The Sandpiper Editors
Originally scheduled for March 13, a community workshop to review three concept plans for the Shores Park has been postponed to later this spring. Park consultant Schmidt Design Group is revisiting the parking requirement for each concept and assessing the potential costs of each. In January the Council asked the consultant to prepare 3D models and financial estimates for the public workshop. They praised the results of the community gathering process to date but said, “We don’t want to get to the end of the process only to dismiss the preferred plan after finding out what the costs would be.” All three concept plans can be viewed at www.delmarsandpiper.org.
In the wake of the controversy over the firing of the California Coastal Commission Executive Director Charles Lester allegedly without cause, Speaker Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) is one of a number of Assembly members who have introduced a bill to add the Commission to lobbyist reporting requirements. According to her website this means any person who communicates with Coastal Commission members regarding an administrative action (such as the firing of the highly regarded Lester) must register as a lobbyist. “We join coastal advocates and environmental groups like Surfrider Foundation San Diego Chapter and newspapers across California in calling for a brighter spotlight on the Commission.” Please see comments from Hershell Price and Jeff Barnouw on Sandpiper website.
The Sustainability Advisory Board (SAB) at its February 18th meeting revised the draft Climate Action Plan(CAP) by raising the target from 75% to 100% renewable energy sources by the year 2035. To achieve 100% SAB has prioritized Climate Action Plan (CAP) goals by starting information-gathering about Community Choice Aggregation (CCA). Nicole Capretz of the Climate Action Campaign and one of the primary authors of the City San Diego’s CAP addressed the Board’s questions about the existing CCA’s in the state (Marin and Sonoma counties) and the local governments (City of San Diego, Solana Beach and Encinitas) that have initiated feasibility studies. Jim Wang, the Vice Chair of the Environment Commission with the City of Encinitas invited Del Mar to join its working group evaluating the formation of a Joint Powers Authority for the purpose of developing a CCA.
City Ad Hoc Design Review Committee
The two council liaisons have attended all meetings and have been impressed with the hard work of this committee, the extensive documentation of public comments, the research on development review procedures in other jurisdictions, and the fairness of the process. There has been universal agreement that improvements to the development review process are needed, and the next phase of the work plan will focus on building consensus on the best way to implement these improvements.
City Hall Affordability
The City Council authorized a new civic center loan from the municipal I-Bank for $18 million at an interest rate of 3.24% for a period of 30 years. That price and those terms for our “city house” are pretty much in line with house values in our high demand town. The city’s Advisory Finance Committee thoroughly scrubbed the numbers and concluded that the city’s long term cash flow was more than sufficient to cover the annual payments, “reasonable and prudent.” The actual cost is only $16 million as was projected in the citizen survey that supported the project, but the Council decided to take advantage of the low interest rates to increase to $18 million to cover potential cost over-runs—if not needed the loan can be downsized..
New ONE PASEO
The 1.2 million square foot New One Paseo project is scheduled to go before the San Diego City Planning Commission on Thursday, March 24 without the approval of the Carmel Valley Community Planning Board. The Board’s 5-5 split vote was explained by Board Chair Frisco White in a separate letter to the City: “…the New One Paseo presented an unusual dilemma for the board with the conflicting thought processes, discussions and testimonies for the favorable or unfavorable position of our community. The litigant groups that successfully championed a referendum…were now in favor of the New One Paseo. However, many other community members spoke against the project.” In the same letter he urged the City to read the motion to approve “for more detail and clarity and to understand…that several board members who were against the motion to approve…were nevertheless supportive of the conditions contained in the motion.” Check our website to confirm meeting date and time.
More Funds for Sea Level Rise
The San Diego Regional Climate Collaborative (CC), a partnership managed by seven San Diego public agencies,the University of San Diego,The San Diego Foundation, and San Diego Gas and Electric have received a $689,500 federal grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for coastal hazard protection and resilience. The project will provide new data on flood mapping and shoreline bluff surveys, develop additional legal, economic and scientific expertise, and help cities with outreach and communication. Specific goals for the NOAA two-year grant include the coordination of sea-level rise vulnerability assessments for the five contiguous coastal cities of Oceanside, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Del Mar and San Diego. In addition, the cities of Carlsbad and Del Mar are matching the grant with a combined $328,000 they received from the State of California to assist them with updating their local coastal plans to account for coastal storm and sea level hazards.
Single Use Plastic Carry-out Bags Ban
The first reading of the proposed ordinance to eliminate single uses plastic bags was approved unanimously by the City Council on Feb.18th with its second reading on March 7th. The Sustainability Advisory Board represented by Dr. Ann Feeney discussed the elements of this proposal that was premised upon the existing plastic bag ban ordinances in Solana Beach and Encinitas. Jim Wang, City of Encinitas Environmental Commission Vice-Chair presented the current outcomes of his City’s ban - 90% consumer use of reusable bags after one year, and there have been no enforcement actions. Within Del Mar’s proposed ordinance there are exempted uses of plastic bags for products such as produce, meat, fish, poultry, bulk food items, liquid-based take-out foods, dry-cleaning and pet waste. Merchants may offer consumers a recyclable paper bag at a cost of not less than 10 cents or a reusable bag at not less than 50 cents. If adopted, the ordinance will have a phase-in with retail merchants on October 3, 2016 and restaurants and the Farmers’ Market on April 6, 2017.