By Brooke Eisenberg-Pike
There are many reasons that I am voting No. One reason is the poorly designed roundabouts with traffic lights on either end of a six-block stretch. This is bound to cause gridlock in the single traffic lane in each direction. The result of this will be cut through traffic using our residential streets to avoid the clogged Camino del Mar (CDM) traffic lanes. There will be the increase in emergency response time especially in the south part of town. There is the extraordinary increase in the proposed development in our very small town ( 220,000 additional square feet). There is the increase in height from 14 feet to 26 feet on the west side of CDM that the 1976 Community Plan expressly prohibited. There is the glaring lack of a financial plan, a plan based on elusive promises from the Council.
The character and charm of a family-friendly Del Mar that drew us all here will be destroyed.
This is only part of my laundry list of reasons. But I want to mention one issue that is extremely troubling. For almost 30 years I have been involved in our community. I have always worked for an open transparent government. This plan hides some critical information within its 300-plus pages and the Council has chosen not to inform us of these facts.
We are being told by proponents that with this plan the community will have control over future development in the downtown. But should J be approved after the people vote:
- A council vote can change the boundaries of the plan that were voted on.
That means that a property can be added or removed from the VSP even after the public voted.
- A council vote can remove the public facility designation from the city hall site.
That means that the site can become commercial and be allowed to have between 68,000 and 102,000 square feet of development and the buildings can be 26 feet tall from CDM.
This will result in negative financial and quality of life impacts for the neighboring residential properties.
- The previous community vote on the Del Mar Plaza property will be changed by this vote. The Union Bank building lot which is now part of the Plaza Specific Plan will be removed from that plan and become part of the VSP. That means that it can have up to 18,684 square feet of development on that little lot at an already very busy corner. That would make the development equal to one-quarter of the entire Plaza. Currently it has 5,300 square feet of development. Quite a difference. What will happen to Starbucks, Brueggers and the Union Bank?
It seems to me that since an earlier vote of the community will be changed with this vote, this information should have been highlighted by the Council and not be buried somewhere. There should have been public discussion on this item alone. There wasn’t.
This plan is too complex with the potential of too many unforeseen dire consequences. Please join me in voting No on J and Save Olde Del Mar.