Del Mar residents share beach concerns, solutions during workshop

More than 60 community members gathered to share their concerns about the Beach Colony during a neighborhood meeting Feb. 21 at Powerhouse Community Center.

Led by Mayor Sherryl Parks and Deputy Mayor Terry Sinnott, residents worked in small groups to identify problems and solutions in the beach community. From cleaning the beach to enforcing traffic, residents listed a total of 52 recommendations.

“It’s our job to listen to our constituents, hear their concerns, and do our best to try to find solutions to the problems if we have resources,” Parks said in an interview after the meeting.

Participants were asked to select their preferred nine recommendations and rank them by priority.

“They’re all good ideas; they’re all good observations,” Sinnott said to the crowd. “The challenge this afternoon is to figure out what’s the best of the best.”

Following the meeting, points were tabulated and grouped into categories. Recommendations fell into several major categories, including beach maintenance, law enforcement, parking and traffic.

Based on the number of points participants gave to their top recommendations, several law enforcement suggestions ranked at the top of the list.

Many of the community members wanted the city to enforce motorcycle noise laws. The recommendation not only had the most points, resident R. Paul Allen circulated a petition against motorcycles and other vehicles with modified exhausts, citing noise and pollution.

Many residents also asked to improve traffic enforcement and requested more rangers to enforce security and laws.

With maintenance another top priority, some attendees requested regular street cleaning on side streets. They also suggested lifeguards be in charge of cleaning the beach like in the past.

Parking, traffic, trash and dogs were the next highest priorities.

Some participants did not want the city to change parking on Camino del Mar north of the bridge. Some did not want angled parking or beach-end parking at all in Del Mar. Among a variety of traffic suggestions, some suggested implementing traffic circles at 27th and 23rd streets. Others suggested putting reflective paint on streets and stop signs.

Regarding trash, some residents said that beach trashcans should be emptied regularly and requested a phone number to call when trashcans are full.

A number of residents reiterated that dog rules should be enforced.

“It was a healthy way for that community to look differently at their problems,” Parks said. ‘We gave them a chance to talk to one another and see what’s important to others.”

In a press release since the meeting, the city announced it is “currently evaluating the identified recommendations and will follow with a proposed course of action.” Some solutions, such as infrastructure improvements to improve circulation and parking, are already being addressed, while others will require additional city resources for consideration by the council, according to the release.