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

Click on cover for print issue in pdf format.

Covert Connectors:
Neighborhoods Kept in the Dark

Dennis Ridz | Chair, Torrey Pines Community Planning Board

EDITORIAL: Fulfilling Election Promises

Mind Your Qs
Tom McGreal

Granny Flats




Breeders’ Cup:
Barn Burner at the Beach

Jeffrey Barnouw

Roving Teen Reporter:
Social Competition

Sammy Hallal

John O’Connell

Clarifying Confusion
Dolores Davies

Preserving the Preserve
Nancy Fisher

Julie Maxey-Allison

PC Punts
Don Mosier

Council-Manager Model
Wayne Dernetz

DMF Talk
Original Inhabitants

Julie Maxey-Allison

Seawall Supporters Rise
Don Mosier

Market Mensas
Jeff Barnouw

Rakin it In
Editorial in the December 2013 Issue

City Hall Moves Up
Don Mosier

Nuclear Hot Potato
Don Mosier

Academic Abroad:
Not That Different

Faith Reineck | La Amatista Road| UC Santa Barbara Senior

Del Mar Foundation:
Cultural Arts Committee

Bill Morris

Del Mar Community Connections
Ashley Simpkins


Changes in “Red Dot” Procedures
Sherryl L. Parks | City Council Member

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

DM Library Calendar

DM Village Association

Public Meetings

City Council

Design Review Board

Planning Commission


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Inside the NOVEMBER 2017 Print Issue

Click on cover for print issue in pdf format.

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Breeders' Cup
Barn at the Beach

"Barn at the Beach" going up.
Photo Mike Salt.
Click to enlarge.
The Breeders’ Cup is coming to Del Mar November 3 and 4, two days and 13 “World Championship” races, ushered in by a Festival beginning October 29 in a “Barn at the Beach” in Powerhouse Park. Construction of the temporary “barn” will begin, according to the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, at 7 am Thursday October 26 and will take three days to complete. The tent will be deconstructed starting early on Nov 5 and completely removed by 8 pm Nov 7. No tickets needed to watch this.

Each day of the Festival is allotted to a different sponsoring organization: the Del Mar Schools Education Foundation (Sun Oct 29); and the Breeders Cup Ltd (Mon); Halloween Break (Tues); the Del Mar Foundation (DMF) (Wed); and the Del Mar Village Association (DMVA) (Thu); Thoroughbred Charities of America (Fri;) and VOX Productions (Sat).

October Print Issue
Covert Connectors:
Neighborhoods Kept in the Dark

Dennis Ridz | Chair, Torrey Pines Community Planning Board

Caltrans has chosen the flawed and environmentally destructive Alternative #2 as its “final preferred” alternative for the I-5/SR-56 Connector project, despite the lack of support for this project from the public and the Torrey Pines and Carmel Valley Planning Boards.

This designation is part of the Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR), and I have to applaud Caltrans for issuing this FEIR at the end of June, just before the July 4 holiday, and when most folks are away for the summer. This is important because the public has only 150 days to file legal action against Caltrans, or Alternative #2 becomes the law. Furthermore, Caltrans only published this Final report to its own website and a few elected officials. No notice was given to residents or companies along I-5 or SR-56 within Torrey Pines or Carmel Valley. No one knows about this project!

Alternative #2 calls for 82 exceptions to design standards listed in the Highway Design Manual (HDM). If the project were brought up to HDM standards, an additional $541 million would be needed. Neither Torrey Pines nor Carmel Valley opposed something being done to help ease traffic congestion. Both communities chose Alternative #4, a less destructive alternative that supported a “flyover” from west to north and an upgraded Carmel Valley Road connection to SR-56.

Under the Caltrans project, Del Mar Heights Bridge would be torn down and a new multilane bridge with a connector ramp would be built, turning east at Pointe Del Mar homes 107 feet above I-5. Construction of the new bridge would take three years. Just imagine the congestion and impact on the Del Mar Fairgrounds traffic during the County Fair and racing season.

The health of the children attending the Del Mar Hills Academy is directly impacted by the connector ramp that will run within 57 feet of the Academy’s main building. The ramp will be six feet below the sound wall, exposing children playing on the basketball court and playing fields to toxic diesel fumes. Caltrans has stated they expect a 25% increase in truck traffic once the connector is finished.

Starting in 2004 and finishing on June 13, 2012, Caltrans’s Project Management team held 23 Steering Committee meetings with the Torrey Pines and Carmel Valley Planning Boards regarding the I-5/SR-56 Connector project. Hundreds of pages of public questions were submitted to Caltrans as part of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). After release of the FEIR, Caltrans was cordially invited to explain at a Torrey Pines Community meeting on September 14 why Caltrans chose Alternative #2 as their “final preferred” alternative. Caltrans refused to attend, saying a meeting would be unproductive.

Your voices need to be heard by state officials and Councilmember Barbara Bry before it is too late.

