This week I received a letter from a Del Mar resident asking: “Does the City think you’re a nut job? Is there some real animosity towards you? Who did you tick off? It’s a long story about how my problems with the City got to this point, but here’s the situation today:
The City’s holding me to a parking ordinance they’ve waived for everybody else. To prove selective enforcement, I’ve done the research, and documented that at least a dozen properties in Del Mar’s Central Commercial district were given permits without providing parking required by the ordinance at the time the permits were issued. This hasn’t won me a lot of friends, and the City is unwilling to acknowledge their political favors to all those under-parked properties. That would upset Del Mar’s social order.
In early January, I dismissed the lawsuits, hired a “negotiation attorney,” and met with the City in hopes of finding a solution. The mayor seemed sympathetic, stating he would pursue a two-step solution: first, establishing the dollar amount of an in-lieu fee, and then change the parking ordinance. The in-lieu hearing was held July 1.
This matter now has a life of its own. ABC has insisted that without a lawsuit in place, they would be required to cancel the beer and wine license. The new lawsuit was served on June 24. This probably irritated the City Council, and at the July 1 hearing they decided to do nothing rather than establish the dollar amount of an in-lieu parking fee.
The City claims they’re bound by the ordinance; thus only a judge can decide: Did the City properly exercise its discretion, or was the abuse of discretion so widespread that 1201 Camino del Mar is a “class of one.” I hired the municipal law experts at Rutan & Tucker to advise me, and I filed the new lawsuit In-Pro-Per.
So far, the City has spent over $100,000 in legal fees fighting me, and we’re starting all over again. It may be the City Council’s ego, but it’s the residents’ money. At some point, I expect somebody in Del Mar will stands up at a City Council meeting and asks: “Why are you wasting our money?”
1201 Camino del Mar