Del Mar eyes limits on smoking
Council OKs Plaza dining area expansion
The city is considering an ordinance that would ban or restrict smoking on public property and may even be extended to inside taxicabs by making nonsmoking a requirement for a taxi license in Del Mar.
The City Council on Monday directed staff to draft an ordinance that would prohibit smoking on public sidewalks and adjacent streets. They also asked that any tobacco-dispensing vending machines in the city be identified and removed.
Plaza use changes
The owners of the Del Mar Plaza asked the planning department to consider allowing restaurants to expand their outdoor dining areas and serve customers in them.
Interim Planning Director Brian Mooney said the Plaza’s specific plan allowed for a maximum of 14,400 square feet for restaurant use with the remaining 74,600 square feet available for other uses. The restaurants currently use about 10,000 square feet.
The council did not object to the planning department’s recommendation to allow restaurants to use the total amount of designated space and to amend the specific plan, allowing the restaurants to serve their customers food and alcoholic beverages in the outdoor seating areas.
However, the council was hesitant about expanding valet parking in the Plaza garage.
“I think it needs more public vetting,” Councilman Marc Filanc said of the valet parking request.
He suggested that the Plaza owners and the operators of Sunset Parking look into alternatives to doubling up spaces in the Plaza garage by valet parking only there. One idea Filanc seemed to favor was identifying valet parking spaces on the south end of the village to ease the downtown parking crunch.
Recycling pilot program
Jen Grove, executive director of the Del Mar Village Association, presented a plan to replace the city’s aging trash containers with units that have a built-in recycling compartment.
Grove said the DMVA board has agreed to purchase and install 10 to 13 new trashcans along 15th Street. She said the recyclables from these containers would be weighed. By measuring the amount of recyclables collected here, Grove said DMVA and the city would have an easier go at state grant money to fund modern receptacles throughout the city.
The container design DMVA favors has a side compartment for recyclables with a small hole for inserting items and a side door for retrieval.
Grove said this design would deter scavengers from taking the recyclables.
If the pilot program is successful, DMVA hopes to work with Keep Del Mar Clean to bring modern trash containers to the beach and park areas. DMVA is also considering a program that would allow businesses to sponsor a trashcan and have their company logo or name placed on it.
“I think it’s a good idea – it doesn’t cost us anything and I hope it works,” Councilman Carl Hilliard said before the council gave DMVA its blessing to proceed with the pilot program.
As part of the program, DMVA is also looking into removing “clutter,” such as news racks along a portion of Camino del Mar, as well as installing more bike racks and replacing aging outdoor benches with uniform furniture.
The councils approved a request to have Mayor Crystal Crawford send a letter to the state’s Blue Ribbon Task Force opposing one of the Marine Life Protection Area proposals – the proposal that would make the coastline adjacent to Del Mar a protected marine reserve.
Councilman Don Mosier was granted permission attend and speak on behalf of the city at a meeting in Santa Monica this week where the task force was set to review the proposals.
“Go up there and fix it Don,” Crawford said.
Hilliard reported on a League of California Cities conference he attended in Sacramento on July 18 and 19.
“The conference was to address what should and could be done with respect to our dysfunctional state government,” Hilliard said.
He asked the council to consider some of the same topics that were discussed at the conference, such as protecting local revenue sources from the state, reforming state term limits, changing the tax law that requires a two-thirds vote for an increase and changing the rules for funding statewide ballot measures.
The council meets again on Aug. 3 at 6 p.m. at the Del Mar Television Studio before taking a month-long recess.
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