One Paseo view
As I recently drove past the gouged, treeless expanse of the One Paseo construction, on both Del Mar Heights and El Camino Real, I was surprised and saddened that the critics of that project did not have the foresight to require the installation of, say, 12-foot high placards painted with greenery. That would have cost a few thousand dollars and would have made the view more tolerable for all of us - for the next several years. Maybe it could still be done.
Stop Del Mar City Council from banning short-term rentals
The drafters of Del Mar’s Community Plan never intended for summer vacation rentals of less than 30 days to not be allowed since some of them offered these rentals. These rentals enabled them and many others in Del Mar to be able to afford their homes when mortgage rates soared to 18 percent in the early 1980s.
However, at their April 17 public hearing, the City Council disregarded the testimony of 90-year-old Ivo Feierabend, husband of the late Rosalind Feierabend (Lorwin) who served on the Plan’s Steering Committee, Planning Commission, and City Council. Instead they created new definitions, ignored transient (short-term) housing in the Plan, and selectively excerpted other sections to create their new “interpretation” that the Plan did not allow short-term rentals in residential zones.
The City Council ignored the legislative intent of Del Mar’s Community Plan and voted 4-1 to create new law under the guise of “interpretation” to avoid the due process required for adopting new land use ordinances. Are they trying to subvert the Coastal Act which requires Coastal Commission approval for land use changes, especially since the Commission prohibits banning visitor-serving access and supports regulating short-term rentals? Or avoid required CEQA review which would show their ban’s negative economic impact on the City’s sales and property tax revenues, our village’s shops and restaurants, and Del Mar’s property values, especially in the pricey Beach Colony, which are projected to fall 10-25 percent?
Ivo survived the Nazis and communists but will he survive the Del Mar City Council taking away his family’s rights for weekly summer rentals? This ban will have a devastating impact on many Del Mar homeowners, especially retirees with limited incomes. Historically, Del Mar homeowners have used summer rentals to pay their high property tax and mortgage expense. Without that extra income, Del Mar property values will fall, especially in the inflated Beach Colony where these summer rentals predominate.
A ban will shut Del Mar’s historic gateway, the test drive of short-term rentals that brought future residents like Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, my family, the Stokes, Charnholms, Sullivans, Sharps, etc. The 30-day rental minimum will accelerate Del Mar turning into a wealthy retirement community since only retirees can afford that much time and expense. Our struggling shops and restaurants will suffer since they will have to depend on day-trippers and lodgers in Del Mar’s six hotels with only 355 rooms.
There are far better and more measured solutions than a total ban that will hurt so many in our community. Share your insights with the City Council at their upcoming May 1 meeting. Stop them from banning short-term rentals.
Del Mar resident since 1987
Del Mar short-term rental visitor in the 1970s and 1980s