published by Del Mar Community Alliance. Inc.
Inside the APRIL 2016 Print Issue


Ombudsman For Del Mar
Art Olson

EDITORIAL: Congestion Choices

PIPE UP: Vandalism in the Village
Jim Donovan

No Food Left Behind
Shirley King

Dr. Rich
Rich Simons

Roving Teen Reporter:
My Lovable Bubble

Leah Gans

The Sandpiper Editors

Neighborhood Connectivity
Shannon Hogan Cohen

Our Own PD
Barry Entous

Law Enforcement Options
Dave Druker

Watermark Nay: Pipe Up
D. B. Shelton

Watermark Yay: Commentary
Bud Emerson

What the Kids Are Saying!
Carol Kerridge and James, age 8.

Tunnel Vision
Jeff Barnouw

Coastal Consequences
Ann Gardner

Kim Connects: Kim Ramsey
Shannon Hogan Cohen

KaaBoo Boo-Boo
Nancy Fisher

Ad Hoc To Do List
Bud Emerson

Tiny Tome Tour
Shannon Hogan Cohen

Primavores’ Delight:
Spring is Here

Valerie Fanning and Ana Nieto

Diggin’ Our Medians
Claire McGreal

Del Mar’s Superhero: Adam Birnbaum
Art Olson



Extra copies of the Sandpiper are available at: City Hall, the Library, the Del Mar Community Buildiing, the Powerhouse, and the Carmel Valley Library; at The Gym in Del Mar on Jimmy Durante Blvd; at the  Solana Beach Library and the Solana Beach Community Center.


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APRIL 2016


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Readers' page

Pipe Up
Del Mar Short Term Vacation Rentals are a Threat to Our Residential Zone
Scott Renner | Via Alta

Next door to you is a 3 BR/2 BA home with pool. It is occupied by a family of four you know. You share small talk from time to time. You know their kids. They know your kids. You both hear each other yell, laugh, and entertain from time to time.  They sell, and the people purchasing inform you that they plan on using this home as a STR (short term rental). How do you respond?
That communities throughout Southern California are struggling with how to address STRS is evidence that a significant portion of these communities are negatively impacted by this issue. Anyone arguing that a STR in a residential zone is not a commercial venture is plainly incorrect. Next door to our home is a 3 BR/ 2 BA home with pool advertised on VRBO at $575.00 per night (5 night minimum). The absentee owners have purchased it as an investment that can generate $2875.00 every 5 days. This business creates significant revenue while producing issues that have absolutely changed my family's experience within the neighborhood we have long resided.

continuation in pdf format

Ann Gardner | Via Latina

After the City Council approved an urgency moratorium on NEW Short Term Rentals (STR) in Del Mar they were asked to respond to a list of issues to provide staff with some preliminary policy direction. Councilmembers had mixed opinions on whether or not to allow STRs and under what circumstances but tended to agree on related issues.  Short term rentals were defined as 28 nights or less; the moratorium does not impact longer term rentals.

The Sandpiper is providing our readers with the same list reviewed by City Council on April 4 when they approved the moratorium 4-0 with Councilmember Al Corti absent.  The moratorium triggers a focused community wide discussion on how the City might best handle the differing opinions over rentals of 28 nights or less in our residential neighborhoods.  

The discussion will most certainly be continued at city-sponsored community workshops and surveys very soon since the moratorium has a 45 day time frame unless extended by Council.  We hope the list, compiled by Planning Manager Adam Birnbaum who has been collecting community input and researching other city policies, will inform residents and serve as a “warm-up” for the upcoming community dialogue.
                                                                PARTIAL LIST OF ISSUES

  • Should the Municipal Code be amended to allow and regulate short term rentals?
  • If short term rentals are NOT to be allowed, should there be a “grandfathering” of existing uses.
  • Should short term rentals be allowed in: Any residential zone? Only certain geographic areas of the community? At commercially zoned properties?
  • Should there be a limit or “cap” on the number of short-term rentals allowed?
  • Should there be a limit on the number of days per week, month or year that a structure may be used as a short-term rental?
  • Should there be a minimum duration for the lease of a short-term rental?
  • Should a short-term rental be subject to prior receipt of a City permit or other form of authorization?

The complete list of issues put before the City Council along with detailed staff notes can be found here.  For additional information video-on-demand of the November 10, 2015 Planning Commission and the April 4, 2016 City Council meetings are available at along with comprehensive staff reports.

April Print Issue Front Page
For Del Mar
Art Olson
Mr. Clarke at his home on Lois Lane.
Photo Art Olson
Click on image to enlarge.
The Del Mar Ad Hoc Development Review Board Citizens’ Advisory Committee has been charged with identifying problems with the Design Review process and recommending solutions to the City Council. They have recommended one early solution to some of the conflicts that arise – the appointment of an Ombudsman to help applicants and neighbors navigate the process. The Sandpiper has found out that a candidate for that position has been identified. He is Mr. Kent Clarke; a well-known yachtsman and recently retired California Coastal Commissioner, who has voted to fire executive director Charles Lester. The Sandpiper sat down with Mr. Clarke at his Del Mar home on Lois Lane.



CC Passes Urgency Ordinance
Short Term Rental Moratorium in Effect

On a unanimous 4 - 0 vote last night (Monday, April 4) the Del Mar City Council passed an "urgency" ordinance that establishes a temporary moratorium, effective immediately, on new short term rentals during the next 45 days. The Council, with Councilmember Al Corti absent, noted that the urgency ordinance puts the issue of short term rentals on the front burner. "Let's get at it," one resident said reflecting a common feeling in the chambers last night that the issue has been simmering for too long. The moratorium allows the continued operation of existing short term rentals while the City uses the time to get additional input in order to "craft and potentially adopt regulations." Options for gathering more input from the community include public workshops and community polling. The moratorium can be extended for up to six months.

