Ellen Haviland | Del Mar Councilmember
What should Del Mar do if we want to maintain control over development in our city? This is an important question to consider as the state is increasingly exerting control over cities.
One opportunity we have is to amend our City Charter to include local control over land use and zoning. This is why Mayor Worden and I have introduced a ballot measure to do just that.
Our Community Plan is the key to maintaining our quality of life and community character. So another important recommendation is to include in the amendment a requirement to maintain consistency between our zoning/land use decisions and our Community Plan.
Our city will still be required to follow any state laws that are deemed of state-wide importance, but this amendment could give us more control over how we implement new ordinances. For example, we will still need to comply with state housing law and our housing element, but the details over how new housing is built matters a great deal. This is where having these new protections in our City Charter can help us implement our housing element in a way that is good for our City. In addition, amending the City Charter could give us more flexibility with future state mandates that will surely come along.
This amendment will not give Del Mar any more control over the Fairgrounds. The original Charter for Del Mar gave us the ability to impose admission taxes at the Fairgrounds, but that right was lost in 2000.
Changes to our City Charter can only be approved by a vote. In order for the Charter amendment to make it onto the ballot in November there will be a public review period for the proposed language and public hearings at both the Planning Commission and the City Council. You will have multiple chances to ask question and to provide feedback before it is finalized. I hope you participate in the process and that you voice your opinion on this important issue.