On hand for the Dec. 11 signing are, from left, Del Mar council members Don Mosier and Lee Haydu, County Supervisor-elect and former Solana Beach City Councilman Dave Roberts, Solana Beach City Councilwoman Lesa Heebner and Day. A representative from the San Dieguito River Valley Joint Powers Authority, which was also part of the lawsuit, did not attend the signing. Photo by Bianca Kaplanek
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DAA, city officials settle lawsuit

DEL MAR — Officials from Del Mar, Solana Beach and the 22nd District Agricultural Association sign an agreement settling a lawsuit filed last year in response to expansion plans at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. 

Calling it a historic day, Adam Day, president of the 22nd DAA board, which governs the fairgrounds, said the settlement took longer to reach than anticipated, but it will allow the three agencies to save time and money, focus on more pressing concerns and strengthen their new relationship.

Director David Watson, an attorney, said the negotiations were “actually a lot of fun.” Describing himself as “blunt and candid,” Watson said he was shocked at some of “the ridiculous things” the adjacent cities were requesting. “We were all absurd at times but we were rational and reasonable, as well,” he said.

Negotiations included one eight-hour session.

Highlights of the settlement include elimination of a 192-square-foot electronic reader board along Interstate 5 and a guarantee that a proposed hotel won’t be considered for the site for the next five years.

If the hotel is reintroduced into the plan it would require an environmental impact report, giving the cities and public a chance review any impacts and provide input.