Dolores Davies | Crest Road
After dozens of public hearings by the Ad Hoc Design Review Committee and abundant feedback from a wide range of stakeholders, RRM, the city design consultant is vetting draft guidelines with relevant relevant City committees.
The Business Support Advisory Committee has provided feedback on guidelines in the commercial corridor. In addition, RRM got feedback from members of the Design Review Board (DRB), which will utilize the guidelines in their review and analysis of proposed development projects.
According to RRM, the final set of guidelines will be a useful reference tool for DRB members, and will help to reduce subjectivity in the existing process by providing more clarity and identifying desirable design principles in important areas of review, such as neighborhood compatibility, bulk and mass, and the preservation of views and privacy.
While feedback from the committees was largely positive and appreciative of the great deal of work that has been accomplished, DRB members had numerous questions and provided substantive feedback on the document. Topics broached by DRB members focused on the sections of the guidelines relating to protecting views and allowable view blockage, retaining walls, lighting, balconies and decks, outdoor speakers and other entertainment features, landscaping and vegetation, and issues related to structural siting and conserving natural topography.
A few DRB members hoped that additional emphasis could be made in the guidelines about the fact that the design guidelines were just that—guidelines, and that the context of each project was especially important. Concerns were also expressed about the possibility that the guidelines would lead to a certain uniformity that would be undesirable in Del Mar. The consultant conveyed that there was no predominant style that was being advocated and that the Community Plan placed a high value on an eclectic and natural ambiance. Del Mar’s eclecticism also extends to its serpentine streets and residential lots, which vary significantly in terms of plottage and topography, which would counterbalance any standards that might lead to uniformity.
Feedback is also continuing to be received from local residents, design professionals, and members of the real estate community. RRM will also be presenting the draft design guidelines to the City’s Planning Commission at its meeting on September 12.
To view the draft design guidelines, go to:
www.delmar.ca.us/DocumentCenter/View/3044/. Questions or feedback on the guidelines can be directed to City of Del Mar Senior Planner Matt Bator at firstname.lastname@example.org