Tom McGreal | Stratford Court
The Village Specific Plan is not specific enough about Parking in Del Mar.
Why doesn’t the VSP include a citywide parking plan?
The parking problem in Del Mar has been discussed for years and to this day it remains a frustrating challenge to shoppers, diners, beach goers, visitors and residents. The VSP proposes significant new development that adds much more density to our small city, but does not offer a citywide plan to manage parking. In fact, the VSP, as currently drafted, only addresses parking in the six block village plan area. Quite independently, the City’s Traffic Advisory & Parking Committee (TPAC) recently submitted recommendations for a new parking plan that focuses on the beach area and certain neighborhoods adjacent to the village. Despite the good work and significant efforts by the TPAC and the City staff working on the VSP, there was no collaboration on parking. The result is two very different recommendations. Del Mar is a small city with a big parking problem. Based upon the development contemplated in the VSP, we should settle for nothing less than a single coordinated citywide parking plan as a key component of the VSP. Let’s get this resolved once and for all.
Why doesn’t the VSP include a firm commitment to a much needed public parking structure?
The VSP concludes that we need 2192 parking spaces in the village based upon the proposed development. It projects 1527 spaces will become available to the public under the “Park Once” plan, which is voluntary, so commercial property owners who decide to develop must OR MAY? also opt to participate in the Park Once plan. Alternatively, they can continue to be governed by existing City parking regulations, which would not contribute to the pool of available public parking spaces.
The VSP also contemplates an additional 250 new spaces including a new public parking garage that would provide 200 spaces and 50 new spaces of Town & Country parking on Camino Del Mar.
At this point the City Hall property appears to be the likely location for a new public parking garage. The construction of a parking garage would only occur when the City Hall property is being redeveloped. Unfortunately, the redevelopment of the City Hall property is not a component of the VSP and the process of considering the redevelopment of City Hall will be a long complex effort that won’t even start for a few years. As a result the timing and likelihood of constructing a new public parking garage on this location is highly uncertain.
The City of Del Mar should commit to find the best location and build a public parking garage as a top priority. The City should ensure that we have at least 200 new spaces in a public parking garage in the near term.