Library expansion adds to parking shortage
Recently there was a groundbreaking for a $250,000, 550-square- foot expansion of the Del Mar Library. Everyone is proud of our Del Mar Library (there are 10,000 cardholders in a town of 2,500 voters), but that seems like an awful lot of money for 550-square feet.
Not only is that a lot of money, the library expansion is being accommodated by allocating the four parking spaces on Camino del Mar to the library's requirement for off-street parking. Now, that wouldn't be allowed for any business on Camino del Mar! So we add to the parking shortage problem by ignoring our zoning ordinances.
Besides, the city is in revitalization mode for the downtown area - all street-front space is supposed to be retail to provide more city sales tax. And there sits the Library, providing no sales tax, or continuity of retail pedestrian experience.
Why is this important? The city, which has been consumed with getting more sales tax, has approved a new project at 10th Street, which, with a two level underground parking garage, will still require cars to park throughout the adjacent neighborhood. And the city is starting the process of creating a specific plan, whose goal is to re-do the downtown to provide more sales tax.
All of this might provide more sales tax, but it will surely change the character of Del Mar. Do we want to change the character of Del Mar to such an extent to provide more city sales tax? Believe me, if you care, you are really going to have to pay attention to what the city is doing from now on.
Ralph Peck Del Mar