Disappointed to read about increasing enrollment at Torrey Hills School

Re: “New housing at Torrey Hills bumps up DMUSD enrollment”:

As a Torrey Hills School parent and homeowner, we were disappointed to read about increasing enrollment at Torrey Hills School due to large apartment complexes under construction next to the school (“New Housing at Torrey Hills bumps up DMUSD enrollment,” page A4, July 31, 2014).

The community map from 1999 showed that only one apartment complex was supposed to be built next to the school. Before we purchased our home, we also phoned the Del Mar Union office and was told that class sizes were going to be 18-19 in kindergarten-third grade, and between 24-26 in fourth-sixth grades.

In 2002, there was a lawsuit over a bio-tech company that wanted to build their complex on land next to the school. Eventually the bio-tech complex was not built, and I believe the Torrey Hills Community Planning Board then very unwisely changed the zoning from “future office/corporate headquarters” to apartments.

Homeowners were all opposed to this change in zoning, as the traffic around Torrey Hills School is often gridlocked. Instead, these complexes were approved and now Torrey Hills School is becoming too crowded, with at least 160 new students already set to start in the fall from the complexes that are still largely under construction. We now have four very large apartment complexes next to the school instead of the one that was planned to be there.

Last week’s article also states that, unfortunately, the Del Mar California Teachers Association voted to raise class sizes in 2013, against the wishes of parents in Torrey Hills. It states that the average class sizes in Del Mar Union were 21 students in K-third grade and 25 in fourth-sixth grades, when in fact the average at Torrey Hills School is 24 students in second-third grade and 28 in fourth-sixth grades, including a sixth-grade class with 31 and a second grade with 27, with classrooms smaller than those at Ocean Air School and Sage Canyon School nearby.

Furthermore, many people in my neighborhood complained to the city about the 30 mph speed trap next to these complexes on West/East Ocean Air Drive up to the Vons shopping center for years. The city listened to our numerous complaints, and raised the speed limit to an appropriate 40 mph. Then only weeks later, a few members on the Torrey Hills Community Planning Board voted to decrease the speed limit to 30-35 mph, causing traffic backups in the mornings and afternoons, which will only get worse when construction is completed.

This is not the community we had envisioned when we moved into our home in late 1999, and are very disheartened, particularly about the negative impacts on school class sizes.

Carla Mapes

Torrey Hills