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Marisol Measure G: Commentary:
YES on G

Bud Emerson | Klish Way

Depiction of Marisol site on bluffs. Source: Marisol.

Voters are being misled into voting NO on Measure G without knowing the whole story. If G fails, the existing zoning for those 16 acres on the bluff allows the owners a right to build gated mansions with limited access by the public. This amounts to mansionization of the bluffs, a Fairbanks Ranch by The Sea. Del Mar will rightly earn a reputation for elite NIMBYism for the rich, certainly not the vision of our Community Plan.
Make no mistake. Default plans are all set for the gated villas, showing a decent profit for the developers.

There is no option for public space. There is no interest in selling that property to the public. There are no funds for purchasing the land, surely valued well over $100 million. We need to be clear-eyed when we cast our ballots. We cannot be deceived by magical thinking. We have a very important strategic choice to make.

Two options. If we vote NO, plans for the gated mansions will be activated, subject to review but not denial if within zoning. If we vote YES, review processes will allow our quality control processes to shape the project submission. These review processes include the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) with enforced mitigations, design review (bulk and mass, lighting, noise, bluff stabilization, noise, setbacks, pedestrian access, traffic…), a financial impact analysis, City Council approval, and Coastal Commission approval.

It is important to understand how we got here. Well over two years ago, Marisol planners began discussions with Council Members, community leaders, and interested citizens. They were told that a vote of the entire community would be important—they agreed. They were told they should submit to an EIR even though not required with an initiatve—they agreed.They were told their preliminary design was too big—they made dramatic reductions. They were told to set buildings back from the Preserve—they agreed. They were told that design review was important even though not required with an initiative—they agreed. They were told that pedestrian access all around the property was important—they agreed. They were told by Coastal Commission to include lower cost. accommodations—they agreed. They were told to include affordable housing—they agreed.

The order of the process is different is different but all of the usual quality review processes are included. We need to be wary of using the old paradigm of the grass roots citizens against the big bad developer. In this case, we have evidence that the developer is trying to work with us. We need to use a new paradigm of working with the project planners to shape a project that will be more consistent with our Community Plan and our responsibilities as trustees of maximum public access to our beautiful coastline.


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