Del Mar awards contract for Shores Park plan

Seven years after deciding to purchase Del Mar Shores Park, the city is another step closer to establishing a plan for the site. In a 4-0 vote, with Mayor Lee Haydu absent, the Del Mar City Council awarded a $150,000 contract to Schmidt Design Group to produce a park master plan.

“This is a significant point in our effort to do our Shores master planning,” said Councilman Terry Sinnott. “We’re excited about this milestone, and we’re anxious to get started with the advisory committee and the community as a whole.”

Sinnott and Councilwoman Sherryl Parks serve as council liaisons to the Shores Advisory Committee, which the council established in February. While Schmidt Design Group prepares the plan, the committee will provide oversight on the process and community input.

In March, the city issued a request for proposals for a consultant to develop a park master plan. The city received proposals from 10 firms, and of those, the Shores Advisory Committee interviewed four. After the interviews, the committee unanimously recommended the council hire Schmidt Design Group.

Based in San Diego, Schmidt Design Group has 31 years of experience with park master planning and park development projects. Some of the company’s local projects are the Coastal Rail Trail in Solana Beach, Cottonwood Creek Park in Encinitas and Ocean Air Park in the Torrey Del Mar community.

“I’m looking forward very much to working with you and the entire community of Del Mar,” said owner Glen Schmidt. “We specialize in reaching out to communities and designing spaces that are really special for each community. Really, our objective is not to have a preconceived notion of what will happen on that piece of land, but to listen to all of you, to listen to members of the community and create something that’s very special for Del Mar.”

The council voted in August 2007 to buy the $8.5 million property from the school district, with the intent to preserve open space and recreational uses, continue operating The Winston School, and initiate a master plan process. The long-range plan will guide the development of the 5.3-acre park along Camino del Mar.

The Winston School is on 1.8 acres of leased land. From organized sports to off-leash dog use, community members have a variety of ways they want to use the remaining space.

The master plan is expected to take 12-18 months to complete, according to city staff.