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Speculating in Old Del Mar - Commentary:
The Transformation of Old Del Mar
Anthony Corso | Stratford Court

This cartoon, published in the June 2003 Sandpiper, is from the Sandpiper archives.  Click on image to enlarge.

Older neighborhoods in Del Mar are undergoing a rapid transformation due to increased speculation. “Old Del Mar” has always contained an assortment of older, smaller and somewhat historic homes. There is a certain charm and beauty resulting from the diversity of both one and two-story homes amongst mature landscaping. Unfortunately many of the smaller residences are being sold and displaced by the construction of very large structures and the commensurate loss of the greenery that has made Del Mar unique.


Source DRB Agenda
Item 2: Description: A request for Design Review, Coastal Development, and Land Conservation Permits to demolish a one-story, single-family residence and construct a new two-story single-family residence with basement, pool and spa, grading and retaining walls, fencing, hardscape, landscaping, and associated site improvements.

Item 3: A request for a Design Review, Coastal Development, and Land Conservation Permits to demolish a single-family residence and construct a new, two-story, single-family residence with a basement and subterranean garage, outdoor covered areas, pool and spa, firepit, grading and retaining walls, landscaping, fencing, and associated site improvements.

We are now beginning to showcase some of the most expensive homes in the area due to our proximity to the ocean and new construction offering imposing size. Many of the older homes and neighborhoods find themselves invaded by noise, a lack of privacy, and numerous environmental disturbances - caused by additional construction. The area once represented a wide diversity of housing types, styles and accommodations. Unfortunately, there is a sameness that has become a hallmark of what now replaces them and seemingly apparent disregard for the “greenery in our scenery.”

Older homes are being sold for more than one million dollars, torn down and replaced with larger homes that are immediately put up for sale for more than three times that amount. Currently there are at least eight houses undergoing this displacement/speculative process along the “Stratford Court Corridor.” A rash of homes displaying “for sale” signs raises suspicions that they might meet a similar fate. Such speculative redevelopment has begun to generate vocal concerns on the part of a small but growing segment of local residents, and a committee of local residents has been appointed by the Council to review this trend and the loss of our cherished community.

PIPE UP: Appointment Disappointment
I would like to express my deep disappointment on the procedure implemented to select members. Obviously you were flooded with applications so rather than dismiss the interview process all together, an alternative meeting/process should have been discussed. There was no interview. I was not aware that it would behoove my opportunity to serve had I met with council members prior to the meeting. It is my understanding that those selected had done so. This step was not suggested to all applicants.
The Design Review Ordinance is of great interest and importance to the residence of the community, thus the overflow crowd at the June 15th meeting. Your selection process was inappropriate and short-sighted. The final result is NOT representative of the entire community.
Jan Kinney, 9th Street

Design Review Reviewers
Ad-Hoc Development Review Process Citizens’ Advisory Committee

Members: Nancy Doyle, Anne Farrell, Harold Feder, John Giebink, John Graybill, Richard Jamison, Kelly Kaplan, Dean Meredith, Arthur Olson
Council Liaisons: Don Mosier, Dwight Worden

The mission and purpose are to:
1) identify the concerns related to community impacts of new and remodeled homes;
2) identify the goal to be achieved in potentially modifying regulations/procedures; and
3) recommend solutions to remedy the situation, including amendments to the regulations in the Municipal Code and/or the City’s development review procedures.



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