Del Mar should jettison design review board, relax restrictions

To enact more building restrictions, a cadre of development foes frightens the community with mansionization. Flaming the fear, the cadre cites a 7,000-square-foot house on an 8,000-square-foot lot.

The cited house does not justify a tocsin since the house buries half of its enclosed living space and augments a deck. The replacing structure imposes no more than the previous structure. The current floor-area ratio limits surface size, and the harsh design-review-board constrains bulk and mass.

The cadre then fallaciously argues that only building restrictions preserve Del Mar’s eclectic architecture.  Del Mar built its putatively eclectic beach cottages in the absence of building restrictions. Those shabby cottages now face continued deterioration and eventual collapse. Current building constraints guarantee their replacements lack differentiation. As safety and mileage restrictions make all cars similar, tight building restrictions make all homes similar.

The current restrictions already homogenize housing; tighter restrictions only halt development through regulations and delays. Residential development emulates the failed gas-station development.

To gentrify the residential district and attract innovative architects, Del Mar must jettison the design review board and relax current restrictions. Frank Lloyd Wright would never acquiesce to the judgments of the design review board or the complaints of obstructive neighbors.

John Haraden

Del Mar

   
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