Ann Gardner | Via Latina
more about the FBC
You asked us to separate resident from non-resident responses in our recently completed Downtown Survey, suggesting the results might be different. We did and here is what we found.
Whether you live in Del Mar (98 out of the total 150 responses) or in a nearby community such as Solana Beach, work but don’t live here or are a visitor (52 responses) chances are you responded similarly to most of our revitalization questions. Residents, business owners, nearby residents and visitors alike want to see changes in downtown Del Mar including new parking structures (as long as they are underground or otherwise invisible) and would consider some increases in the size of buildings downtown. A majority of all respondents are wary of narrowing Camino Del Mar.
However, in the last issue we reported that 45% of survey respondents favored keeping the current DRB review process in place. But when we reported these figures, we failed to differentiate between the opinions of Del Mar resident voters, and non-resident,non-voters.
Separating the two groups changed the results significantly. 53% of the Survey’s resident voters, something the Council should know, are in favor of keeping DRB review for downtown business development.
Also, residents were also less likely than non-residents to favor redevelopment that brings store fronts out to the sidewalk. Citing the importance of pedestrian walkways and landscaping along Camino Del Mar 37% resident responses disagreed with the concept of increasing bringing the storefronts forward. In comparison only 11% of non-residents disagreed.
“Just the opposite. Del Mar needs more sidewalk space. Taking that away would be a deterrent to foot traffic.”
“…would cause aesthetic damage to the storefronts that would erase all patina and end up looking like a strip mall.”
“…irregular store front line adds some personality to downtown…”
“Making the sidewalks narrower makes walking less comfortable, and therefore less attractive. The sidewalks should be ALIVE with plantings, art work and shoppers.”
There was also a slight change from our initial reporting on the allowable height of buildings along the west side of Camino Del Mar. Resident-only responses increased support for keeping the height limit at 14 ft. from about 39% to almost 45%. Over 30% would consider a change if there was no view blockage and another 19% of resident respondents favored an increase even if some view blockage resulted.
Separating resident from non-resident survey responses resulted in significant changes related to design review for downtown development and bringing storefronts to the sidewalk edge. But resident-only responses continue to favor downtown revitalization; support new parking options; are flexible regarding the height of buildings along the west side of Camino Del Mar depending on view blockage, and would consider some increases in the floor area ratio in the downtown area.