Del Mar City Council approves public trailhead

Del Mar hikers will soon have a new way to access three local trails.

The Del Mar City Council on Sept. 15 upheld the conditional approval of a coastal development permit by Kathleen Garcia, Del Mar’s planning and community development director, for a public trailhead at Jimmy Durante Boulevard and San Dieguito Drive.

Following Garcia’s decision in June, Del Mar residents Michael and Janice Batter, represented by attorney Jon Corn, filed an appeal in July. According to the staff report, the couple filed an appeal for a number of reasons, arguing that the location warranted an environmental analysis, public parking isn’t allowed in the North Commercial Zone, and more.

The public trailhead will offer access to the Coast-to-Crest Trail, Grand Avenue Overlook and Riverpath Del Mar. Two other public access trails are planned for the area — an extension of the Coast-to-Crest Trail under the nearby NCTD railroad bridge over the San Dieguito River and an extension of the Riverpath Del Mar trail along the south side of the San Dieguito Lagoon connecting to the Grand Avenue Overlook.

Currently, there is no designated trailhead location and little public parking for these paths.

Once the project is completed, the trailhead will feature two solar-powered park, pay and display meters, as well as 37 parking spaces. No grading or construction is proposed for the site.

The project is located at two adjacent, vacant sites at the northeast corner of the intersection. One of the properties is 29,450 square feet and is owned by North County Transit District but under a 10-year lease by Del Mar. The city owns the other property, which is roughly 1,500 square feet.

The site has previously been used as a recycling center, special event and construction lay down site, and public parking.

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