Del Mar voters delivered some very decisive messages about the character of our town on election day.
The three victorious candidates, Dave Druker, Ellen Haviland, and Sherryl Parks, were very straightforward in advocating for preservation of the unique residential character of Del Mar. Clearly the “old guard,” as well as newer voters, recognize what differentiates Del Mar from most other communities. It does not matter whether we moved here 40 years ago or last year. We moved here because we recognized that Del Mar does not want to become another Mission Beach or Fairbanks Ranch. The vision in our Community Plan clearly describes a small scale, residential community. Our deliberate review processes are in place to carefully implement that vision.
The vote evidences a strong determination to protect neighborhoods from development over-reach, to give neighbors a legitimate voice in decisions about new pro-jects, to prevent unwarranted view blockages, and to resist commercial business incursions into residential areas. The vote expresses support for the work of the citizens ad hoc committee to update our design review process.
Voters affirmed our concern that short term rental businesses are undermining neighborhoods and must be stopped. Voters want better law enforcement service but are wary of moving too fast to create our own police department. Voters want downtown to be revitalized but appear to understand that “less regulation” is not a magic bullet and that commercial property owners hold the key to how that can happen.
Voter approval of Measure Q to increase sales tax by 1% voices our belief that visitors should be asked to help fund the costs of the community they enjoy with us. There was considerable support for the new tax revenues to be used for utility undergrounding, Shores Park development, and downtown streetscape improvements. All candidates promised that citizen voices would be important in deciding final spending priorities for these funds.
Voters narrowly rejected Measure R which would have required a city-wide vote on the Watermark housing proposal and many other city decisions. Voters support voting on major changes but this initiative went too far.
We applaud Del Mar voters for their high turnout and for giving our elected Council Members clear mandates.