The open house at Fallbrook Community Airpark in conjunction with Fallbrook’s Avocado Festival has been an annual event, but due to parking and traffic circulation issues in recent years the open house will not take place during the 2014 Avocado Festival.
At the Feb. 3 Fallbrook Airpark Advisory Committee meeting, the advisory committee unanimously recommended the postponement of the open house. County Airports supported the recommendation while promising to hold another event once the parking was improved.
“The airport is going to take a break this year,” said County Airports director Pete Drinkwater. “We have parking issues we haven’t been able to resolve.”
The issues involve traffic circulation for buses, cars entering, and cars leaving as well as parking itself. “Where we were parking cars was on a hill and the hill has posed safety problems,” Drinkwater said. “We don’t have enough room going down the hill. It’s too steep an angle for safely parking cars.”
The parking situation also poses other problems for those who park. “We had elderly people who had a hard time walking in the dirt,” Drinkwater said.
“It’s just not a good situation,” Drinkwater said. “We need the time to find a better solution.”
The advisory committee and County Airports felt that cancellation of the Avocado Festival open house, in conjunction with an alternative airpark event later in the year, would be preferable to a 2014 Avocado Festival open house with inadequate parking.
“We’ve got to address this in a way that makes sense,” Drinkwater said.
“It’s not going to happen before April,” Drinkwater said. “We had a little conflict there because of the timing.”
Environmental clearance as well as compliance with other county procedures will be necessary before the parking and circulation can be improved. “We’re in that process right now. We’re working through the process,” Drinkwater said. “We’re going to have this thing fixed.”
The event later in 2014 once a parking solution has been implemented is still in a conceptual phase. “We’re going to do something else once we get our parking issues resolved,” Drinkwater said. “We have plans to support another event that may come later.”
The cancellation of the Avocado Festival open house is for 2014 only. “We’re going to have it fixed, though, before the next time around,” Drinkwater said.