April 2012 home page

Speak Now or ...
Ann Gardner | Via Latina


1100 block NOW. Photo courtesy City of Del Mar


1100 block AFTER. Photo courtesy City of Del Mar
Specifc Plan Q & A in pdf format


The Draft Specific Plan for Village Revitalization and its required Draft Environmental Impact Report are now available for review at City Hall, the Del Mar Library and Online at www.delmar.ca.us (under public announcements and news).

An Executive Summary covering key elements of the Plan is being mailed to all households and businesses. The Sandpiper urges you to review the documents and send your comments, questions and concerns in writing to the Planning Department at 1050 Camino del Mar, Del Mar 92014 or by email to planning@delmar.ca.us. Your issues will be compiled as they are received and Frequently Asked Questions will be posted on the website to determine “focused topic discussions” at City Council meetings. Comment early and often. A public Specific Plan/EIR Workshop with Council in attendance is set for April 30th. The deadline for all submittals is May 4, 2012. Planning Director Kathy Garcia answered some of our initial questions:

“We’re setting up times for people to drop by and ask questions of staff. Staff will have a booth at the Farmer’s Market and there will be discussion sessions scheduled throughout the City. Check our website for details and let us know if you want to host a gathering at your home. We will be there.

“We expect a number of comments on a variety of subjects. We see the Specific Plan as a ‘pencil draft; we assume it will change.’ For instance the EIR evaluation led us to incorporate some of the mitigations as recommendations. Some people had suggested more development, but we saw that the roadway could not handle it so it was not proposed in the Plan.”

Q: Is there a way to put in temporary roundabouts, street narrowing and story poles so we can experience the changes beforehand?

“We would have to install some sort of temporary roundabout to replace the stop signs. We’ll look into seeing if that is possible. Story poles will be erected when a specific development is proposed and will undergo Design Review: assessing view blockage, scale, bulk, mass and compatibility with the neighborhood. The EIR has prepared a visual assessment that uses computer modeling tools rather than story poles.

“Procedures to change the Plan, assuming approval on November 6, and as we move forward are detailed in the final chapter of the Draft Specific Plan. Minor changes can be made by City Council, major changes or amendments will require a public vote. Any property that does not wish to follow the Specific Plan regulations would be subject to Measure B.

The Specific Plan contains an implementation and action plan. Public improvements the City can implement are outlined with anticipated timeframes. We don’t know when private development will occur; some may happen soon others long-term. The City Hall property is considered a potential “pilot” project and could be a definite stimulus for private investments.

The advantage of a Specific Plan that includes both private and public benefits is the reciprocal aspect: private development helps fund public improvements and public improvements, e.g. public parking and a pedestrian friendly downtown, benefit the business community. Chapter nine of the Specific Plan addresses financial mechanisms we could use for public improvements including fees, exactions, debt, grants and cash financing. Bonds and facility districts are also options.


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