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Community Plan Vitality
February 2009

Downtown Del Mar has been a hot topic since the mid 70s when we passed the Community Plan clearly enunciating a goal of focusing “major retail and office activity into one economically viable, pedestrian oriented and attractive area that serves the needs of both Del Mar residents and visitors and is well integrated into the residential fabric of the community.” A companion goal is to “preserve the economic integrity of the community.” The Plan fortifies these goals with a series of very specific objectives and policies.

Over the years efforts have been made to effectuate this vision including the Del Mar 2000 Plan in the 80s, the Streetscape Plan in the 90s, and the City Works process in 2004. These efforts often met with challenges, i.e. no funding for the Streetscape Plan, as well as political and special interest opposition.

Now we have a City Council expressing firm determination to make something happen to fire up our commercial center. Their “form based zoning” process will begin soon with the intention to motivate a high level of involvement by residents, business operators, and commercial land owners.

It appears that many in the community are already expressing a variety of views from outright opposition, to concern (see letter to editor at right), to alternative models for downtown. Achieving consensus within the community will be a challenge.
The Sandpiper, as our community’s forum for news and opinion, will set aside space in upcoming issues for a variety of views on this topic to be expressed. We invite interested parties to share their views in letters to the editor, or to submit to any member of our editorial board constructive ideas for publication.



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