Dec/Jan 2009-2010 home page


Reviewing the DRB III
Anthony Corso | Stratford Court

See also: Commentary on Design Review.  Click here

“Casting a Larger Net”
The last two issues of the Sandpiper analyzed Del Mar’s Design Review Process. Given the perceived importance of this semi-judicial process, it seemed appropriate to “cast a larger net” and capture the opinions of others. This collection of comments seems most representational.

Bill Michalsky, Planning Commissioner and Former Member of the DRB

I was on the DRB for two terms and I think that the DRB carefully considers each project coming before it, whether it presents issues related to views, mass and scale, roof elevations, or lot placement. I believe we have achieved a reasonable harmony in the community, keeping the community whole over a long period of time, realizing that style and individual needs have changed over the last 40 or 50 years; this isn’t a bungalow community anymore. We’ve managed to accommodate more contemporary housing that blends into the existing environment.

John Halper, Business Owner Del Mar

Submitting a proposal to the Design Review Process takes a tremendous amount of time, effort and financial resources. On a number of occasions it would have been easier not to have gone through it. While I feel that it should be streamlined, it is extremely valuable to the applicant, the adjacent property owners and to the City. It insures that a proposal is well designed, harmonious with neighboring development and in agreement with the City’s plans for the long-range future.

Wayne Dernetz, Former Del Mar City Manager

The Design Review Ordinance has helped to maintain the scale of the Del Mar Community and provide an aesthetic quality more like a village than some of the glitzy-type communities that have developed all around us. I recommend strengthening the process—perhaps using methods associated with what we hope to accomplish under Form Based Code Program being developed to guide the revitalization of our commercial areas--using specific design plans, illustrated with diagrams and pictures, to direct development.

Gary Shirts, Resident of Del Mar

We have a small house and a rather decent ocean view. A development was recently proposed next door. Without the DRB process our house would have been overwhelmed by the outsized design and scale of what was proposed and we would have loss our ocean view. Furthermore, the character of the neighborhood, with all its amenities and environmental qualities, would have been violated.

Nancy Weare, Del Mar Resident

Design Review is of inestimable value to our City. I see it as the only way to implement the Community Plan and give some assurance that Del Mar will remain the unique environment that it is. At times, when I look at the residential development just south of us, with its overbuilt, massive structures, I become increasingly concerned that we might lose Del Mar. Supporting Design Review gives me hope for the future.

Nitza Leichtling, Del Mar Resident

As a practicing psychotherapist with 25 years experience, I feel that the Design Review Process is a major contributor towards insuring that Del Mar remains a healthy community. It brings order to what is often a confusing process of evaluating proposed developments and thus it serves to reduce stress. It allows both property owners and renters to have a voice in deliberations, a role to play and a feeling of empowerment in terms of controlling their environment. While dialogue and discussion may be boisterous at times, it opens the door to communications and can engender cooperation versus animosity.

See also: Commentary on Design Review.  Click here



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