of Solana Beach and those that would argue for regional control of the environment around and between Del Mar and Solana beach who also must be represented. Del Mar cannot be allowed this inappropriate exclusivity as envisioned by Sen. Kehoe and Supervisor Slater-Price.