Sharon Hilliard appointed to Del Mar Design Review Board

By Claire Harlin

Sharon Hilliard, a former communications company executive who has lived in Del Mar since 1975, was appointed by the Del Mar City Council on Jan. 14 to the city’s Design Review Board, a position she said is fitting because of her great interest in design and architecture.

Four residents expressed interest and interviewed for the seat on the seven-member board, which was filled to replace Al Corti, who was elected to the City Council in November.

Not only did Hilliard and her husband, former Del Mar Mayor Carl Hilliard, recently renovate a family home located on Stratford Court that was built in 1928, but they completed the construction of their own Crest Road home in 1998, which required design review.

“I believe that there is no excuse for poor design or siting of projects,” said Hilliard in a statement. “All projects in town should blend into their neighborhoods and be a credit to those owners and architects who choose to build in Del Mar.”

Hilliard has experience serving for two years on the Del Mar Village Association Design Committee, and she was the co-chair of the Del Mar North Hills Undergrounding Project. In her decades-long career in the communications industry, she started her own answering service, she founded the first women’s savings and loan association in San Diego County, and she helped develop the nation’s first computer-based voice storage and retrieval system to be deployed in a service bureau mode. She was also the director of two pay television companies in the early 1980s and, more recently, she was the president of a company operating wireless broadband communications channels across the country.

Three positions on the DRB will reopen in February 2014, and city officials encouraged those not appointed to reapply.

The DRB reviews projects and is charged with preserving and improving the city’s environment, views and aesthetic qualities, as well as protecting property values and assuring projects’ consistency with the city’s laws, standards and the Community Plan.