Editorial: Un”Fortune”ate

Del Mar made the national news earlier this year, for better or worse. The February 14th edition of Fortune Magazine had an article by Alena Botros with the catchy title of “The comfort of 4,000 people in one of California’s wealthiest towns outweighs a rail project connecting San Diego to the country, some residents say.”


The article goes on to state, “The median household income of Del Mar is approximately $185,000, and the average home value is a whopping $3.6 million. And, like many other wealthy neighborhoods, Del Mar’s residents care a bit too much about their property values.”


The rest of the article borrows from San Diego Union-Tribune reporting about public comments made by Del Mar residents during City Council meetings or SANDAG presentations, citing a long list of concerns about the negative consequences of a train tunnel under Del Mar. For the record, loss of property values was way down that list.


Many of us share legitimate concerns about the impacts of tunneling. However, the design possibilities are being studied and should be addressed as the project goes through environmental review as required by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).


This is a serious issue that needs attention. But some “the sky is falling” comments seem to be counterproductive, suggesting that a more measured and patient response might better serve Del Mar’s interests. Remember, the final decision on the tunnel alignment will be made by the SANDAG Board of Directors. If a majority of that board buys into the Fortune Magazine portrayal of us as a privileged, selfish enclave, and what they hear from us is unmoored from the facts, that will only undermine our ability to get the tunnel that is best for Del Mar.