February 2010 home page

  Form-Based Questions
Anthony Corso | Stratford Court

Steps to revitalize Del Mar’s Commercial core under the Form Based Code have moved to another level as evident from discussion generated by a recent joint meeting of representatives from the Planning Commission, Design Review Committee and the Ad-hoc FBC Committee. Past efforts of the FBC Committee were primarily devoted to an inventory of the commercial areas—one which generated an enormous amount of data and information relevant to existing conditions.

With the convocation of the joint meeting a number of critical questions were raised and encouraged regarding the FBC approach to revitalization. Some of the questions offered at that meeting:

Is the reduction of travel lanes on Camino Real reasonable in light of additional development the FBC program hopes to generate?

What steps might be taken to maintain the “village environment” as new development occurs? What are the characteristics of a “village environment?”

How do you avoid charges of discrimination when you give benefits to some property owners, based upon location or the characteristics of present development, and not to others (equity issue)?

Are increases in density or floor area ratios enough to entice property owners to explore additions or modifications to their property? How might additional parking be accommodated?

In terms of encouraging mixed uses, particularly on the second floor of some existing development, would the project consider restaurants, as well as offices and residential development?

At what point is a determination made of the overall environmental impact (positive and negative) that might result from the project?

What will be the final role of the Planning Commission and the Design Review Committee in the program? Where and when is their input sought?

What might be done with property owners who reject participation in the program, particularly when their participation could have a dramatic impact upon the total design?

What is the overall financial impact of the proposed development upon the City’s financial situation?

Is there some way development on commercial parcels, as precipitated by FBC might, be illustrated, perhaps in three dimensions, so as to give the average citizen a better idea as to what is being proposed?

How might potential view blockages be determined? Can they be ascertained prior to submittal of applications for development?

How might the review process differ from that presently conducted with proposals under current zoning requirements?

Is the further expansion of retail development reasonable given the present economic situation?

What is the expected time frame in which one might expect the project to begin and reach fruition?

In terms of presentation of a final FBC proposal, what might be presented—sketches? Models? A set of guidelines, policies and procedures?

What is the time schedule for presentation to the City Council, property owners and to the public? What steps are to be taken leading up to the City Council presentation?


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