It is very disappointing that Del Mar Council Member Carl Hilliard cast a yes vote for the new Regional Transportation Program (RTP) at SANDAG, our regional governmental body. This after the California Attorney General’s office warned that this RTP’s environmental impact report is “legally deficient...and seems to be setting the region on a course that is inconsistent with the State’s climate objective.”
The net effect of this action is to put Del Mar on the same collision course with other cities in SANDAG, pushing to expand the number of lanes on I-5 at the expense of other alternatives such as public transit. Before building more highway space, the RTP’s first priority should be to give commuters a viable option to get out of their cars and into public transit to get to major work place centers like the UTC/Sorrento Valley area. The SANDAG vote is neither on the side of the Law nor our environmental future.
Does our city’s vote represent the wishes of Del Mar citizens? Was there a public hearing? Did the Council members discuss it publicly? We think not.
Del Mar has a long and proud tradition of leadership in the region on behalf of sound planning and environmental stewardship. We are a small city but we have been influential both within and beyond our borders. We elect smart people and over the years they have been very persuasive, not always winning but always consistent in championing our values.
This Council too is made up of some very smart people. We expect them to tune into our values and honor our tradition of strong regional leadership. As a small city we are surrounded by mounting pressure for urban development and intensification of land uses. Our Council needs to be vigilant in defending our borders.
In addition to reconsidering their support for the RTP, the Council needs to take a leadership position on the outrageous “Kilroy” development (see page 16) that seems to be sailing through the San Diego city planning process. This project’s extraordinary density will have a significantly deleterious effect on the quality of life in Del Mar, as well as the entire Del Mar/Carmel Valley region. Projected traffic counts will choke our regional transportation arteries. It makes no sense and needs to be stopped.
Our Council needs to take a firm stand on both of these ill-conceived regional projects. Let’s reinvigorate that proud Del Mar traditon of regional leadership.