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April 7 issue: Letters to the editor

Crosswalk needed at intersection

I’m writing to express my great concern about the lack of a crosswalk at the intersection of Dell Street and Solana Hills Drive. As a homeowner over the past five years, I have been unable to figure out why there’s a lack of a crosswalk or a stop sign at this intersection. I have two daughters and one on the way.

On my street, four additional elementary school students live and walk to school. I’m aware of at least one wheelchair person who frequently travels up and down Solana Hills Drive. We cross this intersection daily on our way to school. Cars rarely stop for us given the lack of a stop sign or a crosswalk. By next August, we will have six children from our court walking daily through this intersection to Skyline school.

I contacted our last mayor about a year ago and had no response. I was surprised that even with the repaving of the street no crosswalk was put in. I’m quite concerned this is a disaster in the making. I would even be willing to help fund such a public need.

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I hope our City Council takes action on this problem before an accident happens, and I hope the city is now more aware of this problem via this publication.

Dr. Barrett Levesque,

Solana Beach

Del Mar vacation rentals are critical part of community

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Your honorable Mayor and City Council Members,

Thank you for your patience and your understanding of the issues surrounding short-term vacation rentals. You’re not alone in evaluating this important, progressive evolution on what we’ve come to know in Del Mar.

Remember, it’s only been nearly 80 years since Del Mar was a sleepy seaside town that was awakened by Hollywood celebrities bringing “gambling” to our little city — and for a while, very few actually came.

It took a lot of muscle, star power, dedicated trains and buses from Los Angeles and heavy radio promotion by the studios to get people to come to Del Mar. “Take a plane, take a train, take a car.”

Gambling in Del Mar? This was allowed? And still is?

Yes. And the city has thrived because of the racetrack and its ancillary year-round activities. It’s a key point of difference of the Del Mar brand. And we’re adding more racing dates and expecting to host one of the biggest two-day sporting spectacles in 2017 —The Breeder’s Cup — that will bring more than an estimated 40,000 people to Del Mar!

Where are these people going to stay?

A lot of things are no longer the way they were. We’ve got WiFi permeating the airwaves. Uber and Lyft are transporting us in ways we never dreamed — all from an app on our phones and with the biggest venture capital backing in modern times. Airbnb, VRBO and others are redefining how people travel as families. Expedia (the travel site) just purchased VRBO/HomeAway for $3.9 billion. Hyatt hotels has invested $40 million in vacation rental site OneFineStay.com.

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The world is not as it was. That’s a good thing. Yes, change is not without its bumps.

Del Mar is a leading destination for many travelers and its a wonderful place to live and raise a family. Many residents today first came here or invested after “visiting” Del Mar — likely in a short-term rental or hotel.

Based on the future of the city, there are not enough hotel rooms to accommodate the interest. Vacation rentals already are accommodating a large population of visitors contributing to our businesses. They need to continue so that all can thrive.

With smart, “Good Neighbor” policies, effective management and tempered regulation (with few stay limits) and accountability, this can be a terrific model for all.

Thank you for your continued support.

Bruce McDermott and Family,

Del Mar

Speak out on noise pollution along Camino Del Mar

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On April 18, I am going to request to speak at the Del Mar City Council regarding noise pollution along Camino Del Mar. I’ve collected approximately 70 signatures on a petition, asking the City to enforce the noise ordinance, specifically with motor vehicles that modify their mufflers in order to produce ear-piercing noise. For those of us who live or work close to 101, our calm is shattered by motorists accelerating between stop signs.

Many small cities such as Carmel or Pebble Beach, have signs asking motorists not to rev their engines. We are asking Del Mar to do the same. Many people don’t know that some motorists modify their mufflers illegally after they’ve bought their vehicle. Because the noise ordinance has been hard to enforce, nobody stops them. After spending two weekends collecting signatures, almost everyone agreed that it was the biggest source of pollution along the 101 corridor. If you want something done, please come to the Del Mar City Council Meeting on April 18 and let your views be known.

Richard Levak, Ph.D.


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