Do your homework on Prop J

As a resident of Del Mar with businesses in Del Mar, I believe Prop J is extremely important for the following reasons:

Important elements in designing the L’Auberge were


, a vision of the completed resort,

financial feasibility

as an investment, and

community benefits.

Most will agree, the vision was realized, the investment is sound and the multiple community benefits will continue forever. The benefits include over $1 million dollars in room taxes and another million plus in property and sales taxes annually for residential services.



for Del Mar is the 1975 Community Plan, designed to achieve a pedestrian friendly, vibrant downtown as the economic base, social and cultural center of the village. A beautifully landscaped village with wider tree lined sidewalks, outside dining, unique shops and businesses to better serve our residents, similar in charm to the small villages of Europe. The second goal is to minimize the impact of the automobiles on Del Mar and the third goal to preserve the residential small town atmosphere as a village.

Prop J provides the tools to finally achieve our 1975 community plan goals. A vital and necessary element of Prop J is the roundabouts to minimize the impact of the automobiles on our village. For a walkable community, the residents and pedestrians have to be favored over the automobile. The quiet, charming, small town atmosphere we all desire can never be achieved with a four lane raceway taking precedence over the pedestrian.

The alternative to Prop J is a continuation of what has happened in Del Mar over the past 25 years; from 15th street south to city hall the values have declined, businesses are struggling, and many buildings are old an unattractive. The village is in a state of decay. Del Mar’s outdated, archaic building codes make it economically infeasible to invest in upgrades or new business to better serve residents and visitors. As such, without change the deterioration of our village will continue. We need to invest in our community to stop the continued decay over the next 25 years.

As I studied Prop J, I realized that little to none of our Community Plan goals can be realized when instead of favoring residents and a small town walkable village atmosphere, we continue with Camino Del Mar as a four lane speedway. Prop J provides the solution to achieve our 1975 Community Plan goals.

I, too, questioned the reduction to two lanes and the roundabouts, however, instead of accepting misinformation and listening to the nay sayers who oppose everything, I spent two days in Bird Rock to talk to dozens of residents and businesses and here is what they had to say:

It is such an important issue for Del Mar’s future, I urge you to do your homework. Spend some time in Bird Rock, talk to the locals and hear the truth.

Pat: Owner Bird Rock Surf Shop

“I think the roundabouts are great. It moves the traffic through so much more efficiently, yet at a slower pace so motorists have time to observe my business. The reduction to two lanes with the roundabouts are safer for pedestrians. It has created a pleasant walkable community and has been good for my business.”

Julian: Bakery owner for 20 years

“I love them. The roundabouts do what they are designed to do. They slow down traffic and make it safer for pedestrians. I love it and the residents I serve like it. I love the people walking around. It’s more like a small town atmosphere as opposed to a four-lane race way.”

Carey: Local resident and husband works in Encinitas

“I like them. It moves the traffic so much better and is better for the environment with less omissions. I like it and it works.”

Bird Rock coffee shop employee

“It’s much safer and a real plus to our business. Cars used to fly by and never stop. Now they can see we are a first class coffee shop and sidewalk café. We get a lot more locals now.”

Peter Corronte: Local resident architectural background

“It is definitely a plus for our community. I believe it was well designed and it works. It has slowed down the traffic without reducing the over all traffic count. Its simply a more efficient way to move traffic.”

Lori: Local young person at coffee shop

“I love the roundabouts here in Bird Rock. It has made it a more pedestrian-friendly neighborhood. I think it could do a lot for Del Mar. It has improved our community and attracted new resident shops.”

Debra Cooper: Bird Rock animal clinic

“I love them. It makes traffic move so much more efficiently. Why should people have to stop and sit at stop lights and wait, when there is no traffic to wait for? It is so much nicer than when it was 4 lanes and so much safer.”

Tesey: College student and resident

“I like them. It makes speeders slow down. It make the community more walkable and safer for pedestrians.”

Miriam Zieminski: Frame maker business 16 years:

“I love them. There used to be a stop sign one block to the south and a stop light one block to the north. At four lanes cars would race at 50 miles per hour trying to beat the stop light. Now its quieter and so much safer. The town has been enhanced and re-energized. It’s a wonderful improvement for our community.”


These are typical of what residents and businesses had to say about the reduction from four lanes to two with roundabouts. I was overwhelmed and surprised by the enthusiasm of both residents and businesses. The conversion has turned what was a four lane raceway into and delightful quiet walkable village. It will do the same for Del Mar so that all the goals of our 1975 Community Plan will finally be achieved.

What I found out by spending two days at a coffee shop talking to residents and businesses in Bird Rock is exactly opposite to the false information provided by the nay sayers who fear change.

Prop J is too important to our community over the next 30 years not to do your homework — I urge you to spend a day in Bird Rock talking to residents and businesses before you make your decision on Prop J.

Jim Watkins