October 2015 home page

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Design Within Reach
Kathy Garcia | City of Del Mar, Planning and Community Development Director

Del Mar Civic Plaza rendering. Courtesy City of Del Mar.
Click on image to enlarge.

The City Hall/Town Hall/Civic Plaza design is underway and progressing according to the adopted City Council schedule. The architects are working hard to combine programmatic needs and community comments into a suitable design of the buildings and plaza areas. On August 26, the architects heard valuable comments from the Design Review Board and the community members who came to testify. Comments included concerns of the proposed bulk, mass and box-like structure; its interface with downtown and how the design could contribute to its vibrancy; and the design in context of Camino del Mar and the community character.

Concerns regarding traffic, public views, noise, light, and glare were identified, many of which are addressed in the Draft Environmental Impact Report. The architects have taken those comments and gone “back to the drawing board” to see how they can incorporate the direction they heard. They will test these thoughts at the upcoming workshops as the design evolves.

The Draft Environmental Impact Report is now available for public review. The Draft EIR assesses the proposed project, the future expansion areas and the temporary relocation of City Hall during construction. It can be downloaded online at www.delmar.ca.us/cityhall or viewed at City Hall or the Del Mar Library. Written comments on the Draft EIR are due to the City no later than 5:00 PM on October 26, 2015 and can be emailed to CityHallCEQA@delmar.ca.us or mailed/delivered to 1050 Camino del Mar, Del Mar, CA 92014. Please remember that CEQA requires that comments are submitted in writing by the due date.

And there are many opportunities for community comment on the design during this process as well. Here are a few:

• A workshop at 6:00 PM on September 28, 2015 (in the City Council Chambers) to discuss how the architectural design could manifest the community character; how the plaza can be designed to support the community’s desired activities; and what are the findings of the Draft Environmental Impact Report. Missed the workshop? You can view it on Del Mar TV or online at: www.delmar.ca.us/cityhall
• Community Forums at upcoming City Council meetings (time certain at 6:30) where community members have an opportunity to share their comments on the project’s design.
• Citizens’ Participation Program Meeting tentatively scheduled for 6:00 PM on October 21, 2015 (in the City Council Chambers) to discuss the design evolution and direction to date.
• The online community engagement tool “Engage Del Mar” which can also be found at www.delmar.ca.us/cityhall is available for posting comments
• Emails to CityHall@delmar.ca.us
• Design Review Board on November 18, 2015
• City Council Hearing on December 7, 2015

We’ve also heard that calling this the “Civic Plaza” is confusing, as people think of “The (Del Mar) Plaza” at 15th Street instead. Any suggestions for a name of this great, new community gathering space? Send all ideas to CityHall@delmar.ca.us
The design process is a very exciting time, as ideas begin to manifest into form. As is typical with Del Mar, there are many different ideas and perspectives. Join the dialogue and have your voice heard.


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