November 2014 home page

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Final Four?
Community Choices
Kathy Garcia | City of Del Mar, Planning and Community Development Director


Civic Use.  Courtesy City of Del Mar.
Click on images to enlarge.


Residential Use.  Courtesy City of Del Mar.


Commercail Use.  Courtesy City of Del Mar.


Leeger-Watkins Site Plan.  Courtesy City of Del Mar.


The Del Mar community and the City Council are assessing options for a new Civic Center development at the City Hall site, 1050 Camino del Mar. In previous workshops and Council meetings, the City Council and community have expressed a desire to move forward with replacing the antiquated City Hall and providing for a truly multi-purpose Town Hall, which could accommodate City Council and other governmental meetings, community meetings, Del Mar TV, and have the flexibility for cultural uses as well. These municipal uses, with their associated parking and a large public plaza, however, leave opportunities for additional uses on the site. At the June 9, 2014 workshop, community participants suggested that additional space could be built to have cultural uses, retail and restaurants, and/or housing. Additional public parking, beyond what is needed for a City Hall, was also desired. Now the community is assessing what, if any, additional uses are appropriate and how can uses, such as residential and commercial space, possibly assist in funding the project.

On Monday, October 27, 2014 community members reviewed four scenarios from the simplest “civic only” to the more active “mixed use” option at a Community Workshop: (See the graphics on page 17.)

1. Civic Uses Only: City Hall, Town Hall, and Plaza with 160-stall parking (60 surface + 100 tuck-under parking) which nets 109 surplus parking stalls for additional community parking.

2. Civic + Commercial: City Hall, Town Hall, Plaza and 3,400 square feet (SF) of Commercial space with 160-stall parking (60 surface + 100 tuck-under parking), which nets 71 surplus parking stalls.

3. Civic + Commercial + Residential: City Hall, Town Hall, Plaza, 3,400 SF Commercial space, and four (4) single-family residential units with garages, with a 204-stall parking garage, which nets 115 surplus parking stalls.

4. Mixed Use Community Center Plan by community members James Watkins and Kit Leeger with City Hall, Town Hall, Plaza, 9,250 SF of Commercial space, six (6) cottages above the parking garage and 168-stall parking garage, which nets 25 surplus parking stalls.

The City’s net cost of the various options range between $9.3 and $12.4 million, which falls within the financial capacity of the City (estimated to be between $14.9 and $22.2 million). While some of the options with residential and commercial actually cost more to develop, they have the potential to bring revenue to the City which reduces their overall costs.

These four options pose many questions for community discussion:

• What level of intensity and development is appropriate for this site?
• Should commercial uses be added to the civic uses in order to activate the site, and if so, how much is appropriate?
• Should residential uses be added to the site, and if so, how many units? Should residential units be sold or leased?
• Is it preferred to move forward with only the civic uses now and continue to discuss whether retail or housing is appropriate sometime in the future?

The outcomes of the workshop will be discussed at the November 17, 2014 City Council meeting and direction will be given to staff as to the next steps. Detailed information about the planning for a new city hall, prior reports to the City Council and background information can be found at www.delmar.ca.us/cityhall or by calling 858.755.9313. Future workshops and City Council meetings will discuss the refinement of the desired program direction and an eventual design.

Your continued interest and participation in the efforts to improve your public facilities is much appreciated. If you are interested in staying informed about the City Hall/Civic Center Project, then sign up online to receive e-mail updates of upcoming workshops and informational events. Visit www.delmar.ca.us/cityhall and click on the “Sign Up for Updates” link.


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