Ann Gardner | Via Latina
Conservancy Contributes Ideas on Fairgrounds Development
Page 64 San Deiguito River Valley Conservancy Alternative to the
Fair Board’s draft Master Plan.
the full Conservancy pdf file - 73 pages/2MB
Our perspective is that an upgraded and financially viable Fairgrounds is an important complement to the San Dieguito River Park,” the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy states in their response to the 22nd Ag District DEIR. But the Conservancy, a non-profit that acquires land to protect and preserve the River Valley, also submitted an alternative design with ideas for the District’s consideration. “One of the things we attempt in our comments is to outline … alternatives that provide opportunities for development (as well as) increased protection of the open and natural character of the river corridor.”
The 73-page response (at www.sdrvc.org) includes plans and illustrations developed by an architectural firm commissioned by the Conservancy to outline “one possible, no hotel alternative” for public reaction and consideration. “The alternative is NOT the Conservancy’s alternative,” Conservancy Board President Bill Proffer explains, “but does respond to some of the major concerns, mostly a naturally functioning buffer between intensive Fairgrounds activities and the river corridor.”
The alternative suggests an Exhibit/Conference Center, rather than a hotel, with the following advantages:
Is set back more than 100-feet from the river’s edge with the first 100-feet in natural cover,
Opens to the central promenade of the Fairgrounds and to the amenities of the river frontage providing active exhibit and conference uses along the river,
Suggests a building mass moderated by its predominately sloped roof and varied roof profiles giving the appearance of a series of buildings,
Provides opportunities for elevated views of the river, coastal bluffs and potentially the ocean horizon and mixed indoor and outdoor exhibit and conference experiences,
Provides an increase in below-structure parking,
Retains the agricultural character of the Fairgrounds exhibit space and zone,
Is substantially “greener” than the proposed “box” with extensive solar panels, the opportunity for natural ventilation and lighting and a clear-story design providing an energy efficient solar chimney affect and north facing overhead natural illumination.
“Our comments attempt to offer constructive criticisms, technical suggestions and realistic alternatives,” the response continues. The firm we hired “has a long history of designing exhibit-space buildings (and)… it is our opinion there is a zone of alternatives that can productively be explored and that an open dialogue can lead to an improved plan, supportable by a significant cross section of the community. Our comments are intended to convey …our shared commitment to a viable Fairgrounds operation and our willingness to contribute to a refined master plan formulation.”