Keep Del Mar’s history and charm: Vote ‘NO’ on Prop J

By Karla Leopold

Del Mar

When people ask me where I live I answer “beautiful Del Mar.” Most people are envious as I am fortunate enough to live in a small piece of paradise known for its history and character. Our town is often called the “Village of Del Mar.” I am voting No on Proposition J to retain the atmosphere of our friendly village, a place where residents can dine in one of our 26 restaurants, walk to local businesses and shops on uncrowned streets, visit our beaches, shop and enjoy the sense of history and charm found in Olde Del Mar.

Change is not a bad thing and I agree that changes needed to be made in Del Mar, especially for the current established business owners, but I must vote No on Proposition J because this is not the right plan to do it. The changes proposed by Village Specific Plan are too encompassing, vague and broad. The plan will change building codes, traffic, parking, air quality, noise pollution, population numbers and more. There is no timeline and solid financial backing. Why not fix what we all ready have and repair our sidewalks, bring back our street cleaners, provide adequate parking, control the drainage that continues to pollute our ocean and erode our cliffs, help the current property business owners, remodel our town hall and build on the history of Olde Del Mar?

I must vote No on Proposition J because I don’t want Del Mar to look like Del Mar Highlands Mall or Encinitas. My fear is that this plan uses these projects as the models for the future vision of Del Mar. If passed, too much power will be given to the builders and future City Council members. The local residents will lose much of their voice in regards to height, square footage, views and density. When I visit Whole Foods in Encinitas, I try to envision that building in Del Mar, as this is the type of buildings proposed in this plan, I cringe. I know this is not the style of giant buildings I want see built in Del Mar!

Traffic continues to be a problem in Del Mar. I must vote No on Proposition J because the solution proposed by the Village Specific Plan is not the answer. The purposed three, two lane roundabouts configuration place between two stop lights would be multiple accidents waiting to happen. The tourists visiting our town have problems navigating our streets. It makes no sense to add roundabouts. Unfortunately the city did not reassure residents on the side streets that if Proposition J passed they would address the problem. Traffic on the side streets would be a problem! The residents in Bird Rock living on the side streets adjacent to the roundabouts say their street traffic has definitely increased and is a problem.

The Village Specific Plan does not address the Del Mar parking problem with a sensible solution. The “Park-Once” answer makes no sense as one can park in one spot all day, attend the fair or race track have dinner and pay a fee a lot less than what it would cost to park at the fairgrounds while leaving others no available parking. This plan requires commercial building owner to convert public parking in return for “reasonable parking standards”. This also makes no sense as what property owner would do this? There is no parking structure included in the plan which makes it certain I will vote No on Proposition. Parking in Del Mar a chronic problem.

As one opposed to this plan, I did attend many of the meetings and submit several written comments. My voice was not heard, as I voiced concerned about traffic, parking, height, density and development potential. It felt like “the train had left the station “and changes suggested by the residents were not going to happen. These are the same group of people I would be expected to trust with my best interest as my city would get reconfigured and the power to make major decision about development would be in their hands. I must vote No on Proposition J.

Fear of change is not what is leading me to vote No on Proposition J, but the fact that this is not the right plan for revitalizing Del Mar. It is unfortunate that so much time and money was spent to get this plan on the ballot. Some argue that if this plan fails, nothing will be done for a long time because those involved with the plan will give up and time will be lost. There is also the argument that our city will decline, short of “going to hell in a hand basket.” The people who live and work in Del Mar will not let this happen. Del Mar’s sense of history and charm will not let this happen.

I must vote No on Proposition J as I have learned that “anything thing worth doing is worth doing right!” This plan is not the right plan for Del Mar. It does little to retain the charm and history that has become a major part of our beautiful city’s reputation throughout the world!