Save the Del Mar Bluff--Say No To Rezoning Initiative

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Del Mar City Council: Stop the rush to a public vote without enough time to study an extremely complex project on top a fragile bluff, when bluff collapses are occurring weekly in North County, San Diego. Public safety is already an issue on Del Mar Bluff as wave action directly undermines the bluff, carving out caves and arches, fissures and unstable soils contribute, and the beach is very narrow. Your residents deserve fully independent, in-depth studies done by a range of unbiased experts to assess exactly how much can be built while protecting public safety.

Solana Beach City Council: Do everything in your power to stop the proposed mega development hotel/timeshares. Both Del Mar Beach Colony and Solana Beach neighborhoods will suffer from years of construction, 46' timeshare towers blocking sky & ocean from every direction, snarled traffic, and year-round visitors on an already overcrowded shared public beach.

This is not a done deal. Developer has only options to purchase the land, and the purchase depends on them gaining approvals. As for developer vague promises on sand replenishment-- Our local Congressman, Mike Levin, has already obtained substantial Federal fund for sand-replenishment in Encinitas and Solana Beach, and Del Mar will benefit as the sand flows south.

Why the voter initiative helps developer and not concerned citizens: voter approved projects allow developers to create their own requirements and skirt any LOCAL POWERS or citizen input to modify the project plan, if approved. Developer initiatives reduces local design approvals to a rubber-stamp, as the specific plan trumps all city ordinances and DMCC decisions. 

What's even worse--instead of a "redesign," the developer has revealed his respect for community input by his initiative "specific plan" with the same building density, the same height maximum (32'-46') in the project, after thousands protested last year: Four 46' high timeshare towers squat at the heart of the bluff, surrounded by 32' buildings, with slivers of 15' facades (see top map from the Marisol voter initiative, section 3). Project totals 329,900 sf buildings on 11.8 acres, 146 units to rent as hotel space/condos,14,100 sf of "retail," plus underground parking for 408 cars, 22 "affordable housing units" of 732 sf each for families of 4.

The residents of Del Mar would have no power to change the project plan if initiative prevailed. That's why the developer expensive hard-sell that's big on vague promises and weak on essential detail, such as elevations, floorplans, actual 3-D models, or other project plan items one would expect any building contractor to provide. It's a great deal for the developer, however, in other ways:

But wait--there's more!

Establishes a dangerous precedent for rezoning all of Del Mar for future development given this drastic change from low-density residential with 26' height limits to highly dense, commercial 50' buildings. Developers would be energized to bulldoze the entire Del Mar landscape, double density, and obliterate zoning and green space.

Encroaches on CURRENT PUBLIC ACCESS to the James C Scripps Nature Preserve gifted to the City of Del Mar as public open space with 10' setback from 46' and 32' buildings. The "specific plan" does not block hotel visitors from the Preserve, as the Del Mar City Council ruled just in February (see update--Preserving the Preserve) and their campaign literature uses a Preserve Park bench photo!

Increases traffic congestion significantly on Via de la Valle, local neighborhood streets, and the 101, by approximately 1,575 car trips per day. Ingress and egress are single lane only, onto a crowded commute corridor during freeway slowdowns, events at Fairgrounds across the street, and summer beach visitors.

Over-runs already crowded beach year-round as North Dog Beach serves volleyball players, surfers, and dog lovers--who will be banned first due to "luxury" tourists?

Your citizens live in these small beach communities precisely because of strict building ordinances and local control over all building projects. Preserve the last bits of paradise left that past generations have fought to protect for all the generations to come.