‘Facts’ or Opinions?

By Frank Chisari

Del Mar

There has been a lot of vitriol recently from proponents of the Village Specific Plan (VSP, aka Proposition J on the Nov. 6 ballot) about Del Mar citizens who believe that the VSP, as currently designed, is not in the interest of the City, their neighbors or themselves.

The proponents and, disturbingly, the ballot statement itself which was written by the City Attorney cite a series of unproven “facts” that they hope will convince you to vote for the VSP. These “facts” are that the VSP will reduce traffic congestion, increase pedestrian safety, increase property values, protect ocean views, improve city revenues, protect residential streets, reduce air pollution, etc.

Unfortunately, the proponents know very well that their assertions aren’t “facts.” They are opinions. A fact is something that has been tested, verified, and shown to be true. The only way to prove that the Prop J assertions are true is to make the changes, test their impact, and show that congestion, safety, property values, revenues, air pollution, etc. have improved. Short of that kind of testing, the claimed “facts” are merely the proponents’ opinions and they have no more weight than yours or mine.

It is also disturbing that the proponents claim that the VSP will reduce air pollution despite the fact that the VSP Environmental Impact Report indicates that air pollution will more than double in Del Mar if the VSP is implemented. Read it yourself. The text is on page 4.2-19 of the EIR and the data are in Table 4.2-6 on the next page.

To be clear, nothing in the VSP has been tested in the unique setting of this specific community, nor are any tests planned that will be relevant to the final product before construction begins. Testing roundabouts at the north end of town that will ultimately be installed at the south end between two traffic lights is the same as no test at all.

So, in the absence of community-wide consensus and willingness to accept the risks inherent in Prop J, all the claims you will hear from the proponents of Prop J or read in the unfair ballot statement the City Attorney composed, are simply their opinions. Don’t let them mislead you into thinking they’re “facts.”