Email from Lesa Heebner, Councilmember. Solana Beach
to Jeff Cameron, South Sierra Avenue, Solana Beach
Thank you for your email. As a Council member, I know full well that I cannot please everyone. At the same time, I strongly believe in representing the majority, not just my personal opinions.
In addition to my usual activities, I’ve been campaigning for two Council candidates, so have been in many living rooms and knocked on plenty of doors, speaking with hundreds of residents of all ages, in all neighborhoods. The overwhelming majority are opposed to this project. We have received an extraordinary number of communications opposing the project and illustrating with photographs their loss of views. I’ve also met with people in their homes to see their view loss, and I get out and about a bit and hear an earful on all sorts of topics, including this project. The opposition is overwhelming. Not even close. And BTW all Council candidates are opposed to this project.
Regrettably, Zephyr’s representatives have not offered or proposed any dialogue or communication with our City concerning this project and the significant negative impacts to Solana Beach. Neither Brad or any other Zephyr representative has requested or initiated discussions or made any proposal to the Solana Beach City Manager or City Council to address the obvious negative impacts from the project on our city. All we have to base our comments and actions on to date is the project we see today as depicted by the story poles, and the literature provided by Zephyr Together, these facts show us real and devastating negative impacts to our residents.
The residents in the Del Mar Beach Club condos had been communicating with Zephyr and were told in an assuring manner “not to worry” about their concerns. Yet a 46-foot wall blocking their views, air circulation and light was presented to them via the story poles. This is not acceptable “communication and dialogue.” Neither Zephyr’s lack of communication or their lack of response to these residents gives us any indication that SB issues were considered at all. In fact the project is designed in a way that almost punitively impacts our City.
I’ve worked with Zephyr before on Solana 101. While our work resulted in, in Brad’s words, “a much better project,” at one point, they tried to tell us we didn’t get them our input early enough, that they were too far down the road and so what could they do? In this case, our Council took prompt action to inform Zephyr of our concerns and objections so they will have the maximum opportunity to make meaningful modifications.
Imagine if you were going to lose your ocean view due to a rezone you never thought possible. I am confident you would want the Council to make every effort to eliminate those impacts. Do you really think losing your home’s ocean view and 35%-75% of its value would be acceptable because you can now go take a walk on a bluff? Or that not-my-City gets sand? Or I can use a new bathroom when I take my dog to the beach?? My guess is that you would want your City Council to be responsive.
Brad’s statement on Wednesday that he would redesign sometime the first of the year was the first we’d heard of any response to the overwhelming opposition to what is currently proposed. Until that time, we stand opposed to rezoning for this project, and we await a proposal or some dialogue from Zephyr so that we can engage in discussions to attempt to find a mutually acceptable outcome.