Letters: Oct. 18
A KAABOO problem still to solve
It was nice to see the positive reports from the Fair Board on KAABOO. The producers indeed seem to have been very successful in controlling noise. The massive influx of traffic was largely well-managed, minimizing disruptions to the neighborhood in spite of a huge number of cars. Netting $800,000 for the Agricultural District is a good thing.
My one area of concern, however, is the impact of massive “free” parking on nearby residential streets, including mine. Cars were bumper-to-bumper along every curb, sometimes encroaching on driveways. It was like the Fourth of July, but three days long. Attenders must park somewhere, of course, but accommodating them is one of the costs of doing business. The way things stand, these costs (in inconvenience and increased traffic hazard) are being exported to the neighbors.
Free parking and remote lots with shuttles are viable alternatives during the Fair, why not during KAABOO? Perhaps a little of that handsome profit stream could be diverted into solving this problem.
Letters: Oct. 25:
Valid land use concerns ignored by majority council members
The Oct. 15 Del Mar City Council meeting was disappointing.
Convincing, well-articulated concerns from the public, who again urged council to review the current LCPA (Local Coastal Program Amendment), fell upon deaf ears.
While council members Sinnott and Druker validated the public’s concerns through a line of questions, council members Haviland, Parks, Worden and City Planner Amanda Lee dismissed the public outcry, characterizing the public’s requests as “analysis paralysis,” and dismissing the public’s fact gathering as appropriate only for “heart or brain surgery.” This majority council ignored the very relevant concerns raised by the public on this serious land use issue.
Ex-STAC member Stoke reiterated concerns over the outdated FEMA maps council relies upon, which fail to show our seawalls. While FEMA’s policy explicitly states that seawalls weigh heavily into their flood vulnerability assessments, council stuck to their unwarranted fast-track approach neglecting to update FEMA’s maps before filing the LCPA. (Note:STAC is the acronym for Sea-Level Rise Stakeholder-Technical Advisory Committee.)
Ex-STAC Chair Gaasterland articulated indisputable scientific facts that council’s relied-upon ESA models are seriously flawed. In fact, these models account only for sand depletion, while not accommodating for naturally reoccurring, significant sand replenishment that occurs between the depletion events.
Debbie Church presented indisputable evidence that Solana Beach secured substantial replenishment funding from external sources with no LCP (Local Coastal Program), further obviating the need for Del Mar City Council’s LCPA.
Ex-STAC Vice Chair Imperato questioned the legal necessity of council’s decision to record title warning notices on our North Beach and bluff homes.
Ignoring these four significant concerns, council selectively fashioned science and facts, picking and choosing support for their unwarranted rush to submit an unneeded LCPA.
Del Mar citizens submitted hundreds of pages of “red dots” opposing council’s positions on almost every issue before them regarding sea level rise. Yet, council dismissed substantially all of our citizen’s concerns. Ironically, in the year that I served on STAC, exclusive support for council’s decisions came from members of Surfrider Foundation who live outside of Del Mar.
For council members Worden, Haviland and Parks, these public hearings are in “form only” and are not substantive. Many productive Del Mar constituents take time out of their busy lives to articulate valid, fact-based positions for the benefit of council and peers. They inform council with facts and science. Yet, the majority council members repeatedly dismiss the community’s concerns.
Ex-STAC Vice Chair, Concerned Del Mar Resident
KAABOO noise loud and clear
I read the “Reader’s Letter” last week — “A KAABOO problem still to solve” from a gentleman north of the Del Mar Fairgrounds in Solana Beach complaining about KAABOO attendees parking in residential neighborhoods for 3 days. He wrote positively though that “the producers (were) successful in controlling the noise” Hardly! We live exactly 7 miles south of the fairgrounds in Torrey Hills, and the sound for this KAABOO was loud and clear for three days straight inside our house even with the windows closed.
The noise this year was even louder than the first year of KAABOO when organizers claimed the “heat and wind” amplified the sound. We had a family gathering in our backyard on Saturday, Sept. 15, and the thumping and loud music was easily heard here and it was annoying. It’s obvious that the organizers pointed the speakers south and no way is that noise level legal. Last year was the only year we did not hear excessively loud music and thumping from KAABOO. Next year we will go out of town that weekend since obviously the city and organizers have done nothing about KAABOO noise complaints in the past and it was even worse this year.
