May Del Mar Mayor’s Message

By Lee Haydu

Over the past few months, the City Council has been discussing, analyzing, and planning for a new City Hall/Civic Center. A new City Hall/Civic Center will be one of the City’s largest capital projects and will serve residents for decades to come. Therefore, it is important to me and the City Council that we seek and listen to community input during all aspects of this project.

The preliminary planning process, which we’re doing now, has not happened overnight. Last summer, the City did an assessment of all the City facilities and determined the need to correct deficiencies and provide an adequate work environment for City Hall employees. This is similar to what was done previously for the Beach Safety Center; a systematic replacement of obsolete facilities that will improve functionality, efficiencies, and service to the community. Since September 2013, at each Council meeting we have discussed aspects of this project. In December 2013, we held a successful Community Workshop to get input on what residents wanted to see in a new City Hall or Civic Center. The workshop was very well attended and the feedback was used to craft a community survey that was distributed in January 2014. We were so pleased with the high volume of responses to the survey. The responses have been extremely valuable for the City Council and staff as we continue the planning process.

Recently, we have begun to analyze space considerations for City Hall administrative offices and a Town Hall. This will help craft cost estimates for the project. Defining the cost estimates, financing options, and project goals are integral to having a complete package that will allow the community to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of the project and provide your input to the City Council to assist us in making a decision that meets the needs of the community.

We know there are lots of good ideas in the community about what you want to see in a Civic Center that is comprised of City Hall administrative offices and a Town Hall, so the City Council has set a Community Forum at each Council meeting through June 16, 2014. The forum allows you to present your ideas or comments on previously presented ideas. Check upcoming Council meeting agendas for details.

As we continue to gather information to help guide decisions for this project, we are planning another Community Workshop on June 9, 2014 to seek your feedback and input on the project. Visit for more information about the workshop. Following the Community Workshop, it is intended that the City Council will provide direction on how to solve the problem of inadequate City Hall facilities. There will be a lot of work in the future for the public and the City Council to craft the details of what and how such a project will be implemented.

Finally, as City staff continues to seek opportunities to better serve our residents, application submittals for Design Review Board (DRB) permits will be accepted by appointment only. The new appointment process will allow Planning Department staff to spend the necessary time with the project applicant and their application, eliminate applicants from waiting in line, and guarantee a member of the Planning staff at the appointed time. All other Planning applications will continue to be taken on a drop-in basis at the Counter during regular counter hours (Mon-Thur from 1 p.m.- 5:30 p.m. and Fri 1 p.m. - 4:30 p.m). This applies to DRB submittals only (and their associated requests such as a Coastal Development Permit, Land Conservation, Variance, etc.) and


to Administrative Design Review (ADR) permits or other permit submittals. To request an appointment for your DRB application, please send an email request to or call (858) 755-9313 and an appointment will be scheduled for your meeting. Please include the project location, the applicant’s contact information, a brief description of the project, and any preferred days/times for an appointment (morning hours preferred).

I’m so pleased to serve the residents of Del Mar and look forward to working with the City Council to implement your vision for our City!