February 2014 home page

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Express Yourself
Ann Gardner | Via Latina


Del Mar residents and property and business owners still have time to participate in an online survey to contribute input on the new City Hall/Civic Center. Notified of the survey by post card last month, responders are being asked to confirm (or not) preferences identified at an earlier community workshop. For instance, administrative offices and meeting space to conduct City business were identified as the first priority for the facility by workshop participants in December, and the current location at 1050 Camino del Mar was identified as the first choice for its location. Do you agree?

Approved by City Council last month, the “Civic Center Planning Survey” is available on line at www.delmar.ca.us/Pages/CivicCenterPlanning.aspx or by scanning the QR code here with a smart phone. Those without internet access can request a hard copy at City Hall. “Do you agree?” begins or ends most of the questions although there are opportunities to rank potential uses, i.e. community meeting rooms, plazas and public parking and financing options, i.e. revenue bond, selling a non-essential asset or a public private partnership. There is also space for additional input or comments. The deadline for submitting survey responses is February 15.

Anxious to push the project forward, the Council asked that the response time be shortened from the originally suggested three to four weeks, and queried: “What else are we doing (to move ahead)?” Planning Director Kathy Garcia responded that the City is:

• Receiving proposals from architects to verify the staff-prepared City Hall Space Program and provide some cost estimates.

• Getting an update on a 2007 study which examined joint use opportunities to help fund a new city hall that will include current market conditions and cost estimates and also provide an overview on public/private partnerships, their strengths and weaknesses.

According to Garcia, the City’s Finance Committee has been tasked with validating the amount that the city can bond as well as assessing all non-essential city assets for sales potential. Staff anticipates returning to City Council with the assessment and the Committee’s recommendation in March/April.

“Due diligence” is also being initiated for the potential of using private office buildings located in the 9th Street/Camino del Mar area, as well as short and long term maintenance needs, building conditions, potential tenant improvements and terms.

Don’t delay. If you haven’t already done so, submit your preferences and ideas now.


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