Del Mar council adopts revised schedule for work on new civic center

Despite revisions to the design and construction schedule, Del Mar is still on track to unveil its new civic center in 2017.

The City Council on Oct. 19 unanimously adopted a revised schedule for the project. The council discussed a draft schedule in February and initially adopted it in April, after bringing an architectural firm and environmental consultants on board.

Since then, two public workshops were held in May and June, the council and community provided the architects with design direction at meetings in June and July, the Design Review Board initially reviewed the project in August, and the draft environmental impact report for the project was released in September, followed by a third public workshop with the architects later that month.

At the last workshop on Sept. 28, the public provided the architects, The Miller Hull Partnership, LLP, with a “substantial number of comments,” said Kathleen Garcia, the city’s planning and community development director.

“In order to explore these, to advance the design and to respond to the comments, we would like to look at a slight adjustment of schedule,” Garcia said.

Mayor Al Corti and Councilman Don Mosier, council liaisons to the project, proposed the revised schedule because they wanted the full council to weigh in on the design direction before the entitlement process.

“I don’t think it was ready,” Corti said. “I don’t think the architects are prepared yet.”

“I think this is an absolute necessary step,” Mosier said. “This is a very important project for the city, and there’s no need to rush it, if we’re not in the right place at the right time.”

According to the revised schedule, written comments on the draft EIR are still due to the city by 5 p.m. Oct. 26 and can be delivered to 1050 Camino del Mar or emailed to city The report, which was released Sept. 11 for a 45-day public comment period, can be downloaded from the city’s website at Copies are also available to review at city hall and the Del Mar Library.

Dates for other events have changed, however.

The architects will now present their updated designs to the council on Nov. 2. If council members concur with the direction at that time, a Citizens’ Participation Program meeting will be held Nov. 19, rather than Oct. 12, the advertised date. The meeting is intended for residents within 300 feet of the project site, but also open to the greater community.

With that, story poles are set to go up Dec. 1, followed by a Design Review Board hearing on Dec. 16. The council would then hold an EIR certification and entitlement hearing on Jan. 4, 2016 — about a month later than originally anticipated — with the notice of determination on the EIR ready the following day.

If all goes according to schedule, demolition could start Feb. 5, 2016, 30 days after the notice of determination. Construction is expected to last at least a year and up to two years, according to the master schedule, with the ready-for-occupancy date as early as July 2017.