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Design of new Del Mar Fairgrounds master plan completed

San Diego-based Tucker Sadler Noble Castro Architects and San Francisco-based Sasaki Associates Inc. have completed the design of the new draft master plan for the Del Mar Fairgrounds, a 350-acre site currently encompassing a fairgrounds, horse-racing track, recreation center and exhibition hall in Del Mar.

The master plan, officially called the 2000 Master Plan, serves as an update to the 1985 Master Plan. It is intended to help guide development for the 22nd District Agricultural Association for a period of 15 years. In addition to the Del Mar Fairgrounds property, the master plan also encompasses an equestrian facility located two miles east of the fairgrounds.

The state of California, 22nd DAA was the developer of the project, with Barry Nussbaum, president of the board of directors and master-plan committee chair for the 22nd DAA, and Tim Fennell, chief executive officer of the 22nd DAA, providing project oversight.

Robert Noble was the principal-in-charge for Tucker Sadler Noble Castro Architects, with Roger Hill as project manager. Owen Lang and Eric Lassen served as project managers for Sasaki Associates Inc.

"The Del Mar Fairgrounds is host to a wide variety of agricultural, educational and cultural programs and events that receive more than 3 million visitors every year," said Noble, CEO and design principal for Tucker Sadler Noble Castro Architects. "The 2000 Master Plan provides a comprehensive, long-term vision that ensures that the public will continue to enjoy and have access to this world class venue."

The 2000 Master Plan was created during an 18-month planning process that began in March 2000. The plan includes input from a consultant team, the directors and staff of the 22nd DAA, members of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, the public and a 33-member Ad Hoc committee comprising representatives of governmental groups and public agencies throughout San Diego County.

"The planning process has been open and inclusive of all key stakeholders from throughout the county," Nussbaum said. "Every private citizen and representative participating has contributed greatly to the plan. The DAA, the cities of Del Mar and Solana Beach, and many others have assured a constant discussion and consideration of functional, community and environmental needs.

"The environment was of prime concern on day one and remains that way today," he continued. "We must do nothing by this plan that in any way harms the environment. Rather, our goal has been, throughout, to leave a legacy that stands as a testimony to what a state agency can do to create a greatly improved and accessible environmental gift to all citizens of San Diego."

Key goals for the 2000 Master Plan include:

Enhancing the mission of the Del Mar Fairgrounds as a regional entertainment, recreational, cultural and community asset.

Establishing a long-range vision for the Del Mar Fairgrounds to assist the 22nd DAA in evaluating future land-use decisions in an environmentally responsible manner.

Protecting and enhancing the financial investment and assets for the community and region.

Key project consultants included Economics Research Associates, serving as economic planner; Kleinfelder, soils engineer; Project Design Consultants, civil engineer; Kimley Horn, traffic engineer; Hanscomb, cost estimator; and Keyser Matston, commercial economics manager. Wimmer Yamada & Caughey was the landscape architect. Trish Butler of BRG Consulting served as environmental planner.

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