Implementing the community plan

By Richard Earnest

Mayor, Del Mar

The city of Del Mar is embarking on a number of exciting and challenging projects in the upcoming year designed to implement the goals and objectives of the Community Plan. They include both preservation of the unique small town residential character and the development of an economically viable, pedestrian-oriented commercial district.

These projects include reconstruction of much of the sidewalks between 15th and 12th streets while rehabilitating curbs and street surfaces, a pilot program that is oriented to increasing pedestrian mobility and adding parking in the downtown. While de-emphasizing the automobile, the city is also taking on reconstruction of the Torrey Pines Bridge, working to retire the Shores debt while preserving open space, constructing the city’s replacement for the primary sewer pump station near the tennis courts at 21st and Court streets, and developing a funding strategy for a new 17th Street Beach Safety Center.

Another important project is our development of a form-based code for the central commercial district. This plan, which was in development through most of 2009, will be open to public discussion in early February and is designed to create a vibrant village commercial district that is distinctly Del Mar.

Again, the focus on pedestrian activity, the promotion of new retail and the preservation of view corridors are important to the code’s success. An important element of the plan is to create an atmosphere for owners to reinvest and redevelop their commercial properties to implement the visions identified in the form-based code.

On top of all of these projects, our day-to-day services will be carried out in a tough economy. Our community services department and lifeguard operation, the newly organized fire department in association with the cities of Encinitas, Solana Beach and the community of Rancho Santa Fe, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, and our public works, planning, finance, city clerk and information technology and city manager’s offices are all working hard to ensure that our residents and businesses enjoy the quality of life they deserve.