Friends Of Revitalization launches website for Village improvement effort

FOR is a citizens advocacy group in favor of making downtown Del Mar a more attractive, pedestrian-friendly and economically viable destination for residents and visitors alike. We believe that the Village improvements envisioned in our Community Plan over 30 years ago have not been fully implemented despite numerous studies, community forums and significant staff time. The vision and groundwork have been done; it is now time for implementation.

The city’s effort to create a Specific Plan for our entire downtown can be the tool to finally get Village revitalization under way. FOR wants the community to become engaged in the process by providing input and supporting it in a public vote in November 2012.

This is the first of many articles FOR intends to write to further the dialogue with our fellow residents regarding this effort.

FOR’s mission statement:

Assist our city and its leaders in the creation and implementation of a Specific Plan that will provide a framework that encourages redevelopment of both private and public property needed to create an attractive, vibrant downtown core, a pedestrian-friendly sidewalk and a parking plan that meets the community’s needs, while preserving public views and the community’s history and unique character.

FOR’s goals:

To finally implement the vision of the 1976 Community Plan as amended in 1985, plus incorporate the valuable work of the Del Mar 2000 Plan, the 1996 Camino del Mar Streetscape Plan, the 2000 Parking Master Plan, the 2007 Kennedy Smith Report and the 2010 Form Based Code draft report.

FOR Members Believe In:

• Improving the appearance and functionality of the commercial area on Camino del Mar from 9th to 15th Street. (To accomplish this, some rules and regulations need to be modified to encourage redevelopment by private property owners.)

• Promoting less through traffic in our community. (Del Mar was originally envisioned as a small, beautiful seaside town and a destination for all. We believe Camino del Mar should be a community thoroughfare, not a more convenient diversion for I-5 and 805 traffic jams.)

• Creating a Town Center for Del Mar that serves our civic administrative and public needs. (The City Hall site should be redeveloped to satisfy these needs as well as providing convenient and safe public parking on the south side of the Village.

FOR asks all Del Mar residents these questions:

• Wouldn’t it be enjoyable to have a pleasant walking experience from City Hall to the Plaza with a well-designed, contiguous and safe sidewalk on both sides of the street?

• Wouldn’t it be more desirable to have an upgraded shopping experience where stores that cater to community needs flourish and thrive?

• Wouldn’t it be better to have an attractive City Hall and Civic plaza that evokes civic pride in Del Mar?

• Wouldn’t it be great for the city to realize significant financial benefit from increased sales, transient occupancy and property tax revenues that will allow it to provide additional public services and projects to better serve the community?

• Wouldn’t it be desirable to have some mixed use development in the downtown core which would include a residential component?

If you answer yes to any of these questions, then get behind FOR and become a Friend of Revitalization.

FOR wants all Del Mar residents and commercial property owners to join in our efforts. We want individuals to be informed and engaged in the revitalization process and the issues involved so they can make educated decisions based on facts. Our City leaders want public participation in the Specific Plan process and FOR is there to assist this effort.

For information on Why revitalize? How to revitalize? History of revitalization and other topics that will be studied before placing the Specific Plan on the November 2012 ballot, we encourage you to visit our website at

— FOR founding members: Al Corti, Howard Gad, Jen Grove, Kelley Kaplan, Linda Rock, and Nancy Johnson Sanquist