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Ask Dr. Rich
Every month, Rich Simons answers readers’ most perplexing questions.
Rich Simons | Upper East 11th

Photo illustration Art Olson.
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What is your take on the plans being developed for the old Shores School property on 9th street? – d.s.

Thank you for asking! My “take” (as you put it) is that good Olde Del Mar is once again missing the boat. And what boat is that, you ask? Why the one that our neighbors to the North, Solana Beach, have been propelling briskly through the water all these years.

Consider the following: not too long ago, in a time well within the grasp of human memory (heck – even MY memory!) our charming little hamlet contained a grocery store, a pharmacy, a barber shop, a liquor store, a service station with a pretty darn good mechanic called Kenny and a train station where trains actually stopped! Now we have none of those things and Solana Beach has them all . . . except for Kenny. And have you noticed? They recently did a major makeover of their chunk of Olde Highway 101. And THEY have been occupying a spiffy modern City Hall for years!

How could this possibly have come about? There is probably more than one reason, but prominent among them must be that Solana Beach never made the mistake of covering large swaths of valuable coastal bluffs with grass (for Pete’s sake!) so that the good folk from Poway and Rancho Bernardo could have a place to picnic. No – Solana Beach had the good sense to plant high density, expensive condominiums on their most precious oceanview property. And that, dear reader, translates into a huge TAX WINDFALL each and every year!

And now let us get back to that Shores School property. From what I read, it appears that our City Fathers are about to repeat that terrible mistake we made back in the seventies with Seagrove and Powerhouse Parks. You know – grass and trees and other things that will need WATER! Get it? Not a single high-rise condominium or anything else that will PAY for that water.

Okay, okay – I know what the handful of people who read this column regularly are thinking, and that is: “Whoaa . . . Dr. Rich. Didn’t you just tell us recently that Del Mar was the best place in the world to live?” Yep. I did say that, and I’m not taking it back.

I just never said we were PERFECT!




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