Letters: Nov. 1
Proposed Del Mar Resort: Resist rush to judgment until there is a final plan
I’ve lived, worked, and owned property in Del Mar for over 30 years, and have been passionate about trying to reinvigorate downtown. In this spirit, I was excited to hear about the proposed Del Mar Resort at the north end of town. As with any new development, especially one of this scale, it will be critical to address issues of parking, traffic, bluff sustainability and other impacts on our community. However, I would encourage the community to provide early input but resist the rush to judgment and consider the project’s total impact on the community once there is a final plan. Let’s try to assess the project with an open mind and discuss it civilly, evaluating the project based on empirical data rather than emotional hyperbole. We have enough of that today at a national level, and we should be able to do better. The approval process is comprehensive and the project will be vetted by the City of Del Mar and the Coastal Commission, which most of us would agree have a history of being careful to not encourage rampant development. Environmental concerns will be addressed by an Environmental Impact Report and adhere to CEQA.
The fiscal benefits to the community are significant, and the city could do a lot of good with the more than $10 million annual tax contribution (under the current plan) the resort would contribute to city coffers. This could pay for accelerated undergrounding, Shores Park development, downtown streetscape and much more.
Also important is the positive impact these resort guests will have on our downtown shops, restaurants and services. Citizen surveys consistently recognize the downtown as a top resident priority. Lastly, as a regular Dog Beach visitor, I have regretted that this amazing piece of property has been inaccessible to the community. At least with a resort on the property we will be able to enjoy the spectacular views while sipping a glass of wine at sunset!
You may recall the strident arguments against outdoor dining patios, and how they would destroy the fabric of our community. Most of us would agree that they have enhanced the downtown ambiance. At least let’s consider all the pros and cons before we make up our minds.
Linda J. Rock
Lesson to be learned
There is an unmistakable lesson to be learned from One Paseo regarding the multi-use resort being planned for 16.5 acres on the north-end bluff of Del Mar. Let’s be honest. One Paseo is not Del Mar as we have grown up with it; the rezoned bluff development would not be either.
One Paseo is growing more massive and higher by the day. In a word, it is enormous. Besides being an eyesore, the residents and shops will bring traffic jams along Del Mar Heights, El Camino Real and High Bluff. I will make a prediction. People like me living west of I-5 will change their shopping and restaurant habits to avoid going into the One Paseo traffic mess. I just filled up at the Shell station, thinking that may be close to the last time I go there. And I can imagine that Carmel Valley residents will do something similar.
With the One Paseo mistake to live with, if rezoning of the north bluff is accepted, it will be a crying shame. And Del Mar will have lost some of what it has been and could continue to be.
Letters: Nov. 29
Don’t fence me in
Some lawyer at the Transit District wants to fence off the Del Mar bluff. Their reason: dudes with surfboards contribute to bluff erosion. Yeah right, and the daily pounding of multi-ton trains 51 times per day is good for the bluff! We can co-exist with the trains and we don’t need no stinking fence. If it’s beach access vs. Amtrak - well, don’t let the door hit you in the caboose NCTD!
Craig A. Nelson
Letters: Dec. 13
Solana Highlands revitalization issues
Re: Solana Highlands revitalization: At the Dec. 5 Solana Beach City Council meeting, a public hearing and a presentation by the developer were heard. At 11:30, due to the lateness of the hour and the multiple unresolved issues and questions, the city council continued the meeting until Dec. 17.
Several people testified as to the need for more affordable housing for workers and their families. This project, as proposed, will not provide relief for any of that since the affordable housing will be just for seniors. Most workers are less than 55, and the 32-unit building is not designed for families. According to regulations, the age restriction is not discriminatory.
Also revealed at the meeting is that the developer, H.D. Fenton Co., requests waiver of $500,000 in fees due to his addition of the affordable housing building. By including affordable housing, this allows a waiver of the density. By adding one building of 32 affordable housing units, the existing 194 units can be increased to 260.
Included in the proposal is a request to partition off the affordable housing building into a separate parcel. Why do this, unless future plans include selling off this parcel and leaving the developer with only market rate units?
One of the major concerns of most of the speakers was the density issue that will have effects on schools, traffic, parking, etc. for the city and nearby residents. Whether or not this issue will be resolved before the new city council takes over remains to be seen. Hopefully, a reasonable compromise will occur – one that aligns with Solana Beach’s character and mission statement.