Community Community Del Mar

Ad hoc design review meetings to be televised

DEL MAR — To promote accuracy and transparency, two upcoming — but likely all remaining — meetings of a temporary committee working to improve the design review process will be televised.

The ad hoc Design Review Process Advisory Committee was formed in June 2015 to address the impact some recent residential construction is having on community character.

It was controversial from the start as many residents said they believed the nine appointed members were anti-development. The group has held more than 20 meetings to garner public input in an effort to identify concerns related to the community impacts of new and remodeled homes.

Many problems have been noted and the group is now recommending solutions that could change current regulations and procedures.

Secretary Anne Farrell has been complimented for accurately taking minutes during all the meetings.

“But no minutes can capture all that’s going on in these meetings,” committee chairman Harold Feder said. “So we think that it’s very, very important that all these meetings be recorded.”

Council members were scheduled to approve, as part of the consent calendar, funding to record two meetings, one each this month and next.

“I’ve been in favor from the beginning that all of the meetings should be televised,” Councilman Al Corti said. “I can’t understand why we’re just picking two meetings.”

“We didn’t know what the cost was and we thought it might be high,” Dwight Worden, the council liaison to the group, said. “So the committee said just, ‘Well, let’s pick out two important ones.’ But the cost is so low … why not telecast all of them?”

According to the Sept. 6 staff report the price tag to broadcast both meetings is $324.

Because the agenda included a request to fund only two meetings, council members will discuss paying for all remaining gatherings at a future council meeting, possibly as early as Sept. 19.

Mayor Sherryl Parks said was slightly concerned about setting a precedent to record all advisory committee meetings. Currently only the Planning Commission and Design Review Board meetings are televised.

But Worden said the Design Review Process Committee is likely to “go out of business in the next six months.

“It’s not a forever deal,” he said.

The committee meets at 6 p.m. on the first and third Tuesday of each month at the temporary City Hall offices at 2010 Jimmy Durante Blvd.