SAVE DEL MAR HORSEPARK
SAVE DEL MAR HORSEPARK
Here’s the good news--The Del Mar Fairgrounds (22nd DAA) issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) to lease out Horsepark--the last dedicated public horse show facility in San Diego County-- to an experienced equestrian show and barn operator. We are pleased that they did exactly what they have promised in public meetings since May, 2021.
Here’s the other news--it’s a typical government RFP that’s essentially their offer and appears fairly one-sided. RFPs from all governments and municipalities have to follow certain rules. And most items are negotiable, except the length of the lease that’s mandated by the State of California.
You can help show your ongoing support for bringing horses back to Horsepark! TAKE ACTION—WRITE that you support Horsepark lease to an experienced equestrian operator NOW to the Fairgrounds Board members Lisa Barkett, Sam Nejabat, Fred Schenk, Michael Gelfand, Kathlyn Mead, Joyce Rowland, Richard Valdez, Pierre Sleiman, and Don Mosier. Send emails to Doleary@sdfair.com
SPEAK at the Fairground Board meeting on September 14, starting 1:30pm, for AGENDA ITEM 6—PUBLIC COMMENT (last public item)—as Horsepark is not on the official Agenda. Copy and paste this link to register for public comment: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_JkIzJn-RSwKJKhOX4oj8Ow
THEY NEED TO KNOW WE ARE HOLDING OUR HORSES FOR HORSEPARK TO REOPEN!
Here are just a few reasons that the 22nd DAA needs to lease Horsepark to an equestrian operator under an equitable contract:
1. Horsepark is located in a 50-year flood plain directly next to a protected estuary, the San Dieguito River Park Conservancy. That means “dark skies” rules apply to Horsepark—NO inside golf with lights on and bars open until midnight, NO night lighting for soccer games, NO light shows for concerts that we saw last summer on the soccer fields across the street.
2. Horsepark cannot be re-purposed for housing because of the fragile environmental zone next door, as well as the low-lying floodplain location as the sea levels rise. In 1978, the last time anyone tried to develop that land, building permits were rejected.
3. Horsepark has a CEQA waiver and the deed stipulates equestrian use only. A change in use would trigger a new Environmental Impact Report and California Coastal Commission approval—that means a lot of time and even more money impacting the Fairgrounds’ financial position.
4. Horsepark serves as parking for the Del Mar Fair for 6 weeks, which the 22nd DAA needs during a full Fair season because they still need to build adequate parking across from the Fairgrounds proper. Horsepark would become a very expensive parking lot if not earning revenue for the Fairgrounds during the year.
5. Horsepark’s RFP decisions made through a fair and open process would go a long way toward enhancing transparency. An equestrian operator with the vision and capital to rebuild Horsepark into a thriving public open space with multiple uses, someone motivated to work within contractual terms because of the uniqueness of the facility, will also enhance the public’s view of the 22nd DAA.
Thank you for your on-going support! Please sign and share this petition! The Fairgrounds needs to know we are still out here.