City seeks input on sale of Balboa lot

DEL MAR — The city will hold a public hearing June 14 at 7 p.m. to discuss the potential sale of the vacant lot at 2160 Balboa Avenue to pay off a loan used to fund the purchase of a 5.3-acre site that was once home to Del Mar Shores Elementary School.
The hearing was scheduled for May 17, but with Carl Hilliard and Mark Filanc absent and Mayor Richard Earnest obligated to recuse himself, too few council members were available to hear the item.
To ensure the Shores property would remain open space for public use, the city bought the property from the Del Mar Union School District in May 2008 for $8.5 million. Friends of Del Mar Parks and the Winston School, a private educational facility on the site, raised about $5 million through private donations.
Contributions since then have diminished
significantly, primarily because of current economic conditions.
The city took out a loan to pay off the district and avoid high interest payments.
A $3.2 million balloon payment on that note is due in November 2011.
The sale of the 22,200-square-foot Balboa lot, one of the few parcels in the city with ocean and mountain views from any direction, is expected to more than cover the loan.
Any additional funds would be used to help pay for another city project, such as replacing the 17th Street safety center and lifeguard station.
A public hearing is required before the city can proceed with the sale.


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