Scott Renner & Family | Via Alta
An individual new to our city viewing the May 1st city council meeting would have concluded that most residents of Del Mar support STRs in our neighborhoods because many speakers spoke in support of STRs. However, I believe that the majority of citizens in Del Mar are against STRs in our residential zones, and that The Del Mar City Council acted in the interest of long-term Del Mar residents in finding that STRs are not an allowable use in Del Mar’s residential zones. The recent election supports this fact in that all five candidates clearly stated their stance regarding STRs in Del Mar residential zones while campaigning. To say that the election was a referendum on STRs, while an exaggeration, is not a complete stretch of this word. Drucker, Haviland, and Parks garnered approximately 60% of the overall vote. A clear majority. I believe our community spoke out against STRs in electing the winning candidates, who combined with incumbent Worden, created a council clearly pro-community plan and against STRs in our residential zones.
Several speakers during the May 1st council meeting additionally stressed that owners should be able to operate a STR on their private property because it is private and their right to do so. However, how I use my private property is constantly being regulated within society. Living in a residential zone requires that I comply with laws restricting my property rights, especially when those rights conflict with the stated zoning focus of a given area. STRs in a residential zone conflict with the stated intent of single family zoning as defined by our community plan, and I applaud the council recognizing this fact.
I own the fact that I am completely bias against STRs because of my families’ negative experience living next door to one for approximately four years. Now that the home has reverted back to a single family residence in a single family residential zone, our community experience has absolutely improved. It is not too much to want a community comprised of individuals and families, who are vested members of this community living in an amazing place that offers a respite from the stresses and strains of life. It is not too much to want to know one’s neighbors, to wave as they walk or drive by, to pick up their paper when they are out of town and keep an eye on things. In the coming years, Del Mar may indeed transition to a community where the majority of homes are second and third homes used as investments. The world is certainly changing, and our next election might just be another “referendum” on STRs in Del Mar. However, during our recent election the majority of long term residents made a strong statement that Del Mar’s residential zones are protected by our community plan, and should be for long-term residents free from the disruption and intensity of use STRs create in an otherwise tranquil and beautiful place to live.
Thank you Del Mar City Council and the many residents, who are working to continue to keep Del Mar a wonderful place to live. In my humble opinion, you made the right decision.