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July/August 2009 home page

Fifty Years of Self Government
Virginia Lawrence, Caminito Del Rocio; Larry Brooks, 9th Street; Ann Gardner, Via Latina, and others.

Cartoon John Dempsey

1957 - Plans for I-5 to go through Del Mar were changed by citizens group to move the Freeway to the east.
1958 - Report of citizens committee to DM Civic Association’s annual meeting with four alternatives:
1) Remain under County government
2) Annex to City of San Diego
3) Incorporate & provide own services – this one passed
4) Incorporate & contract for services
1959 - Election on incorporation with 555 yeas and 479 nays in a 75% turnout.
1959 - CA Secretary of State certifies election results & Del Mar becomes county’s 11th municipality.
1959 - Torrey Pines State Reserve becomes official.
1960 - Original Del Mar Plaza opens.
1963 - Historic Hotel Del Mar demolished.
1964 - Torrey Pines Extension campaign begins.
1965 - St. James Catholic Church closes as church.
1965 - Post Office dedicated.
1970 - Torrey Pines Extension first purchase.
1972 - Del Mar Lagoon Committee
1974 - Crest Canyon was saved from development and acquired as public open space by the cities of Del Mar and San Diego.
1976 - City Hall moves from 15th Street to St. James Academy.
1976 - New Community Plan approved by voters: limited height and density of both residential and commercial properties to preserve village character of community, and identified parcels to purchase as open space.
1976 - Powerhouse and Anderson Canyon properties purchased by City.
1979 - Lagoon Resource Enhancement Program, organized by the Del Mar Lagoon Committee, adopted by Council.
1982 - Del Mar Foundation
1982 - Friends of Del Mar Library
1984-85 - Del Mar 2000 Plan: Community-wide involvement with assistance from design professionals creating a future plan for downtown development.
1985 - Del Mar Historical Society
1986 - Del Mar TV Station
1986 - The Downtown Initiative (Measure B) passed with:
1) Snakewall property hotel - voted down
2) New Del Mar Plaza - voted in
3) New Hotel Del Mar (l’Auberge) - voted down
4) Smaller New Hotel Del Mar (l’Auberge) - voted in after second vote in 1988
1986 - Friends of the San Dieguito River Valley
1987 - Del Mar’s Farmers Market
1988 - Del Mar Garden Club
1988 - BOZO (Beach Overlay Zone Ordinance), limiting encroachment onto the public beach, passed.
1989 - L’Auberge opens on site of Stratford Inn/Hotel Del Mar.
1989 - New Del Mar Plaza opens.
1991 - San Dieguito River Park purchase of lagoon property, threatened by development.

1991 celebrating purchase of lagoon property threatened by development (location of just completed restoration project).  Abby Wolfsheimer, Nancy Weare and Brooke Eisenberg. 
Photo courtesy Ann Gardner.  

1995 - Del Mar train station closes.
- What had been St. James Catholic church becomes the DM Library.
1997 - First print issue of the Sandpiper in March.
1997 - Powerhouse Restoration Project kickoff. Completed 2 years later.
1999 - Friends of the Powerhouse
1999 - Del Mar Community Connections
2002 - Del Mar Village Association
2005 - Friends of Del Mar Parks starts negotiations for the purchase of the Shores property.
2008 - The Sandpiper launches its website in March.
2008 - Garden Del Mar (gas station property) passes Measure B vote.
2009 - The incorporated City of Del Mar celebrates its 50
th birthday.

Cartoon John Dempsey


1972 - a watershed year for the quality of life in Del Mar
John Kerridge, El Amigo

In a letter to the editors, John Kerridge lists 5 events that he would have included in the timeline for 1972.

(1) Passage of the (statewide) Coastal Protection initiative (not sure what the exact title was), that led to creation of the California Coastal Commission and serious safeguards against overdevelopment of the coastal region, including of course Del Mar;

(2) The first Citizens' Attitude Survey was conducted and published.
This survey, funded by a group of concerned citizens, was carried out by a professional survey organisation following standard protocol, and revealed that a 2/3 majority of Del Mar residents favored strong controls to prevent out-of-scale local development;

(3) Officially, work on revision of the Community Plan began early in 1973; my recollection is that informal discussions on this issue began in 1972 (triggered by the results of the Citizens' Attitude Survey), though I was not personally involved in those discussions.;

(4) The elections for City Council held in 1972 led to the first-ever council majority in favor of controlled growth;

(5) Attitudes in Del Mar regarding development were, in 1972, heavily influenced by high-density projects in both Solana Beach and Carmel Valley that were (literally) bulldozed through prior to passage of the Coastal Protection Act (see #1 above).




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