Now that the election dust has settled, I would like to thank the people I met and worked with during the Prop J campaign. Thanks to the many residents I spoke with who were open to information and thoughtful about the issues. I’d also like to thank the City Council for having the courage to try to solve what has been an intransigent problem for too many years, and city staff for their tireless work to develop a solution that reflected community input.
Many thanks, also, to the FOR committee and the numerous volunteers and donors who supported Prop J. Contrary to what some may believe, they had no direct stake in the outcome other than wanting what they thought was best for the Village. In fact, to my knowledge, I was the only one interested in redeveloping, based on successful passage of Prop J. We would have added a residence to our small office building on Ninth St.
Truthfully, it would have been a poor return on our investment, but we would have enjoyed living in town and walking everywhere. There were no hordes of greedy developers just waiting for the opportunity to make millions on development in Del Mar if Prop J passed. They are smart enough to steer clear of our community, and based on the gas station property, you can understand why.
In hindsight, I think the plan was too complex to be understood well enough for an informed public vote. I would like to encourage the opponents of Prop J to build on the Village Specific Plan work that was done, so that the hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer money are not a total waste. Rather than criticizing others’ efforts, I would encourage them to offer their solution to what almost everyone acknowledges is a deteriorating downtown with serious traffic problems.
Without an approved housing element we will continue to miss out on government funding opportunities for our infrastructure. Once tax revenues to the city decline enough and the city is forced to cut public services, perhaps we will reassess the tradeoffs associated with a vibrant downtown.