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Dreams on Track:
Park Plan Proceeds

Ann Gardner | Via Latina

Dream Wall at Shores Park. Photo Glen Schmidt.
Click on photo to enlarge.

Shores Park begins taking shape for real on July 6 when Glen Schmidt Design Group reports back to City Council on the results of their three months of research and community outreach. The “discovery” phase for a Shores Park Master Plan has included a citywide survey, community group interviews, pop up booths and a big Plan Your Park Event, all to find out what residents want to see at the 5.3 acre site at Ninth and Stratford. The preliminary results were vetted by the Shores Advisory Committee (SAC) on June 10 and will be presented July 1 to the Parks and Recreation Committee.

The old Del Mar Railway Station circa 1890 on the site of today’s Shores Park. The building in the upper right is Del Mar’s first school, built about 1885 where 10th and Highland intersect.
Courtesy Del Mar Historical Society.
Click on photo to enlarge.

Results are summarized in a comprehensive 29-page report available online and include “Guiding Principles” that will be reviewed by Council and, pending approval, used by the consultant to prepare design options for the site. The seven identified principles include: 1) providing a beautiful neighborhood park with 2) dramatic views to the Pacific Ocean and 3) offering recreational opportunities for all ages visiting the park with or without pets. Integrating the recreational needs of Winston School is an additional Guiding Principle.

On July 6 the Council will review activities residents have identified during the discovery phase as top priorities. SAC members were emphatic that one of the priorities “open turf for flexible play” include the words “accommodate children’s activities,” and that an “indoor community recreational facility” accommodating, for example, yoga classes be highlighted. Would the current Community Building occupied by the Del Mar Foundation and Del Mar Community Connections be enhanced at its current location or would a new structure be built at a different location on the site. This will likely be part of the Council discussion on July 6.

Priorities in the draft also include “attractive gardens and landscaping; benches for sitting, enjoying views, reading and meditating, off-leash grassy areas, picnic areas, shade, walking paths and a restroom.” Other possibilities listed include a joint use auditorium with Winston School, a community garden and bocce ball court. The report notes that “just one out of five households (responding to the survey)” has a child or teenager living at home. Younger members of the SAC were quick to note that this may not always be the case and to prioritize children’s activities as well as passive recreation.

The next steps in the process, Explore and Envision, will include continued community engagement, looking at case studies, refining the design and master plan alternatives and finally a preferred Shores Park Master Plan with recommendations for budgeting. The last stage is expected to be completed by Winter, 2016.

Pipe Up: Praise for Progress
We are impressed with the progress that has been made toward creating a dynamic new Civic Center for our Community. We salute the current and recent Council members and staff members Kathy Garcia and Scott Huth for their persistent, wise leadership in bringing our Community together in support of this worthy endeavor. My daughter, Kit Leeger and I have spent countless hours creating a design vision for an exciting grand plaza for a variety of community, civic and social events, Del Mar’s own Village Square. We know that future decisions are yet to be made about other potential uses of the site, perhaps public or private. We stand ready to continue offering our professional services to help the Community and its leaders in achieving this important goal and we thank all those who have contributed so much to bring us to this point.

Jim Watkins | Camino del Mar
Kit Leeger | Solana Beach



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