June 2012 home page

Village Specific Plan 
A 4-Part Spread

Citizens Speak | Merchants Mind  | Del Mar-only Ballot
Butcher, Baker, and Starbucks


Citizens Speak
Kathy Garcia, Planning and Community Development Director

Village Specific Plan.  Courtesy City of Del Mar


With the Village Specific Plan and its Environmental Impact Report available for review during the last two months, residents have been providing staff and Councilmembers their comments. Over 70 formal comment letters were received and can be found on the City’s website. In addition to the formal comment letters, Planning Commission, Design Review Board, neighborhood workshops, business community forums and Farmer’s Market conversations have also brought forward excellent suggestions for change. City Council is in the process of reviewing these comments and providing the direction for changes and revisions.

City Council will begin the discussion with Streetscape and Parking comments and Neighborhood Protection and Finance/Implementation on June 4th followed by Development Regulations on June 18th. On June 25th there will be a Special City Council meeting to summarize the Village Specific Plan’s revised direction.

As with all policies and programs, there are many different opinions regarding the Village Specific Plan. Some voiced support for the Plan’s direction while others felt that the Plan did not accomplish the goals. Others had areas of particular concern. For example, height regulations along the west side of Camino del Mar elicited a variety of opinions. Members of the City’s Finance Committee urged for 3 stories and a higher baseline FAR to capture more development potential whereas others in the community stressed the need to limit the west side height to the existing fourteen feet and not increase the FAR.

Most importantly, many in the Del Mar community have provided concrete suggestions for change which is very valuable for formulating revisions. For example, residents voiced concern with the potential of bypass traffic using neighborhood streets, if the roundabouts did not function as planned. Some put forward excellent suggestions that can be considered for the Plan, including setting thresholds and potential mitigations ahead of time rather than after the fact. Restaurant owners asked for more examples of successful roundabouts. With regards to the appropriate height debate, some suggested that the existing height be the maximum height, which is variable based on current structures.

thers suggested that a second story only be allowed for new residential. These are all very viable solutions and will be discussed at public City Council meetings.
Over the next few weeks, these discussions will continue at both Planning Commission and City Council meetings. These are important deliberations by our city officials and we hope that the constructive suggestions result in a better, stronger and more appropriate Village Specific Plan.


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