The Sandpiper hears from a growing number of residents that they sense the rules are being manipulated to achieve projects that are out of scale within various neighborhoods. We have collected some random quotes from letters to the DRB which characterize how many citizens perceive a growing problem.
The Sandpiper invited several residents and groups to offer alternative views but were turned down. Perhaps some will be motivated to respond to the views expressed in this issue?
1) “These neighbors are being genuinely harassed and they are nervous and scared. This should not be tolerated in our city. The city must step in and make it clear that the existing zoning laws will be strictly adhered to and not put residents in the position to have to negotiate with bullies.
2) “The 'spec house' proposed for ...is oversized and incompatible with the residences in the surrounding neighborhood. We strongly concur with staff findings that it violates DRO sections 23.08.072,23.08.077,23.08.078,and 23.08.040, and ask that the DRB require the project to be changed to be consistent with these.
3) “When I met with the architect during the CCP earlier this year, he promised the tree wonld be removed unless anyone objected to the plans. The neighbors are being held hostage by the trees, so they can get what they want.
4) “How on earth some of us can be so greedy and selfish wanting to have them all without considering the neighbors’ and not thinking how important this view can be to others...?
5) “The proposed house is much higher than the neighbor’s and hovers over their home and in different areas looks right into their home or right into their second floor deck thus invading their privacy.
6) “I think it really devolves to the question of whether Del Mar should remain a place where a diverse group of people can live, or should it become a city of trophy houses owned by absentee hedge fund managers.”
7) “... outdoor great room” at the CPP, should be enclosed and considered part of the floor area. It will be little used as an outdoor space because it is in an unattractive location for outdoor use compared to other parts of the project, as it faces retaining walls closely on the two open sides. In practice, it is an invitation to perform a weekend enclosure project hidden from the streets and from City regulation. Even if it remains as a patio, it increases the bulk without redeeming value without contributing to the FAR....”
8) “We believe that the DRB should have a paramount interest in maintaining the community character of Del Mar and that this project would have a significant detrimental impact on the character of this neighborhood. Like most of the residents of Del Mar, we moved here because of this character, including the fact that the size of homes were controlled so as to maintain the sense of privacy, space, and uniqueness that Del Martians cherish. We continue to live here because this has been maintained by property owners, consistent with the City’s legal requirements. We are not against growth or change but believe that such change must be consistent with these values, which the DRB is charged with protecting.”
9) “In San Diego County there are many places, most places in fact, where you can build a 5000 or 6000 square foot house on a 5000 sf lot. Del Mar is an exception. That’s exactly precisely why we moved here years ago. In Del Mar we have 10000 sf lots with 2100 sf houses and 400 sf garages, and that’s maxed out. The rest of the lot may have mature trees and plenty of space between houses. That’s the Del Mar I love. I’m really worried that the 3000 sf ‘basements’ will become standard, expected, demanded, so Del Mar houses without 5000 sf will be highly devalued. The entire gestalt of this project is horrible for Del Mar, from the oversized basement, to the manicured controlled landscaping, to the columns in the front. Who in Del Mar has columns? “
10) “In these times of extensive drought we should not permit swimming pools, especially in houses built by investors for speculation. Owners wanting pools may be entitled to them at the cost of paying for them, but we should not have investor/speculators imposing swimming pools on all possible owners. The facuzzi may be attractive to a greater audience, but it should be required to be of the type that facilitates a cover, to reduce wasteful water loss and heating requirements. Both pools andlacuzzis contribute greatly to emission of gases causing global warming, which California laws expressly discourage.”
11) “Proponents argued at the CPP that this house (which they told us is a “spec house”) would enhance property values nearby through proximity to a very large very expensive house, but the opposite is true. This house will tend to convert nearby houses to “scrapers,” In the last month we have received three letters from three different “professional investors” offering to buy our house regardless of the condition of the house. (“1 buy houses in any condition-good, bad, or even ugly. I buy houses AS IS.”)Clearly, to these investors any existing house is simply an annoying encumbrance that they will demolish in order to construct a new much more expensive house. As with the proposed structure, the houses they envision start invariably with a huge hole in the ground for the maximum subterranean floor.”