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The Region

May 18, 1986

Rejecting the emotional pleas of residents who claim that their lives will be disrupted by the roar of high-performance automobiles, the California Coastal Commission approved plans for Grand Prix-style auto racing at the Del Mar Fairgrounds north of San Diego later this year. The state panel's 7-4 vote was the final administrative hurdle for promoters of the 10-day event, scheduled to begin Oct. 31, who have sponsored a similar, highly popular road race in Long Beach for 12 years. But city officials and residents of Del Mar vowed to press forward with efforts to block the racing, which they contend will spoil the ambiance of their seaside community and might harm several endangered birds who feed and nest in nearby San Dieguito Lagoon. Both the city and residents of a condominium complex adjacent to the fairgrounds have filed lawsuits challenging the validity of reports assessing the cars' noise level and impact on the environment.

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