Letters to the Editor: Oct. 31, 2008

What Del Mar negativity?

I first got to know Jim Coleman several years ago when we were founding members of the board of the Del Mar Village Association. Although we came from different parts of the political spectrum, it was clear that we both believed firmly in the goals of the DMVA, notably to enhance the vitality of the business district, to maintain the quality of life of the residential areas, and to discourage the divisiveness that had become a feature of the Del Mar political scene.

It was therefore with mounting disbelief that I read in last week's issue his diatribe against what he perceives as "negativity" among those who happen to have disagreed with him on various issues. Furthermore, his remembrance of things past is severely at odds with the documented record.

First, those who opposed the initial Del Mar Plaza proposal did not want "to keep the run-down strip center that stood on the spot." They were concerned, among other things, with the traffic that such a large project would bring to the already stressed intersection of Camino del Mar and 15th Street. Their goal was to reduce the scale of the development, not to eliminate it.

Similarly, opposition to the initial proposal for development of the old hotel site focused on its scale, not on the desirability of "keeping the vacant weed-covered lot." Reasonable arguments were made that a smaller project would still be economically viable.

Finally, despite Jim's statement to the contrary, the original proposal for the gas station site would have done nothing for revitalization of that area as it consisted solely of office units. It took principled intervention by Del Mar residents to transform that project into an element of revitalization.

Far from being negative, the "group" so maligned by Mr. Coleman, helped improve all three projects for the benefit of all concerned.

As for the alleged vandalizing of "Yes on G" signs, such charges have for many years been a staple of the old-style negative politics that many of us had hoped the DMVA would supplant. And, incidentally, in all cases that I've ever heard of, the culprits, when identified, turned out to be kids.

John Kerridge

Del Mar

   
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