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Park Plans Praised
Ann Gardner | Via Latina

Concept A.
Source: City of Del Mar.
Click to enlarge.

Plans for development of the 5.3-acre city-owned site at Ninth and Stratford Court that currently houses Winston School and the Del Mar Community Building are moving closer to final approval. On April 16 the Council voted 4-0 to authorize 3-D renderings and cost estimates for two revised plans that all four agreed incorporated community and Winston School goals for the site. (Councilman Druker recused himself due to the proximity of his home to the property.) Both plans incorporate collaborative use of the site providing, for example, the same covered parking area for the school, the community building and the park. The two concept plans also include open space areas for play structures, separate recreational areas for dogs and humans, an athletic field, walking paths, benches, overlook areas and a picnic plaza all made more possible by planning the entire site for use by all parties. A new, larger City Community Building with space for indoor recreational activities separate from the school and new school buildings are part of both plans. In Option B the current Community Building would be demolished and rebuilt off Stratford Court.

The acreage was initially bought by the City as the result of a successful Del Mar Parks fund raising drive in 2007. Winston School, which had occupied a portion of the site since 1988, participated significantly in that drive in exchange for pre-paid rent credit, and subsequently drew up a lease with the City to continue using 1.8 acres for the school. Their lease runs until 2063 and initially both parties, the City and the School, were making plans for development of each portion of the site independently. When Winston’s new director came on board in 2016, she initiated talks with the City to explore the potential for shared uses on the site. The more effective use of the acreage caused the Shores Advisory Committee and later the Council to endorse the idea, and initial plans were put on hold pending a review of what that might look like.

Now with both the Advisory Committee and Council on board for shared uses, consultant Glen Schmidt said he expected the 3D renderings and cost estimates to be completed this summer. That information will go first to the Shores Advisory Committee and the Council and then to the public for “tweaking” and, all hope after four years of community input and planning, final recommendation by the Council. In the mean time the Council approved using $30,000 of Measure Q funds to proceed with a traffic analysis while the school is still in session, the first step for the required environmental review. Joe Sullivan, President of the Friends of Del Mar Parks praised the process and participants in the planning stages and said he enthusiastically supported moving ahead. Either plan, he said, represents a “really good” cross section of the community.

Concept B.
Source: City of Del Mar.
Click to enlarge.



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