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Now is the time. Are you in?
May 2008 | by Barbara Mandel Pache


The April 14 City Council meeting was a deciding moment for our community. After hearing from more than 35 community members, the Council unanimously agreed to proceed with purchase of the 5.3 acre Shores Property, assuring the community this precious resource for generations to come. Community support for preservation of valuable open space struck a chord, just as it had when the decision was regarding Powerhouse property, Seagrove Park , and other illustrious community spaces.

We still have milestones to achieve. We still have $4 million to raise in order to retire the $3.5 million 12-month loan the City is negotiating with the Del Mar Union School District. The City and residents still must decide if we will finance part of that balance with public funding in the form of a bond issue, or if it will all be purchased with private contributions. And then will come undoubtedly numerous discussions on the best uses and designs for the open space and existing buildings.

The Winston School , a 20-year school with a great reputation for educating students with learning differences, is a significant partner in this venture. They committed to raising 35% to 50% of the total needed to procure the property in exchange for a 55 year lease, and are well on their way to completing their commitment. This long lease will assure their future, and assure Del Mar that the dilapidated buildings which have been poorly maintained by the Del Mar Union School District will be replaced by modern structures more conducive to a 21st century learning environment. And assure that these spaces are available for community use in the evenings and weekends.

Imagine: The opportunity for life-long learning classes, the use of their multi-purpose space for evening concerts, open space with grass instead of DMUSD trucks, enhanced playing fields, more space for young families, the vision is endless.

To realize this vision, we all need to participate. The Campaign for Del Mar Shores has raised the first $4.8 million with a small number of major donors and a handful of others. Now the community portion of the campaign starts in earnest. If each person who has not yet contributed could donate $1,000 we would have the $4 million in hand. Now, of course, not every person or family will be able to do that. Some can contribute substantially more, and some less.

A community is defined by the assets it holds dear. Our community has valued open space and recreational space since its first residents build homes, established businesses and dreamed of public spaces. And all current residents benefit from these enhancements through increased property value and less congestion and traffic, even if you don't bring your dog for a romp or cheer your child's softball team.

Our first priority is to raise the remaining $4 million. Let's get the loan from DMUSD paid off as quickly as possible. Then we can all move ahead with planning for the next 100 years for the Shores Property. We'll do it together, just as we always do. It is too early in the process to debate the merits or detriments of using a portion of the property for a new City Hall. Those issues will be debated later, and all sides will be heard.

If you have not yet made a contribution, please do so today. Visit online at www.delmarparks.org or call me, Barbara Mandel Pache , at 481-4201 or send me an email at bmpache@mac.com . If you have made a contribution and would like to increase your commitment, thank you again! We have naming opportunities for families who would like to assure their legacy in our beautiful community.

Be a part of the future of our community. We invite you to join the Campaign.


Barbara Mandel Pache: Coordinator, Campaign for Del Mar Shores



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