DEL MAR — As downtown revitalization efforts move from creating options to choosing alternatives, City Council and staff members began a new phase of community outreach to help finalize a specific plan that will be presented to voters in the November election.“Here’s the opportunity for … every community member to get acquainted with what’s in there, to ask questions, to get clarifications, to know what this proposal is all about,” Councilman Terry Sinnott said at the March 19 meeting.
“We’ve got a number of options to settle on,” Councilman Don Mosier said. “We’ve got to select all those options with input from our residents. And if the process works right we will get good buy-in on the ultimately adopted specific plan and we will easily pass it in the November election.
“If we get this process wrong in the next two months we’re going to have trouble in November,” Mosier said. “People need to pay attention in the next couple of months.”
Some of those options include making no changes at all, decreasing Camino del Mar from four lanes to two and adding roundabouts, replacing existing stop signs on the main thoroughfare with traffic signals and allowing taller buildings on the west side of the downtown village.
About a year ago, city officials started soliciting public input to create alternatives for the specific plan by holding community conversations in area homes, informal workshops and open houses.
The project has been presented and discussed at council meetings. Staff and council members provided information at booths set up at community events. There was also an online survey.
Information was distributed in newspaper articles, mailings and e-blasts. At the March 19 meeting, staff proposed continuing those efforts through July.
A council and staff member will be available at the farmers market every Saturday until June 30. There will be presentations at scheduled meetings of the Traffic and Parking Committee on April 10, Parks and Recreation Committee on April 18, Sustainability Advisory Board on April 19 and Finance Committee on April 24.
Workshops will be held during Design Review Board meetings April 25 and May 23. Community conversations are scheduled for April 9, April 18 and April 23. Hosts are needed. For information and a complete schedule of community outreach efforts, visit the city website at delmar.ca.us.
There residents will also find downloads, video clips, updated illustrative graphics and visual simulations. The city has also launched Facebook and Twitter accounts. Residents can also weigh in by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The draft specific plan and environmental impact report are currently available for public review and input. The goal is to present final versions of those documents to council members for adoption at the Aug. 6 meeting.
Resident Al Corti said he was “pleasantly surprised” by the outreach efforts.
“I would hate for us to go through … what I consider a four-year process and … a lot of money and leave a stone unturned,” Corti said. “I would hate for us, as we get closer to the decision making, to see the council members say, ‘Well, did we get to the public? Did we do everything that we could do?”
Mayor Carl Hilliard agreed, reflecting back to the Garden Del Mar specific plan that was approved by voters in 2008.