Allowing lease of property will help revitalize Del Mar

I read the following speech to the City Council on June 17, 2013, pursuant to agenda Item #6:

The Staff Report says the “pilot program ended on April 14, 2012 and you’ve been working with Crepes & Corks for the last 14 months to help satisfy their parking requirements.”

Crepes & Corks opened their restaurant by funding $500 with the DMVA’s valet parking program . . . and I funded $42,000 with the same DMVA program, but that wasn’t good enough.

I signed a contract with Pacific Coast Valet in 2012, and sent a copy to the Planning Director and the City Manager . . . and the City simply ignored it.

When Prep Kitchen was shut down for a year because of the fire, they asked the City if they could move upstairs to Suite 200 during re-construction. The Planning Director denied this request and Prep Kitchen laid off 30 employees.

You might be working with Crepes & Corks, and all these other under-parked properties in town . . . but you’re fighting me . . . because you want to convert my parking garage to a public parking lot. And that’s a published fact:

The City’s 2009 Parcel Survey stated that the parking garage at 1201 Camino del Mar should be “shared parking for the entire block.”

The City’s Village Specific Plan required:

“existing development to open private parking to the public . . . in return for reduced parking standards”

The Planning Director conducted 100 meetings with Del Mar residents . . . and told them that my parking was under-utilized, and therefore should become public parking . . . But she didn’t tell them that my 41 spaces were mostly vacant because I’m not allowed to lease my property.

Withholding permits in an attempt to coerce me to convert my property to a public parking lot is wrong. Withholding permits from the best-parked building in town, while you enrich all these other under-parked properties is wrong.

Del Mar’s downtown is mostly run-down, under-parked buildings because permits have been based on politics instead of planning. This has been going on four-and-a-half years, and I’m losing $15,000 per month rent.

But Del Mar is losing a lot more. If you can’t figure out how to allow me to lease my property, you will never be able to revitalize this town.

George Conkwright