October 2015 home page

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Bud Emerson | Klish Way

Hotel Del Mar?

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Short-term rental companies are flooding Del Mar homes with mailers suggesting they can earn huge incomes by turning their homes into part-time rental units. There is already growing concern about the adverse impacts of short-term rentals (less than 30 days) on neighborhoods. The promised financial rewards will likely tempt even more residents into short term rental activity, thus increasing the dimensions of the problems we already have. Many are expressing fears that this is changing the character of our community.

CAP Forward
Del Mar’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) took an aggressive step forward with a citizen workshop at the Powerhouse on September 24. Over 50 participants suggested priorities for the Sustainability Committee to build into the final draft. Setting a goal of 50% reduction in greenhouse gas by year 2035, the workshop focused on strategies in three broad categories: transportation, energy and buildings, waste and water. The CAP plan with specific action steps will be presented for City Council approval by the end of the year.

Ban Bad Bags
At its September 17th meeting, the Sustainability Advisory Board(SAB) formed a sub-committee to evaluate regulating the use of single-use carryout bags in the City of Del Mar. Upon the recommendation of Council Liaison Worden who was approached by the Surfrider Foundation urging Del Mar to follow a similar path as its neighbor Solana Beach, the Board will revisit its legwork started in 2013 when it surveyed local merchants. The California Grocers Association sent a letter to SAB’s Chair, Andy Friedl applauding the consideration and suggested the model that works best for consumers and the retailers is banning single-use plastic bags and allowing recyclable paper bags for a charge. The impact for Del Mar’s merchants may be negligible. Many of Del Mar’s merchants have already eliminated plastic bags. The restaurants and those merchants who have to comply with food contact regulations are exempt from the ban in all communities. Del Mar has no grocery stores or pharmacies where plastic bag use is the largest. SAB will develop a Resolution for the City Council to consider. This should occur well before the November, 2016 referendum when California voters decide whether or not to scrap the statewide law phasing in restrictions on single-use plastic bags.

TBID Is Dead - Long Live TBID
Del Mar City Council decided to dismantle the Tourism Business Improvement District(TBID) as of September 30. Instead they have decided to raise the same amount of money to fund marketing activities, initially through the Del Mar Village Association (DMVA). The funds will continue to be raised from the same source--visitors will pay 1% tax on each night’s hotel stay. DMVA will manage the funds to promote all businesses, not just hotels. The initial period of funding will be 18 months. Unlike TBID there will be accountability reporting to the city which can take corrective action if appropriate.



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