Rejected park plan opens door for Earth Fair

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SAN DIEGO — Earth Fair 2013 will take place at its traditional location this spring following months of uncertainty stemming from a now-scuttled project to remove cars from the center of Balboa Park, Mayor Bob Filner announced Tuesday.

Balboa Park koi pondThe annual environment extravaganza attracts around 60,000 attendees and takes over a large area of the park.

The city previously rejected a request by San Diego EarthWorks, which organizes the event, to hold it in the usual spot because planned construction for the Plaza de Panama project would cause safety concerns.

The city offered land on the west side of the park near Sixth Avenue, but the organizers said the space wouldn’t work.

The standoff was resolved Monday when a judge rejected the City Council’s approval of the Plaza de Panama project, so there will be no construction work.

“ … in light of the ruling on Plaza de Panama, that is no longer a (safety) concern and I am happy to announce Earth Fair 2013 will occur in the heart of the park, once their permit is complete,” Filner said. “I love the Earth Fair! I am looking forward to celebrating with all San Diegans.”

The event is usually held in April. No specific date has been set for this year.