Letters to the editor: July 23 issue


No more showers at state beaches? Not OK

We are reminded on a daily basis that California is experiencing the fourth year of drought. We see many of our lakes at historic lows, and are told to water our lawns twice per week.

Living in Del Mar for 16 years, I had never been out east to 4S Ranch. We drove through the vast area for the first time, and were shocked to see hillsides being cut down and several thousand homes of all sizes (all with future landscaping, of course) and tons of apartments under construction when the 15 freeway is already severely congested, and we’re hounded to cut our water usage.

Now I read last week that the outdoor showers at our local beaches are being turned off. This is ridiculous, and this is not OK. These necessary showers were here decades before massive construction in 4S and elsewhere in San Diego. Families at the beaches usually just rinse off their feet, and sometimes their bodies for a few seconds because the salty ocean water stings the skin, and sand makes a mess in the car.

The parking fee at Torrey Pines Beach is an outrageous $12-$20, so I would like to know why I used to pay that (we drive farther to free beaches now), and the showers are still being turned off? Surely some of this exorbitant parking fee goes to pay off the water bill for the showers, or no?

There are other ways to conserve water. This is not one of them.

Carla Mapes

Del Mar

Beach showers should be turned off now

Yesterday while dining at The Poseidon, I watched countless people take showers at the Del Mar life guard tower. This morning as I lugged down my bucket of water from the shower, I started to fume.

Why in the world are the showers still open when we are in a disastrous water shortage? My garden is dying, I barely flush the toilet and haven’t washed my face in warm water for months for fear of wasting the “heating up” water. Upon investigation, I found Solana Beach is also still allowing showers at the cove.

I called each city and I was told many reasons why the showers still were running. I think my favorite was because the City Council knows the people were going to go home and take a shower anyway. I reminded this person we are allocated an amount of water every month we are allowed to use, yet I am supposed to turn a blind eye to thousands of gallons of fresh water going down the drain for swimmers visiting? This is just not acceptable. We are in a disastrous drought, remember?

Even after speaking with the County Water Authority, no one had a clue when the showers would be turned off.

What this said to me is San Diego is not in dire straits when it comes to how much water we have. We are being led by the nose from Sacramento to the city councils where we live. I now believe if we were in dire straits as we have been told, the showers would have been turned off months ago, golf courses would be brown and ball fields would not be watered like they are today.

The biggest problem is when you investigate, you only speak to the person (quoting) the company line. I would love to talk to whoever runs the Water Authority. They have a $1.5 billion budget, yet not one person there had a clue as to why the showers were still in use or when they would be shut off. Hello? Who is in charge?

Megan Gray

Solana Beach

Loud music no fun for neighbors

On Thursday, July 16, L’Auberge Del Mar held its annual Opening Day After-Party from 5 p.m. to midnight. Music on the pool deck was played loudly, too loudly, throughout the night. The music was so loud and annoying that the next morning I called Del Mar’s code compliance department to complain and was told that annually, for the past seven years, L’Auberge has received a citation for the loud music at the event. Unfortunately, the fine is only $100; the entry fee for the event is $200 per person, so the fine is immaterial.

I decided to investigate Del Mar’s noise regulations. Section 9.20.090.C.2 of the Del Mar Municipal Code prohibits amplified music at any time and after 10 p.m., prohibits the operation of any loudspeakers that are plainly audible at a distance of 50 feet. Both of these ordinances were flagrantly violated by L’Auberge. I called L’Auberge for an explanation and they have not returned my call.

I believe that we should all try to support our local businesses. In return, the local businesses have an obligation to be good corporate citizens and abide by our local ordinances. Please remember L’Auberge’s disregard for our community regulations the next time you consider giving them your business. Also, I’d like to ask our City Council why they allow L’Auberge’s abuse to continue unchecked.

Ted Middleton

Del Mar

Wake up, Del Mar; you’ve been kicked

A dog knows when he is tripped over or kicked, and on Monday, July 21, at 11 p.m. the Del Mar City Council gave all of us a hard kick.

The council approved relocating all the city offices to the parking lot just south of the Winston School for at least 3 1/2 years during construction of the new City Hall.

The public notice of the hearing was inadequate, and no factual basis was provided at the hearing by the city to support the claim that no commercial space was available in the Del Mar area for the relocation.

The city admits that it never engaged a commercial Realtor to look for any space, and the city staff never explained what work was done to come to that conclusion. Once the city is entrenched in that location, good luck in getting it back.

Good luck also for building the Shore Park for many years. What a slap in the face for all those who generously gave money to purchase the Shores property and for all those now actively involved in planning for its future use.

There is a bright note. The city admits that legally it must examine the proposed relocation as part of the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the new City Hall, and the law requires that a detailed analysis of every relocation option be presented. It very well may turn out that the Shores parking lot is the best location. However, the burden of convincing the community of this is on the city.

The information presented at the council meeting was a joke. The short notice, the poorly presented facts and the 11 p.m. call of the item on the calendar was designed to bully the approval. Hey, council members, people are not stupid.

I am an attorney. If the same inadequate level of analysis is done in the EIR, a legal challenge will be made. If this delays the new City Hall project for months or years, so be it — it is the council’s fault. Fair warning. You cannot and should not treat residents this way. Shame on you.

Robert Hajek

Del Mar