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Del Mar Fairgrounds explores plan to house homeless veterans

Posted at 5:23 PM, Jun 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-22 20:23:00-04

Del Mar, CA (KGTV) - The Del Mar Fairgrounds Board is exploring a plan to possibly house homeless veterans.

A small development company out of Los Angeles, called Fixx Solutions, has approached the board with a proposal to build modular units to shelter homeless veterans temporarily.

If approved, the units would be built at the Horse Park on El Camino Real roughly two miles east of the fairgrounds.

No one from the board returned calls to 10News, and the fairgrounds CEO said it was too early in the process to comment, but people who live nearby are voicing their concerns.

"Typical of the Ag district to do this in complete secret and have no public input," said Craig Nelson.

Nelson is a long time resident of Solana Beach. He lives right across the street from the fairgrounds.

"It just makes no rational sense whatsoever," said Nelson adding there are no services in the area.

"There's no public services, you have no access to a trolley, medical help, mental health," said Nelson.

It's unclear who would run the shelter or how it would be paid for, but the fairgrounds would get revenue for leasing the land.

"Obviously, the fairgrounds is in a world of hurt financially, and they need to figure out how to get out of their hole," said Del Mar City Councilman Dave Druker.

Previously, the CEO of the fairgrounds said revenue is expected to be down 92% by the end of the summer. He's asking for $20 million in relief aid from California to avoid having to shut down for good.

"About 45% of our sales tax comes from the county fairgrounds, obviously right now, we are collecting almost zero," said councilman Druker.

If the plan goes forward, the shelter might be an option once the homeless are moved out of the downtown convention center.

"This is just a good transition at this point, rather than having them in the convention center or out on the street," said Druker.

The fair board is expected to discuss the project at its next meeting on July 14th.