Del Mar Fairgrounds operators have signed an agreement with the cities of Solana Beach and Del Mar, clearing the way for future renovations at the fairgrounds.

Officials said the agreement was part of a settlement of litigation filed by the two cities, over environmental impact issues stemming from planned changes to the fairgrounds’ master plan. The settlement will allow the fairgrounds to proceed with renovations of older exhibit halls, and operators will conduct further studies of the facility’s impact on neighboring cities.

The agreement eliminates plans for an electronic message board on Interstate 5, and fairgrounds officials will not approve any hotel at the site for at least five years. Operators have agreed to increase traffic controls at the fairgrounds’ Solana Gate.

Litigation related to renovations and the master plan was filed in May 2011 by the two cities and the San Dieguito River Park Joint Powers Authority. The agreement was signed at a recent public ceremony at the fairgrounds, by representatives of those entities and the 22nd District Agricultural Association, which oversees the facilities.

— SDBJ Staff Report