October Print Issue
Fulfilling Election Promises

Earlier this year the City Council clarified our Community Plan and City Regulations to say that Short Term Rentals (STRs) of less than 30 days are not allowed in the residential neighborhoods of Del Mar. They voted 4 to 1 for a compromise solution that would allow each property in Del Mar to be rented for up to 28 days per year with rental periods of no less than 7 days.

The proponents of Short Term Rentals (STRs) are becoming increasingly vocal as the Council proceeds with the code changes required to adopt this 28 / 7 framework.

We support their right to express opinions and voice objections—this is certainly democracy at work.

What should not be overlooked, however, is that a strong majority of voters in our most recent election clearly favored the Council candidates who promised explicitly to protect the residential character of our neighborhoods from unauthorized commercial activity. The growing problem of short term rental business incursions into neighborhoods all over town was voiced in every candidate forum and was featured in the campaign literature of the winning candidates. The Council is doing exactly what it promised voters—that is also democracy at work.

Homeowners who pay for their homes, pay for upkeep, and pay taxes have a right to be protected from a business use that was never allowed in their residential zone. It is becoming impossible to enjoy quiet neighborhood life when active hotel-like behaviors become more and more common. As one homeowner put it, “my neighbor is profiting from my misery.” In a small community which depends on its stakeholders to nurture our quality of life, including our civic life, we must insist that commercial activity be limited to commercial zones.

We are not the only city up and down the coast trying to wrestle this problem into resolution. We can be proud that our City Council is being resolute in protecting the character of our town.

Note: See STR article on here.

October Print Issue Back Page
Academic Abroad:
Not That Different

Faith Reineck | La Amatista Road| UC Santa Barbara Senior

On the surface, Del Mar and Hong Kong seem like completely different worlds. Although English is widely spoken in both, the former evokes images of a relaxed beachside lifestyle, while the latter evokes images of a chaotic mass of skyscrapers and people. There is validity in each of these notions, but I’m here to tell you why moving to Hong Kong hasn’t been as much of a culture shock as I expected.

1. Cali - Mex
First and most important, Hong Kong has Mexican food. No, it’s not Roberto’s, but the Cali-Mex chain is found throughout the city, and offers a Chipotle-style build-your-own-burrito or bowl. Additionally, there are sit-down Mexican food restaurants such as Mexus, featuring a portrait of Donald Trump with a mustache and sombrero.

2. Hiking
Many people don’t realize that Hong Kong is more than buildings. A two hour hike from Kennedy Town will get you to Victoria Peak, the famous vantage point with a stunning panorama of the city. On the south side of the island is Dragon’s Back, a hike affording scenic views of the sub-tropical landscape and ocean. A quick bus or MTR ride will also take you from the main island to the New Territories, a less populated area with hikes up to 15km (9.5 miles). As someone who grew up doing the Torrey Pines hike on a weekly basis, hiking in Hong Kong is a surprisingly adequate replacement.

3. Beach
Hong Kong has beaches that rival those in California, with Repulse Bay, Clearwater Bay, and Stanley among the most popular. Beaches get very crowded on weekends and holidays, but the white sand and calm water are worth it. The calm seaside areas may even make you feel like you’re in the South of France, with restaurants like St. Barts in Clearwater adding some French charm. The occasional swell even allows for surfers to take their long boards to Big Wave Bay, although surfers seeking more of a thrill might take a two hour flight to Hainan Island in China, or Okinawa in Japan. The world class waves of Indonesia can easily be reached with a cheap ticket and a five-hour flight.

4. Yoga
Yogis rejoice! Yoga is huge in Hong Kong, with the city home to Lululemon’s main Asia office. Aside from studios such as the popular chain Pure Yoga, there are frequently free yoga events in parks and the previously mentioned beaches. With the city’s humidity, doing yoga outside over summer feels just like a Hot Yoga class at CorePower!

5. Hollywood / Disneyland
Between Hollywood references and Disneyland, the Southern California cultural influence has clearly reached Hong Kong. Hollywood Road, leading from Sheung Wan into Central Hong Kong, is lined with antique shops and galleries. Across the bay in Kowloon, there is an Avenue of Stars, modeled after the one in Hollywood, featuring Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee among other Asian celebrities. Disneyland is a quick MTR trip away on Lantau Island, decorating for Halloween and Christmas just like the one in Anaheim.

If you look at each number of this list, you might think you were reading a list of things to do in California. While I’ve managed to find my dose of California in Hong Kong, I also recognize the importance of experiencing the local culture. By living in Hong Kong, I get the chance to not only continue my favorite activities from home, but also to indulge in world class dim sum and pick up some Cantonese phrases along the way. Anyone who has the chance to study, visit, or work in this unique Special Administrative Region (lovingly referred to as the SAR), go and know that you will still be able to bring a slice of California with you!

October Print Issue
Dog Surf-a-Thon
Photo Mike Salt

Sunday, September 10th at Dog Beach.
Click on photo to enlarge.
October Print Issue
September 11
Photo Tom Nelson

September 11, 2017 in Powerhouse Park.
Click on photo to enlarge.
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