May 2011 home page


Sam’s View
Anthony Corso | Stratford Court


Sam Borgese.  Photo Tony Corso


As noted in the last issue of the Sandpiper, Del Mar resident, Sam Borgese, was recently appointed to the Del Mar Design Review Board. This is perhaps one of the City’s most critical volunteer positions -- challenged as it is to ensure that development or redevelopment proposals respect the quality of life defined in the Del Mar Community Plan and legislated in the City’s numerous codes and ordinances.
It seems Sam is familiar with functioning in an environment characterized by demanding and complicated tasks and objectives. He was recently appointed executive chairman of the board of El Pollo Loco and is principally charged with guiding the corporate strategy for all its 410 company and franchise restaurants.

The Design Review Board of seven persons seems to accumulate both criticism and praise. The position can be a contentious one, especially when it involves property owners or developers who operate in a mode of “rugged individualism” and resist regulations or community values that “impede their progress.” Likewise, it is frequently the recipient of extensive praise when it insures residents have a voice in developmental deliberations and protects a neighborhood’s environmental characteristics.

Sam has always had a leaning towards planning and urban design, even during the years he served as a successful executive in the restaurant industry. He studied architectural design and engineering at Temple University. His curiosity and knowledge of the planning field, particularly as it incorporated ecology and environmental concerns were nurtured thru study with some of the most inventive and creative minds of the sixties, particularly: Paolo Soleri and Buckminster Fuller.

Both men served to demonstrate alternative approaches to urban development in sync with the natural environment and contemporary principles of urban design.
It is evident that Sam brings his remarkable educational experiences and impressive record of professional accomplishments to his position as a member of the Design Review Board.



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