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. 

This is not a done deal. Developer has only options to purchase the land, and the purchase depends on them gaining approvals. 

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 prevails over 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 approximately 410,000 sf buildings on approximately 17 acres, 146 units to rent as hotel space/condos, "retail" space, parking for 408 cars, 22 "affordable housing units"  and low-cost visitor-serving units.

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:

Why resist rezoning and the developer's initiative?

Establishes a dangerous precedent for rezoning all of Del Mar for future development given this drastic change from low-density residential with 14’-17’ height limits to highly dense, commercial 50' buildings. Developers might be energized to change Del Mar across the entire city.

Encroaches on CURRENT PUBLIC ACCESS to the James C Scripps Nature Preserve gifted to the City of Del Mar. The developer’s “specific plan" does not block hotel visitors from accessing the Preserve directly, as the Del Mar City Council decided in February, 2019. 

Increases traffic congestion significantly on Via de la Valle, local neighborhood streets, and the 101, which already ties up during rush hour. 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.