Letters to the editor: April 24, 2009

Is there hope for young families in Del Mar?

My husband, his family, and now our growing nuclear family have vacationed in Del Mar for two decades.

Recently I read a 2006 paper written by former Mayor Earnest regarding concerns when an owner of two or more adjacent properties merges those lots and then proposes a larger development. Later in the article it is quoted that "Regulations [limiting lot mergers] would interfere with families building and settling in Del Mar."

I wonder, what families can build or settle in Del Mar?

We dream of living in a walkable beach community with a local library, farmer's market, park and beach access ... in essence Del Mar. We vacation there each spring with our three young children.

My husbnd and I have both worked our entire adult lives to afford a lifestyle and community we want for our children. Yet Del Mar remains out of reach for us.

Understanding soaring land prices and a shrinking supply of vacant property, housing prices are arguably more important than any other item for purchase - home ownership anchors people into the community, which they value more when they own a part of it.

Societies with affordable housing offer community, opportunity, and economic stability.

When affordability is lost, many people end up poorer and socially marginalized.

My sense is that Del Mar prices have risen to an unsustainable level, but we still long to reside there in your beautiful beach community; teach our children respect for the land and ocean. Can young families find a way to start a life in your community?

Karen L.

Portland, OR

Salazar should resist oil industry

No matter how loudly these whining babies, spoiled rotten by the Bush administration, can scream and kick, Secretary Salazar should continue the agency's shift from giving the oil industry what it wants to insisting on balance on lands that belong to everyone.

Rochelle La Frinere

San Diego

Since taking office in January, Secretary Salazar has prioritized renewable energy, put the brakes on the Bush administration's full-steam-ahead approach to destructive oil shale development and cancelled oil and gas leases on the edge of Utah national parks and historic sites on nearby public land.

Yet Salazar's measured approach has provoked a backlash by the oil and gas industry that had enjoyed a privileged status during the eight years of the Bush administration.

Secretary Salazar's understanding that he is a steward of our public lands and not the servant of the oil industry is a breath of fresh air.

With the Obama administration placing conservation and renewable energy issues high on its agenda, these first steps should be the first of many more towards the reforms needed to make sure the oil and gas industry doesn't wreck more of our fragile western landscapes.

Secretary Salazar should continue the agency's shift from giving the oil industry what it wants to insist on balance on lands that belong to everyone.

Judy Bergman

San Diego

   
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