On Nov. 19, the City Council approved amendments to the environmental and design engineering work underway for the extension of River Path Del Mar from Grand Ave. Overlook to Crest Canyon (“Phase 3”), based on the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy’s recent success in acquiring two lagoon-fronting properties near the Phase 3 area. Trish Boaz, the SDRVC Executive Director, is credited with this significant acquisition, having long cultivated a relationship with the property owners that, after many “No’s” finally resulted in a “Yes” to the sale to SDRVC. These properties provide the onsite mitigation for the trail’s unavoidable impact on the wetlands.
The environmental work on Phase 3 continued despite the Covid-19 impact on the City’s budget, due to a $50,000 grant to the City from the Del Mar Foundation, and $40,000 from other donors including SDRVC. Phase 3 will complete one of the last remaining segments of the City’s Scenic Loop Trail as identified in the city’s Community Plan and Local Coastal Program.
The City of Del Mar is pleased to offer a holiday gift of free parking on weekends and holidays in downtown Del Mar from Nov. 24 through New Year’s Day.
The California Citizens Redistricting Commission has proposed new boundaries for the 49th Congressional District that now extends northward from Del Mar to southern Orange County and is represented by Democrat Mike Levin. The new plan, if approved, removes Del Mar from the 49th and adds us to a southern coastal district extending all the way to the border. The final vote on the plan will be before the end of the year.
Dan Quirk took credit in a Nov. e-newsletter for a long list of achievements he claims have been accomplished “since winning the election,” crediting himself, Martinez, Druker, and Gaasterland. The Sandpiper fact-checked many of those claims; find it here: bit.ly/QuirkFactCheck
Trish Boaz, the Executive Director of the San Dieguito River Valley Park Conservancy for the past 9 years, has announced her retirement effective December 31st, 2021. Trish and her husband Scott will be moving to San Luis Obispo to a home that has been in their family for three generations. Trish led many successful trail upgrades and land acquisitions during her tenure, and her stellar leadership will be sorely missed.
Both Escondido and San Marcos have voted to join the Clean Energy Alliance (CEA, and founding cities Del Mar, Solana Beach and Carlsbad), and both will begin providing CEA-sourced electricity to their residents in April 2023. To meet this timeline, CEA must file applications with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) by December 31st this year, since the CPUC requires one year of electricity consumption data to set the Resource Adequacy target (how much electricity CEA must purchase to cover peak demand loads plus a reserve). Both Oceanside and Vista have indicated interest in joining CEA next year with a planned service launch in 2024. The expansion of CEA’s service area to more inland areas of San Marcos and Escondido will increase their revenues and also require more energy in the summertime to compensate for higher temperatures and more air conditioning, resulting in a 137% increase in power supplied by CEA. The increased revenues mean that more money will be available to invest in local energy programs sooner than previously projected. The CEA Board of Directors will soon expand to 5 members, one from each participating city.
On November 10th, Solana Beach passed a building electrification (BE) ordinance, becoming the 52nd city in California to pass one. Encinitas passed a BE ordinance in September, and theirs was the first comprehensive all-electric BE ordinance in the San Diego region. Both ordinances covered new construction, both residential and commercial. However, Solana Beach’s ordinance also included major remodels, which is very important in predominantly built out cities such as Solana Beach and Del Mar. BE ordinances requiring all-electric appliances in new construction and major remodels are a critical first step in weaning our buildings off of fossil fuels.
At their November 18th meeting, the North County Transit Distirct Board authorized staff to pursue the federal Surface Transportation Board declaratory relief action and request to render an expedited determination if the parties (NCTD, Del Mar, and the California Coastal Commission) fail to reach agreements by Dec. 31st of 2021. In a second closed session decision, the Board directed staff to place an item on the January 2022 Board agenda to consider advancement of a construction project for fencing on the Del Mar bluffs.
Please note: There will be no print issue of the Sandpiper in January. However, the Sandpiper website will be updated regularly.