By Kristina Houck
More than six years after deciding to purchase Del Mar Shores Park, the city is moving forward with a plan for the site.
The city will issue a request for proposals for a consultant to produce a park master plan, which council members approved in a 3-2 vote on Nov. 18. A selection committee will sort through the applications and return to the council with its recommendation. The selection committee will consist of two council liaisons, a staff project manager and two members from a park master plan committee, which the council on Jan. 21 decided to form.
Council members agreed to form the committee, but had different opinions on the committee’s makeup and role.
“I don’t think the role of this committee should be to represent stakeholders … but to make sure that the contractor, the consultant and we, as a city, are doing a thorough job of involving the community and coming to a consensus,” said Councilman Terry Sinnott.
“From my perspective, to have the stakeholders on the outside and not like the outcome means that we just wasted six months,” said Deputy Mayor Al Corti. “I just assume they be at the table, put their views on the table with the objective they come up with a compromise.”
The council voted in August 2007 to purchase the $8.5 million property from the school district, with the intent to preserve current open space and recreational uses, continue operation of Winston School, and initiate a master plan process. The long-range plan will guide the development of the 5.3-acre park along Camino del Mar.
The Winston School is located on 1.8 acres of leased land. From organized sports to off-leash dog use, community members have a variety of ways they want to use the remaining space.
“There are a lot of opinions about how this wonderful piece of land should be used,” said resident Chris Underwood. “The selection of this steering committee is a great concern, but I applaud you for moving forward with this. I recognize the challenges that you will face. Compromise is part of any process, and I hope we can find one together.”
After forming a clear mission statement for the committee, staff will issue a notice for committee members, which the council will select.
Staff will also issue the RFP within the next couple weeks, said Kathleen Garcia, planning and community development director. Applicants will have 45 days to respond.