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Del Mar Fairgrounds May Get More Local Control

Aerial view of the San Diego County Fair at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.
San Diego County Fair & Del Mar Fairgrounds
Aerial view of the San Diego County Fair at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.

The Del Mar Fairgrounds belong to the State of California, but what happens there has a major impact on neighboring communities in San Diego.

Del Mar Fairgrounds May Get More Local Control
A plan to have more local control over the Del Mar Fairgrounds is before San Diego County Supervisors this week.

Back in 2010, the tiny City of Del Mar offered to buy the Fairgrounds from the state for $120 million. That deal fell through but residents of Del Mar, Solana Beach and north San Diego would still like more say in future developments there.

The County has been in discussion with the Fair Board and come up with a plan for a Joint Powers Authority.


Supervisor Dave Roberts, who represents that district, said the Fairgrounds generate jobs and economic activity, but also noise and traffic.

“Currently, the nine members on the Fair Board are appointed by the Governor in Sacramento," Roberts said. “So there hasn’t always been that connection with the local impact. I think adding five seats appointed by the County Board of Supervisors will help.”

Dave Roberts said some of his constituents would like to see members from neighboring cities, such as Del Mar and Solana Beach, appointed to the new Joint Powers Authority.

However, that’s not in the plan before the Supervisors on Tuesday at 9 am. The proposal by Supervisors Greg Cox and Ron Roberts would allow each of the five supervisors to nominate one member to the Joint Powers Authority, even though the Fairgrounds is not in the district they represent.

The partnership would leave most of the day-to-day operation of the Fairgrounds as they are now. For matters not related to personnel, the Joint Powers Authority would operate according to county policy.