Rejecting proposals to allow more time to build community consensus, the Del Mar City Council voted unanimously to place the Village Specific Plan (VSP) on the November ballot for voters to decide. If the proposition receives a majority vote, the VSP will be implemented over a period of years as outlined in the plan itself. The new zoning codes will be adopted immediately. Changes to the VSP will not be possible without a public vote. Except for a number of growth “thresholds” incorporated within the VSP, the amount of growth can only be changed with a super majority of four votes.
If the voters do not approve the VSP, the existing zoning codes and regulations will remain in place. In that case, changes can be made by the Council just as they always have had the power to do.
Voters will be making a critical strategic decision about the future of our downtown. If YES, the plan will be a blueprint for the next 30 years. If NO, alternative plans can be created and it is unlikely that dramatic changes in the downtown zoning will occur for many years.
Clearly there are a quite a few points of view among voters, including organized groups for and against the plan, as well as a large number of uninformed voters with no clear points of view. Campaigns in coming months are likely to be highly charged.
Central to the Sandpiper’s mission is advocacy for the Communty Plan. Conflicting cases are being made about the VSP’s conformance with the Community Plan. Because this vote is so crucial to our future, the Sandpiper will use its pages to provide a forum for reasoned advocacy and debate among various factions. Reflecting the community at large, our editorial board includes a variety of opinions about the merits of the VSP. We are determined to provide facts and opinions in an objective, balanced, and fair manner.
If we do our job well, voters will be able to make informed, thoughtful decisions when it comes time to mark their ballots in November.