home page archives

April 2009 home page


Form Forums 
April 2009 | by Richard Earnest, City Councilman, and Tony Corso, Stratford


A new committee has been formed to help guide the city through a process to help revitalize the downtown. What are they doing and why?

Very simply, form based codes emphasize form over function and create a building envelope for each property that an owner can rely on when redeveloping his/her property. It embraces streetscape, parking, traffic and other key elements of making a city core work harmoniously with the neighborhoods and existing infrastructure. This model has been successfully used in a number of cities throughout our country.
The city council selected nine citizens and professionals to guide the process. including residents from nearby neighborhoods, architects, planners, designers and other professionals. The committee will hold a series of town meetings to get public input and will ultimately come to the city council with recommendations on how to create a better, more attractive and successful downtown for everyone. The process will be thoughtful but will not take forever. It will have access to city staff and other professionals during its deliberations. All discussions and meetings will be open and public input will be encouraged.

For those skeptics who believe that this is just another plan to put on the shelf, you will be surprised. The results of this work will provide a much more efficient and effective way to invest in Del Mar’s future and provide guidance for those who desire to improve their properties with no surprises.
This work should take place over the next six to nine months and result in a blueprint for reshaping the commercial district into a more pedestrian friendly, interesting and successful downtown for all concerned.

Your involvement is a critical component for success. As this series of public meetings occurs in the coming months, please set aside some time to come down to the annex and “weigh in.” The results will be only as good as the public’s willingness to get involved. Let’s not let our community living room deteriorate any more! Stay tuned!

The Form Based Code Committee members:

1. Phil Blair, resident; business man, past board member of the Centre City Development Corporation Board (San Diego).

2. Albert Corti, resident; experience in mixed use development and redevelopment projects with retail as the primary use.

3. Dennis Cruzan, resident; experience in the design of commercial construction, development, leasing, management and investment.

4. Wayne Dernetz, resident; experience in planning and zoning law, redevelopment, urban finance, and past Del Mar Finance Committee member and past Del Mar City Manager.

5. Rick Ehrenfeld, resident who lives adjacent to the Central Commercial Zone; experience in Del Mar’s Planning and zoning; current planning commissioner.

6. Howard Gad, resident; experience in residential development; subdivisions, custom homes; industrial buildings, retail centers and community facilities.

7. Holly Schofield McGoldrick, non-resident; experience in engineering, zoning, and land use, vehicular access and parking.

8. Nancy Sanquist, resident; architecture and planning experience.

9. Dwight Worden, resident; experience in planning and law; author of Del Mar’s Measure B; past Del Mar City Attorney.



© 2007-2015 Del Mar Community Alliance, Inc.  All rights reserved.