Residents protest noise, pot smoking at fairgrounds

DEL MAR — Nine local residents appeared at the 22nd District Agricultural Association’s board of directors meeting Sept. 8 to complain about noise, a billboard and rampant marijuana smoking and underage drinking during a Ziggy Marley reggae concert following the races Sept. 6.
A resident who lives across the street from the fairgrounds told directors the music level was well above the allowed decibel level and made it impossible to carry on a conversation or to watch television. A complaint also was voiced about a billboard mounted on a trailer that was parked in the wetland area adjacent to I-5 that was reported to be in violation.
The other speakers, some of whom complimented fairgrounds staff on the effort to control smoking at the fair, said they personally witnessed rampant pot smoking and minors being served alcohol during the Marley concert.
No action was taken by the board because the complaints were made during the public comment period of the meeting.
Craig Fravel, Del Mar Thoroughbred Club executive vice president, was present to give directors an update of the current race meeting. He said he was distressed to hear about what occurred at the Marley concert and assured directors the Thoroughbred Club welcomes community input and takes comments seriously and will take appropriate action. He added the Thoroughbred Club makes every effort to be a good neighbor and wants to continue to maintain good relations with the public.
Fravel declined to make a prediction on the final outcome of the current meeting. Attendance and betting was on par with expectations. Breakdown of thoroughbreds on the Polytrack that was installed three years ago will receive intensive review during the interim. Fravel noted most of the fatal injuries occurred early in the meet when the horses were getting used to the synthetic surface.


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