October 2015 home page

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Design Redo Review
Richard Jamison | Crest Road

Since it was established in May 2015 by the Del Mar City Council, six meetings of the Ad-Hoc Development Review Process Citizen’s Advisory Committee have been held. While the committee structure and appointments process have gotten a lot of attention, not much of it has focused on the Committee’s work and what we are hoping to achieve--an improved design review process that benefits the entire community.

While challenges may lie ahead, Committee meetings have been calm, constructive and inclusive. Meetings are open, everyone gets a chance to speak, and no subjects are taboo. While we are making progress, we’ve really just begun, and there will be many more opportunities for members of the public to participate in shaping the future of Del Mar in the coming weeks and months.

The Committee approved a Work Plan--reviewed by the City Council on September 21--which was a collaborative effort that included public input and feedback from all members of the committee. The plan can be viewed online at: www.delmar.ca.us/507/Ad-Hoc-Development-Review-Process-Adviso
The Work Plan includes the study of five key areas of the City’s design review process: DRB Procedures and Practices; the CPP (Citizens’ Participation Program section of Chapter 23.08); the DRO (Design Review - Chapter 23.08); related Development Ordinances (Chapters 23.33, 23.50, 23.51); and the Zoning Code (Title 30). These ordinances can all be reviewed on the City’s website by clicking on the Municipal Code tab. The topic of DRB Procedures and Practices concerns policies that are not codified, but are available from the Planning Department.

In studying these processes, we will be listening to feedback from different stakeholders, including the Planning Department and the Design Review Board. This will help us identify the critical problems that are negatively impacting the process. To facilitate the communication of concerns and suggestions between the stakeholders and the Committee, four public workshop-style meetings are planned over the next few months. The first of these meetings--for architects, developers, and real estate agents doing business in Del Mar--will take place on October 6.

Those who want to follow the progress of the Committee will find useful information on the Committee’s website. Members of the public can communicate with the Committee by sending e-mail to our City staff representative, Adam Birnbaum: abirnbaum@delmar.ca.us. The Committee meets on the first and third Tuesday of every month at 6:00 pm at the City Hall Annex. Members of the public are welcome and are encouraged to give testimony so I hope to see you there!

Richard Jamison, Crest Road, is Vice Chair of the City’s Ad Hoc Development Review Process Citizen’s Advisory Committee.


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