The Del Mar Fairgrounds has awarded a one-year contract for $282,000 to London Moeder Advisors for a highest and best use study for the 330-acre state-owned property, including the main campus, the golf and tennis facilities, and Horse Park. The charge to the advisors is to develop a “pragmatic, fiscally responsible land use plan, including appropriate upgrades—and addition of new facilities to support current and new program opportunities.” The advisors are also charged with engaging “the public and community thought leaders” to develop a plan that is consistent with the long-term objectives of the fairgrounds and its historic role as the site of the annual San Diego County Fair and as an evacuation/resiliency center.
The Clean Energy Authority (CEA) Board voted to authorize a rate increase for electricity generation at their January 26th meeting. The increased cost of natural gas and the heat wave in September led to a significant increase in the cost of electricity for every provider, but the CEA rate increase was much lower than the generation cost levied by San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E). As a result, Del Mar customers with CEA will pay over $20 a month less than those who remain with SDG&E. SDG&E has also raised their distribution costs, which now account for 71% of your monthly bill.
As part of the mitigation required by the California Coastal Commission for SANDAG’s Bluff Stabilization (DMB 5) project, SANDAG is vetting seven design concepts for a pedestrian crossing across the tracks on the Del Mar bluffs, including options for how the crossing would connect to the beach. An Open House at Town Hall on Dec. 7 produced a lively discussion of the design options (see the Sandpiper’s report here: bit.ly/SANDAG-Town-Hall). On Jan. 28, two days before the deadline for public comment, SANDAG held a community outreach at the Del Mar Farmers Market, with SANDAG team members collecting comments and answering questions. The next steps for SANDAG will be a review of public feedback, and development of the concept they will present to the California Public Utilities Commission, which must approve any pedestrian crossing of railroad tracks. An alternative proposal for a pilot project that would use a gate that locks when trains pass by, obviating the need for horns and flashing lights, has been submitted by Council member Dwight Worden and resident Al Tarkington; that proposal can be read here: http://bit.ly/Worden-Tarkington.