Garden Tour
Photos Bill Morris

A favorite garden of the owners designed, created and planted by Linda Teague and Mary Friestedt. Photos Bill Morris.
Click to enlarge.
The Garden Tour took place on Saturday, April 2, 2016. The two pictures above were taken in the garden of Susan and Judd Halenza, the first of three gardens included in the tour.
Pipe up


Art Olson’s interview with Adam Birnbaum in April 2016 issue of Sandpiper touched my responsive chord.  Having periodically observed and interacted with Adam over the last 25 years, calling him Del Mar’s Superhero is spot on.  Adam epitomized what public service is all about.  In addition to his sensitivity and fine values that were nicely revealed in this interview, Adam is one of the most knowledgeable, objective, experienced, helpful and a consummate professionals I have met.  Like many in this community, we are grateful for his exemplary service and job well done.  Adam will be truly missed. 

Suren G. Dutia, 11th Street

Pipe up
Welcome Kent Clarke

This is really silly, but as a Swedish-American, I just couldn't stop myself from informing Mr. Kent Clarke that the word "Ombudsman", is from the old norse (actually Swedish) language, still used in all the Scandinavian countries.  It, of course, means a person who has been authorized to speak on behalf of someone else, a representative. The word appeared written for the first time in a Danish law in the year of 1241.

Broken down, there are three words: 
Om means about
Bud means message
Man means man

So, in short, a man about messages :)

And it would be great to get one in Del Mar that can carry our messages. Welcome Kent Clarke!

Camilla Rang, 10th Street


April Print Issue

Joanne Sharp | Umatilla Street

        audits my heart
              and finds it owing
                            A refund
                                   of a thousand white blossoms
                                          will be arriving

April Print Issue Back Page
Del Mar’s Superhero:
Adam Birnbaum
Art Olson
Adam Birnbaum.
Photo Art Olson.
Click on image to enlarge.

Adam Birnbaum, Planning Manager, is retiring after 27 years working for Del Mar, capping his 34-year career in public service, having worked for the Coastal Commission and the California Conservation Corps prior to coming to the City. If you like the character of the our built environment, you might want to thank Adam for the effort and expertise that he’s put into the City’s development over these past 27 years.

We talked with Adam about his motivations for retirement, his plans, and his thoughts on Del Mar.

SP: At the age of 60, why did you decide to retire now?

AB: It all relates to time. I work long hours, with late night meetings at City Council, Design Review Board and Planning Commission, and then coming back to my desk at 7:30 in the morning. My father died not long after he retired and I always lamented that he didn’t get to enjoy his later years. I want time to savor life and to get back into pursuits that I just haven’t had time for of late.


April Print Issue Editorial
Congestion Choices

SANDAG may be asking the voters of San Diego County in November 2016 to increase the Sales Tax to pay for transportation projects in San Diego. SANDAG has proposed a couple of alternatives based upon the perennial argument as to whether to pay for more roads or public transit. The argument for roads is that the public use their cars and do not use public transit. If we build more roads, we can relieve the perennial congestion on our freeways. As an incentive, the road alternative provides money directly to the cities and county for maintaining infrastructure.


April Print Issue Center Spread
Our Own PD
Barry Entous

The time has come to stop outsourcing the safety and security of our residences and businesses and move forward toward creating our own police department. Four years ago the Del Mar finance committee, at the suggestion of City Council liaisons Al Corti and Terry Sinnott, created a subcommittee to address the escalating costs and unsatisfactory service levels of our contract with the County Sheriff. The city of Del Mar is one of nine cities that contract with the Sheriff office for security services. The latest contract, expiring in June 2017, calls for annual increases of 3.5% to 5% but excludes at least one large unknown cost, defined benefit plans.


April Print Issue Center Spread
Law Enforcement Options
Dave Druker

In 2013, the city hired the consulting firm of Ralph Anderson and Associates to perform a study of the deputy sheriff services and determine if there were a more cost effective means to provide better services. Recently, the city hired the same firm to update their analysis.


April Print Issue Center Spread
Watermark Nay: Pipe Up
D. B. Shelton

One day before long, beautiful homes like those near I-5 on San Dieguito Drive, the fine homes along Jimmy Durante and in the Heather Lane/Sea View/Luzon extended area will all converge at this corner. Hopefully, the SouthFair architecture will extend to or fill the corner on the West side of Jimmy Durante. It is very important that the corner be “Del Mar.”


April Print Issue Center Spread Watermark Yay: Commentary
Bud Emerson

As part of a California State strategy to increase the supply of housing for our growing population, every city is required to designate properties in its commercial district for residential zoning no lower than 20 units per acre.

After the defeat of the downtown specific plan (Prop J), opponents loudly objected to zoning our central commercial district at 20. In public they proposed instead that the site on Jimmy Durante be zoned to comply with state requirements. The city listened and got the state to certify the Housing element of our Community Plan designating this site at 20-25 units per acre.


Pipe Up
Bob Burke
Navy Medical Center San Diego Surf Clinic
On behalf of the Navy Medical Center San Diego Surf Clinic, (which occurs every Thursday at the main lifeguard station as a therapy for injured service people) we’d like to sincerely thank the long term assistance that the City of Del Mar Lifeguards have provided. Led by the amazing Pat Vergne, the lifeguards have helped in every way imaginable- safety, setup, equipment, as well as being warm and welcoming to patients and volunteers alike for well over 5 years. 
March Print Issue

Ad Hoc Development Review Board Citizens Advisory Committee
will meet once in April.

Tuesday, April 19th
from 6pm to 7:30pm
in the Annex
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