Del Mar to survey community members about new City Hall

By Kristina Houck

Community members will soon have another opportunity to have their say on a new City Hall for Del Mar.

During a community workshop Dec. 2, about 40 residents shared their thoughts on replacing the city’s current facilities at 1050 Camino Del Mar. The City Council on Dec. 9 discussed issuing a survey so all members of the public could have an opportunity to weigh in on what amenities a new civic center should offer, where offices should be located and how the project should be financed.

Residents who attended the workshop agreed a new City Hall should be constructed in the same location as the current facility. Most residents said they wanted the project to include administrative offices and a council chamber. Attendees also agreed the city should not finance the project using cash reserves and a “pay as you go” policy, but said they would consider a bond, public-private partnership or selling some city assets to fund the project.

“We feel that an online survey, which utilizes the conclusions of the workshop, could actually move the discussion further,” said Kathleen Garcia, the city’s planning and community development director.

Garcia presented a six-page survey draft that posed similar questions to those that were asked during the workshop. Council members requested changes to the survey’s length and language.

“I think you start with the outcome of the workshop because we’ve already gone through that process,” said Councilman Don Mosier. “This needs to be a 10- or 12-minute survey.”

“My main goal is to validate the response to what the small group came up with and make sure that the wide majority of folks are supporting that as well,” said Councilman Terry Sinnott.

Staff will return to the council with a simplified version of the survey during the Jan. 6, 2014 council meeting. After the survey is finalized, the city will send postcards to residents, property owners and business owners, inviting them to participate online. Hard copies will be available upon request for those without Internet access.

The postcard notices and online survey is expected to cost $3,000 to $5,000, according to the staff report. Staff will present the council with the survey outcomes in February.