Del Mar Council creates new subcommittees, divides existing group


The Del Mar City Council will add new subcommittees and split an existing one into two groups.

Following discussions at a recent retreat, the council decided Monday, Feb. 11 to add subcommittees for sea level rise, as well as the Watermark and Del Mar Resort projects.

The governing body also agreed to divide the existing railroad subcommittee into two groups: one handling the removal of the rails from the bluffs, and the other focusing on safe rail crossings and bluff stability.

“We owe the community... to have a specific item as part of the subcommittee prior to reports,” council member Dwight Worden said regarding the rail committees.

The council also grappled with the idea of eliminating the city’s existing subcommittees completely but agreed they were needed in the community.

Council member Sherryl Parks said she believes the city would be “foolhardy” to eliminate them.

Worden said subcommittees are beneficial to residents so they know who to speak to about specific matters.

The council agreed that a subcommittee for sea level rise was needed, especially given pending word from the California Coastal Commission regarding Del Mar’s local coastal plan and its opposition to managed retreat.

Managed retreat became a hot-button issue last spring as the city wrapped up work on its sea level rise adaptation plan, which was in the works for three years. The concept calls for removing man-made structures such as homes and sea walls in the face of a rising ocean.

Instead, the city’s plan calls for a number of measures — such as beach sand replenishment, dredging the mouth of the San Dieguito River and building river levees — to protect the shoreline from flood damage.

“The Coastal Commission report is most important,” Mayor Dave Druker said at Monday’s meeting. “If the Coastal Commission accepts the LCP without amendments, then everybody is going to be really happy. ... A whole lot of this subcommittee will probably have to do some hand-holding with the public.”

Regarding the groups for the Watermark and Del Mar Resort projects, council member Terry Gaasterland noted both proposed projects have been controversial.

“It’s pretty clear there’s a strong group of the community that’s highly concerned,” she said.