published by Del Mar Community Alliance. Inc.
Inside the June 2017 Print Issue

Click on cover for print issue in pdf format.

Trees Up in Downtown
Ann Gardner

EDITORIAL: It Took an Army
The Wetlands Restoration Story

A Don For All Seasons
Jeff Barnouw

Roving Teen Reporters
Lily Inspires Sammy

Sammy Hallall

Location Location Location
Jeff Barnouw

All Decked Out
Don Mosier

Fiscal Factoids

City to Reduce Spending
Tom McGreal

Ann Gardner

STRs: Fact Check
Dwight Worden | Deputy Mayor

Retail with Rhythm
Virginia Lawrence

Police Possibilities
Watermark EIR Options
Shores Park Design
The Five Q’s
Recycling Drop Off
Fuel Reduction
Granny Flats
STR Legal Action
North Bluffs Property

Handcuffing our Future?

Joe Sullivan

Cheaper Cleaner
Don Mosier

Opus Meum
Jeff Barnouw

Thanks, Eric!
Harold Feder, Cub Reporter

Pots to Hops
Ann Gardner

Del Mar Foundation
Bob Gans

Del Mar Community Connections
Ashley Simpkins

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


DM Calendar

DMCC Calendar

DMF Calendar

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DM Village Association

Public Meetings

City Council

Design Review Board

Planning Commission


home | home page archives | July/August 2017 home page
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JULY 2017

September 2017
Print Issue
Click on cover for print issue in pdf format.

EDITORIAL: A Difficult Time

Sandpiper September Editorial

Many inquiries to City based on misinformation
City Press Release: Misinformation

Dan Crabtree, Pat Vergne's Lawyer, Rebuts City
Crabtree Rebuttal: Termination

Community Services Director, Pat Vergne, removed for mismanagement
City Press Release: Termination

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Readers' page

Community Outreach Meeting
Wednesday, August 30 - 6pm

Click on photo to enlarge.
Community Outreach Meeting to Discuss 16-Acre Del Mar Parcel Set for Aug. 30  The planners invite public feedback on their preliminary resort plan ideas at 6pm at the Powerhouse Community Center.

Building on feedback from their May 6 and 13 public meetings, project team members will present  proposed resort architectural design concepts  and public amenities under consideration – including walking trails, a park, improved access to North Beach and public parking.

Jimmy Durante Roundabout
Jay Monsef, Seaview Drive

This was the best thing that, to my view, has happened for traffic in our city.

As a family we have been living in Del Mar since 1994. We have seen many good developed projects over these years, this one is very noticeable as to how it has made the driving through this intersection so smoothly. You don't have to worry about cars, coming at intersection as who should go first or if the car that supposed to stop would really do that or not?! You just go through it only thinking about the yielding rules and that is it. No need to make stop only yield when needed.

Thank you the city officials for making it a reality.



Law Enforcement Q & A Workshop

On Monday, July 10th The Del Mar City Council hosted a public workshop as part of the community conversation regarding the City of Del Mar’s law enforcement service options.

The workshop was largely Council driven, with Councilmembers asking questions of an expert panel on a range of law enforcement-related topics including, the level of service provided by the current Sheriff’s contract, the Del Mar Police Department Feasibility Report, and the Del Mar Police Department option. Residents will have the opportunity to make public comment following the Council question and answer session.

Additionally, the workshop addressed the reasons Del Mar Police Department Feasibility report was undertaken, the options the City has for law enforcement services, the current level of law enforcement services the City is receiving through the Ranger Program and the Parking Enforcement Division, the cost and liability implications of an independent police department, and other related topics.

July Print Issue
Over the Top!
Jeff Barnouw’s $6,000
Challenge Grant Goal Smashed

Generous donors have met (and exceeded) the challenge set by Jeff Barnouw, who is matching dollar for dollar all new Sandpiper donations this year up to $6,000.


July Print Issue
Trees Up in Downtown
Ann Gardner

Proposed improvements at 12th Street and
Camino del Mar / View looking West.
Source: 1996 Camino del Mar Downtown Streetscape Plan.

Participants at two recent community workshops held to get input on Del Mar’s downtown streetscape plan asked the City to move their “Nice-to-Do” list forward to the higher priority “Have to Do” list. As presented by City staff, the phase one “Have to Do” list was seen by participants as long on maintenance projects, but lacking a broader vision for the Camino Del Mar corridor. The planned Streetscape project extends from 9th to 15th Street, maintaining the current width of two travel lanes in each direction, with no roundabouts or sharrows.

Approximately 15 residents attended the recent workshop, many of them expressing frustration with the City’s timing and priorities. The phase one projects include new pedestrian crosswalks, improved ADA access at intersections, and repaving and striping the roadway. Both residents and business owners, however, were anxious to see the phase two projects, which include landscaping, configuration changes for parking, new sidewalks and a scramble crossing at 15th street, implemented in the short term, so that residents would not “have to wait another ten years” for these enhancements.
Feedback from two mothers spoke to the “too often ignored” pedestrian crosswalks, and drivers speeding through stop signs on Camino del Mar. Zach Groban, chairman of the City’s Business Support Advisory Committee and a Del Mar business owner, pleaded for changes that would encourage people to wander along Camino del Mar, crossing the road to both sides safely and staying in town.

