Heal The Bay’s annual report grades 500 beaches throughout California, giving Del Mar a perfect water score along with fourteen other San Diego County beaches. The nonprofit bases its scoring on the levels of fecal-indicator bacterial pollution in the ocean measured by county health agencies. Our county trailed only Orange County in the number of beaches on the Honor Roll.
Del Mar has received 93 applications for Accessory Development Units (ADU), sometimes known as “granny flats.” So far 49 building permits have been approved. By state law, ADUs are not subject to local review or zoning limits. The city cannot track whether these units are actually used for rentals, but the state does count them as new units.
When the City was in the process of awarding the new contract for collection of trash, recycling, and organics, many residents provided comments to the City Council offering high praise for Waste Management’s trash collectors. EDCO offered to hire all WM trash collectors assigned to Del Mar, including full credit for the seniority accruing from their WM employment. Of the three WM drivers/collectors who worked in Del Mar, one, who worked in commercial collection, decided to retire, but has a short-term contract with EDCO to train the new driver. The two who worked in residential collection are expected to accept EDCO’s offer. So Del Mar residents can expect to see the same friendly and professional drivers/collectors after July 1, when EDCO’s Del Mar service begins. EDCO’s service will use two-axle trucks for Del Mar, though one of those is not expected to arrive until the end of July.
Those interested in the North County Transit District’s (NCTD’s) plan to install fencing its right-of-way on the Del Mar bluffs may need a law degree to follow the convoluted legal proceedings seeking to uphold or challenge NCTD’s right to install the fence. Originally, NCTD filed a petition with the Surface Transportation Board (STB) seeking a ruling that state law obligations asserted by the City of Del Mar and the California Coastal Commission (CCC), such as State law-based environmental requirements, are preempted by federal law, with respect to NCTD’s fencing plan. More recently, two separate additional legal actions were filed in state court against NCTD: one by Friends of Del Mar Bluffs and Laura DeMarco, and another by CCC. Both cases were removed by NCTD to federal court. On June 2, 2022, the federal judge issued a stay in both of those cases, noting that “the orderly course of justice measured in terms of simplifying issues is served by allowing the STB to determine the preemption issues.” CCC has moved to set aside that stay. Meanwhile, there is no indication when the STB is likely to decide the case pending before it. NCTD’s Matt Tucker stated in a recent STB filing that NCTD will not act to install the fence until after STB rules on the petition pending there.