Dec/Jan 2009-2010 home page


Commentary on Design Review
Anthony Corso | Stratford Court

See also: Reviewing the DRB III.  Click here

As a former urban planner, I am constantly reminded of the complexities and challenges of controlling development in American Cities—particularly with the specificity demanded in design review. Planners, be they professional or concerned laypersons, confront what is often referred to as “rugged individualism”—an all too prevalent attitude maintaining that the great American dream demands a citizenry “free from the shackles of governmental control.” In this regard, some persons promote the value of unfettered urban development and the virtue of obtaining wealth through one’s efforts-- free from constraints. The current economic and banking situation disproves that outlook!

However, such attitudes remain prevalent at a time in which Del Mar citizens are increasingly aware of the necessity to preserve and enhance their community, protect it against inappropriate development encroaching upon its boarders and are willing to explore ways of living in a world of scarcer resources.

My interviews indicate that Del Mar citizens will demand a larger voice in governmental deliberations. Despite the fact that the “voice” may be noisy, boisterous and animated, it requires a maximum of patience and continues to be welcomed.

Obviously, I champion design review’s controls and regulations. But, perhaps in a broader framework of granting rewards and benefits to those who would champion development, serving to implement the Community Plan is in harmony with surrounding neighborhoods and sensitive to environmental concerns. While Del Mar may be seen as anti-development many of us dispute that view. We feel that with its embrace of “design review,” Del Mar has taken a positive stance towards future development--one neighboring cities might well adopt.

See also: Reviewing the DRB III.  Click here



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