The community workshop was part of a public outreach process to gather feedback from residents and business owners on construction and enhancement efforts to improve and update Del Mar’s main commercial corridor. According to Del Mar Assistant City Manager Kristen Crane, the Streetscape plan will be finalized after meetings with the last of four local groups and a webinar held on June 26. Concept plans will be shared with the public before a preferred plan is forwarded to the City Council, which is slated for September. Construction is expected to begin in January 2018.

Spurlock Landscape Architects, the design firm that guided the City in enhancing the Camino Del Mar corridor in 1996, was retained to guide Del Mar in making the planned streetscape improvements. The current planning and outreach process, said Crane, is intended to update the 1996 plan, specifically for Camino del Mar between 9th and 15th streets. According to the 1996 Plan, “the guiding principle for the improvement of Camino del Mar is to enhance those qualities that the Community values and to selectively remove those things that detract from the character of Del Mar. The preferred automobile traffic scheme maintains the existing lane configuration…with lane width modifications to allow for enhancement to pedestrian and planting areas. The …trees provide dappled shade and reinforce the wooded forest ‘Del Mar character.’” The “wooded forest character,” said the report, would discourage drivers from speeding through town, ignoring pedestrians and downtown amenities.

July Print Issue
EDITORIAL: It Took an Army
The Wetlands Restoration Story
Loads of fill were dumped onto the wetlands over the years to maintain and expand the parking lot, without required permits or approval.
Photo John Gillies (1987).
Click on image to enlarge.
Recently, Del Mar has enjoyed a front row seat to watch a major wetlands restoration taking place by the San Dieguito River and Lagoon in the Fairgrounds’ South Lot. The story of how we got here is worth telling, because without some remarkably persistent efforts by an army of committed individuals, organizations and government agencies, we might still be enduring the parking lot that despoiled these wetlands over many years.

For decades, without permits or approvals, the 22nd Ag District Association (22nd DAA) degraded acres of San Dieguito wetlands—one of the most important and endangered habitats in California—in order to park cars. Big bulldozers, dump trucks and other machinery graded the land, pushed fill into the river, and scraped away native vegetation, to maintain and expand the parking lot.
This drew the attention and outrage of local environmentalists, who persistently sought recourse from the federal Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE), whose interest is rooted in the federal Clean Water Act. In time, this campaign, backed up by strong photographic evidence by former mayor John Gillies, resulted in a remarkable step forward: in 1993, ACOE issued a cease and desist and remediation order which required the 22nd DAA to restore four acres of the South Lot to wetlands, including restoring nesting sites of the endangered least tern.

It took the 22nd DAA some 20 years to get that four-acre restoration underway.
Meanwhile during the years following the ACOE order, illegal, non-permitted grading continued in other parts of the South Lot, and in 2011, the California Coastal Commission (CCC) served the 22nd DAA with notice of its intent to pursue enforcement action, with CCC Executive Director Peter Douglas describing the DAA as “an arrogant agency above the law.” This CCC action resulted in a 2012 Consent Cease and Desist Order and Restoration Order, requiring additional wetlands restoration, 100-foot buffers in some areas, and other corrective actions.

A bulldozer degrades the wetlands in favor of a parking lot.
Photo John Gillies (1990).
Click on image to enlarge.

Other legal actions at play included a Sierra Club lawsuit challenging a CCC decision on whether the East Lot is wetlands, and suits by the cities of Del Mar and Solana Beach, the River Park JPA, and the Sierra Club challenging aspects of the 22nd DAA Master Plan. From these challenges came additional protections, including a limited 10-year permit for use of the East Lot, allowing that issue to be revisited in 2023; a 100-ft. setback from the river when the Fair’s Exhibit Halls are rebuilt; traffic studies and management; and noise restrictions that Del Mar has since used to address noise problems, such as those from Kaaboo.
The full story is complex, but at its heart is a simple truth: one agency looked at the sensitive wetlands adjacent to the river and saw a parking lot. Many others—from the Army Corps of Engineers to an army of citizen activists (too many to name, but we’ll call out Jacqueline Winterer, Nancy Weare, Alice Goodkind, Dawn Rawls and John Gillies as exemplars) and political leaders from Del Mar, Solana Beach, the CCC, the Conservancy and the JPA—looked at that same land and saw degraded wetlands that could and should be restored to their rightful ecological role in our fragile environment. The 22nd DAA seems to be acknowledging its environmental role more so than in the past. Years of dilatory and destructive behavior teach us that continued vigilance is essential. Thanks to decades of continued vigilance, the South Lot wetlands are finally winning.

July Print Issue
Rounding the Roundabout

The Del Mar Fire Department demonstrated navigating the city’s new Jimmy Durante roundabout for the Sandpiper. We’ll be reporting feedback on the roundabout after the closing of the fair and racetrack seasons this year. If you have a roundabout story to share, send it to:
Photo Mike Salt.
July Print Issue
Helping Joe Get a New Leg
Dwight Worden | Seaview Avenue

Click on image to enlarge.
I’ve launched a fundraiser to help our Acting Public Works Director, Joe Bride, with the extraordinary expenses for his post-cancer prosthetic leg. Check it out at the link below -- and if you can make a donation, Joe and I would greatly appreciate it. This is not official city business, just something I am spearheading on my own. It looks like Joe will need at least $25,000 in addition to what insurance covers, so that’s our goal. If you donate, the platform (YouCaring) will suggest a donation to the site itself, but you can click on the drop-down arrow and change that if you prefer all your donation go to Joe.
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