L’Auberge meeting room policy adopted

L’Auberge meeting room policy adopted
The city adopted guidelines that will make it easier for its staff, advisory committees and nonprofit organizations to use meeting rooms at L’Auberge Del Mar at no cost, a requirement established 30 years ago when the resort was being built. Photo by Bianca Kaplanek

DEL MAR — Council members at the June 19 meeting adopted guidelines that will help city staff, advisory committees and nonprofit organizations take advantage of a public benefit established 30 years ago.

L’Auberge Del Mar, known at the time as the Del Mar Hotel, was built under a 1987 voter-approved specific plan, which creates a special set of development standards for a particular area.

In exchange for those land-use modifications, such as rezoning or increased density, a specific plan requires the developer to offer public benefits. As part of the hotel project, community rooms had to be available for public use at no cost up to 12 times a year.

It was a benefit rarely used by nonprofits or the city during the last three decades.

Council members Sherryl Parks and Dwight Worden recently worked with hotel management and representatives from the city’s eight nonprofits to develop the guidelines.

Under the agreement L’Auberge will waive setup and space rental fees, a value estimated between $1,250 and $3,500 per event, and allow outside food, nonalcoholic beverages and audiovisual equipment to be brought onsite.

There will be a 15 percent discount on food and beverages ordered from the hotel. A 5 percent discount will be applied for use of the hotel’s AV equipment, except in the boardroom, where it will be free.

Valet parking will be complimentary for the first 20 cars per event and $10 per vehicle after that.

City officials and advisory groups, the Del Mar Foundation, Del Mar Community Connections, Friends of the Del Mar Library, Friends of the Powerhouse, Del Mar Village Association, the Del Mar Historical Society, the Del Mar Garden Club and Friends of Del Mar Parks are eligible to use one of the hotel’s approximately one dozen meeting areas.

Applications must be submitted between Nov. 1 and Dec. 15 of each year. The city will make the final selections and allocate use for the following calendar year. City events will have priority over those of nonprofit organizations.

It is expected that any group will use a room only once a year for a maximum of four hours at a time unless all 12 opportunities are not taken.

If there are more than 12 applications annually, city staff will work with L’Auberge to possibly accommodate those requests by a random lottery.

Under specified circumstances the hotel can change an assigned date or room to accommodate L’Auberge business needs, but it cannot cancel within seven days of the event.

The maximum occupancy the hotel can normally accommodate is 30 seats in a U shape or 78 seats theater style. Requests for groups larger than that will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

The benefit is meant for meetings and free gatherings. Permission must be received in advance from the city if admission will be charged

Events and activities that detract from or disrupt ongoing L’Auberge business activities are not allowed.

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