Karen Brindley began as Director of Planning and Community Development for the City of Del Mar on Jan 31, 2022. The Sandpiper interviewed Karen after 3 months on the job.
Sandpiper: Karen, tell us about your background.
Karen: I am a native San Diegan and went to San Diego State. My education is in Public Administration and City Planning. I am passionate about public service and providing positive impacts within the community. I have over twenty five years of local and regional planning and management experience serving in various capacities with the City of San Marcos, including as Special Projects Manager and Planning Manager. Prior to coming to Del Mar, I worked as the Community Development Director for the City of Lake Elsinore. During my tenure in San Marcos, I also represented the City on SANDAG’s Technical Working Group, and served as Chairperson between 2017 and 2021. This working group addresses regional land use, housing, transportation, and sustainability issues. My work with this group included interactions with former Planning Directors Kathy Garcia and Joseph Smith.
Sandpiper: What brought you to Del Mar?
Karen: I have always loved being in Del Mar and the beautiful coastal environment. Community topics relating to the certification and implementation of the Housing Element, advancing the creation of affordable housing at the Fairgrounds, preparing for Sea Level Rise, and SANDAG’s bluff stabilization and rail realignment are areas of interest that I am looking forward to addressing with the community and City Council. I also really respect and enjoy working with a community that is so engaged!
Sandpiper: What are the biggest challenges you see?
Karen: I am looking forward to continuing to work with the community and city council to find methods that will implement the City’s Housing Element, state housing laws, and Coastal Act in ways that preserve Del Mar’s community character while implementing the Community Plan and Local Coastal Program. I look forward to continued community engagement and working with the City Council during this process.
Sandpiper: What are your observations after 3 months on the job?
Karen: The residents, business owners, and dedicated volunteers who serve on our advisory committees truly care about their community, and I admire their ongoing commitment invested in ensuring the unique and beautiful community character is retained. I am fortunate to join Team Del Mar and truly appreciate the dedicated and talented Planning and Community Development staff who have been very supportive as I’ve stepped into my role. I look forward to continuing my career of public service in Del Mar.
Question: What are you interests outside of the job?
Karen: I enjoy being active outside – love to hike, mountain bike, explore nature, including the beautiful beach!