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Lynn Gaylord | Ocean Front

The Gaylord family and other community members at a Del Mar Independence Day Parade. Photo courtesy Lynn Gaylord.
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When my husband and I moved to Del Mar in 1995, we were pretty sure that we had died and gone to heaven! Within a few days we had met our neighbors, taken our dog to the beach for a romp, and even jumped in a few times ourselves. Within the year I became involved in the renovation of the Powerhouse through the Del Mar Foundation and was sitting on a city advisory committee, Traffic and Parking. I was educated in the subtle ways of Del Mar: sidewalks allow cars to speed, streetlights disturb the beautiful night sky, and not so miraculously everyone has a view of the beautiful ocean.

These efforts to make Del Mar an incredible place to live for all, I soon came to find out, did not happen overnight. It took years of hard work by a very dedicated citizenry, a strong Design Review Board, a Planning Commission, and a Community Plan meant for all. Parks and open space were saved from hungry developers. Mansion-builders were encouraged to go elsewhere. With the incorporation of Del Mar 60 years ago, we became the envy of every community up and down the coast.

So, what is threatening us now? These are my thoughts: Because we have become such a desirable place to live, our real estate values have gone through the roof. People who don’t want to pay taxes in California and have the big bucks, want to live here! People who don’t want to pay taxes in California and have big bucks do want to live here -- or at least want to live here for 49.9% of the year, so they aren’t treated as residents for tax purposes! But these are not the folks who are willing to sit on our advisory committees or our non-profit boards. Their involvement in the community is very limited, if at all. There is nothing we can do about this except perhaps think creatively about how to involve them. I am working on that now.

But a much larger problem that we have now in our highly desirable beach community is short term rentals, and many of these are outright businesses. People who rent for the weekend to party, party, party! Wedding parties, graduation parties, etc. Whole websites have sprung up to facilitate a weekend stay, not at a hotel, but at the home next to you! These enterprises are not only disturbing to those of us who moved here for the sense of wonderful community but they are taking up space that another family might enjoy and become involved in the community. Our housing stock is being greatly reduced by these short-term rental businesses. We cannot afford that as a community. I hope the City Council and future candidates will stay strong with a commitment to limit these businesses.

Lynn Gaylord, creator of the Cultural Arts Committee and past President of the Del Mar Foundation, member of the Friends of the Powerhouse and Del Mar Historical Society, lives on Ocean Front with husband, Charlie, and dog, Barley.




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