Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Solano County Supervisors to view revamped Mills Corp fairgrounds project

Supervisors to view revamped fairgrounds project

By Jeff Mitchell
- County supervisors on Tuesday will examine a revamped presentation of a controversial proposal to redevelop the Solano County Fairgrounds.

Local environmental activists, mostly working under the umbrella of the Sierra Club, complained in the past that The Mills Corp.'s proposal devotes too much space to retail stores and parking and too little space to the rehabilitation of area wetlands and public space.

The county and the fair board are working with the developer to create an upscale shopping facility called "The Fair at Solano, CA" on the 150-acre, county-owned property fronting Interstate 80 in Vallejo.

Mills has proposed building on about 1 million square feet of the fairgrounds property. Included would be a 300-room hotel and conference center, a family entertainment center and a variety of retail stores. These facilities would replace the existing golf course, horse track and other fairground buildings. The annual fair still would be held on the property.

Sierra Club officials are concerned about a drainage area on the south side of the fairgrounds site. They say a weedy channel there is home to a great deal of wildlife.

Club representative Jim DeKloe recently showed a group of mobile home owners who live near the fairgrounds historic aerial shots of the site which once had more wetlands. He sees restored wetlands linked with the health of a bigger environmental system.

The Sierra Club plan also calls for a large field near the wetlands on the southern side of the fairground property. The fair could be held there, DeKloe said. Baseball and soccer games could be played there at other times of the year, he said.

Members of the public are invited to attend the meeting at the Board of Supervisors chamber, 675 Texas St. in Fairfield. The meeting will start at 1 p.m.

Staff Writer Barry Eberling contributed to this report.

Reach Jeff Mitchell at 427-6977 or jmitchell@dailyrepublic.net.

At a glance

Who: Solano County Board of Supervisors

What: Revised plan for Solano County Fairgrounds

Where: Board of Supervisors chambers, 675 Texas St., Fairfield

When: 1 p.m. Tuesday

Info: 784-6100

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