Building the Plaza, part 2

Presented by Joe Jelley

The result of the controversy over building the Del Mar Plaza was Measure M, which called for developments of more than 25,000 square feet to be put to a public vote.

This happened despite the developers winning approval for the Plaza project from the elected and appointed bodies in charge of reviewing development in Del Mar.

“I still believe to this day that planning should be done by the officials who end up studying all the details,” David Winkler said. Winkler and Ivan Gayler sought to develop the Plaza property, which they purchased in 1983.

“That said, I still understand why people would want a say in the evolution of their downtown, particularly at three of the four most important corners of the town,” Winkler said.

As if the gumbo that was Del Mar politics wasn’t already rich enough, the pot was stirred further by changes on the City Council.

“The council included Nancy Hoover and when the J. David (Dominelli) revelations came out, Hoover and the entire council pretty much got thrown out,” Winkler said. The Hoover group was replaced by a new group, including Scott Barnett, Ronnie Delaney and Lou Hopkins.

This group was thought by many to be friendlier to development.

“So we thought the new council, those who were in office, were also in power, which seemed like a logical conclusion,” Winkler said. “But that was not the case. The people who were in power were not in office; it was still the folks thinking more along the lines of Hoover and much less development oriented.”

Eventually, the debate turned personal.

“I never saw anything like it,” Winkler said. “They referred to us as ‘alien developers’ when we lived in Cardiff. It was like we came from the moon, or Texas,” he said.

Winkler and Gayler were even accused of connections to organized crime.

“My favorite banner was ‘Keep Mafia Money Out of Del Mar.’ Our investors consisted of nothing more than friends and family, so that was fairly remarkable,” Winkler said.

Editor’s note: This article, written by Richard Arcello, is reprinted from the “Del Mar Picture Book,” published by Joe Jelley. Contact him at

Related posts:

  1. Remembering.. Building the Del Mar Plaza
  2. Plaza plan gets OK
  3. 2 boutiques open in Plaza
  4. DM City moves on building use rules
  5. Local man honored by Amazonian tribe

Short URL:

Posted by on Oct 29, 2009. Filed under Archives. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply



Bottom Buttons 1

Bottom Buttons 2

Bottom Buttons 3

Bottom Buttons 4

Bottom Buttons 5

Bottom Buttons 6





  • RSF Association Board Biz: It’s fire season: Be prepared
    The Rancho Santa Fe Fire Protection District (RSFFPD) was officially formed in 1946, in the aftermath of a devastating fire that took place in 1943 and destroyed brush, farmland and homes from Rancho Bernardo through Rancho Santa Fe, all the way to Solana Beach and Del Mar. Today the Fire District spans 38 square miles and protects nearly 30,000 residents. W […]
  • Rancho Santa Fe couple lead way in helping those with thyroid disorders
    Few people may know that Graves’ disease is one of the most common autoimmune diseases afflicting Americans today. Fewer still may know that the only national non-profit dedicated to its patients is headquartered in Rancho Santa Fe. The Graves’ Disease and Thyroid Foundation, co-chaired by Rancho Santa Fe residents Kathleen Bell Flynn and Steve Flynn, has be […]
  • Candidates seek election to three Rancho Santa Fe special district boards
    Seats on the boards of directors of three special districts that provide such services as water, fire protection, sewage treatment and landscape maintenance are on the ballot in the Nov. 4 election. The three special districts are the Santa Fe Irrigation District, the Rancho Santa Fe Fire Protection District and the Rancho Santa Fe Community Services Distric […]