Why we are voting No on Prop J

Before you cast your vote, ask yourself this question: When you first came to Del Mar what made you want to make it your home? For me, it was that quaint, laid-back village that was a throw back in time. A place that was different than any other I had ever seen. That feeling is something that most of us have in common in choosing this place to live. Our village is what keeps bringing new residents to our seaside town. Let’s not destroy our village in the name of more commercial development.

Prop J covers an area on Camino Del Mar from 15th Street to 9th Street – a six block area along our only highway in and out of town. Look what Prop J has in store for our residents who want to protect their quality of life: 220,000 square feet of new commercial space, 48,000 of which is reserved for about 20 new restaurants and bars. Noisy trash trucks pick up the smelly rotten food every two days. Late night partiers walk to their cars during residential sleeping hours. Is that what we want as residents who have to put up with all of this?

One-hundred and 10 new residential dwelling units in this same area. Where are they going to be built? How many cars will be parked in those units? How many trips per day will they make? Will this plan cause even more downtown congestion? State laws allow density bonuses of up to 35 percent for low cost housing thereby increasing densities up to 140 residential units. Is this what we want for our community?

Twenty-six feet high, two-story buildings can be constructed on west side of Camino del Mar. Views and the open, airy feeling of our village will disappear and be gone forever.

Camino del Mar is reduced to one lane in each direction. With commuter and visitor traffic passing through town, how could this ever make sense to anyone? How can you have Towne and Country parking with a bike lane immediately behind and then one-lane traffic? And with the stop light remaining at 15th Street, every time the signal turns to RED there will again be gridlock.

Response times for emergency vehicles will be increased. Retired Del Mar Fire Chief Jack Gosney is on record as saying that a single lane configuration on Camino del Mar is a bad idea and should never be implemented.

The overall safety factor of mixing bicyclists, tourists, pedestrians and vehicles with roundabouts is sure to be a disaster in the making. There are going to be serious accidents, perhaps fatalities. And who are we doing all of this for? We haven’t figured that one out yet, but I do know for sure that it is not for our residents.

Residents living near this new residential and commercial development will be negatively affected. Are they to stand by and let Prop J become a reality? They are part of us so shouldn’t we come to their defense and help defeat Prop J? Why should we allow our town and little village be taken over by major development that once started will never be reversed?

Prop J eliminates the Protections of Proposition B. Proposition B provides that any future development of the commercial district on lots of 25,000 square feet or more cannot take place without a vote of the people. Additionally, any development or redevelopment in excess of 11,500 square feet of commercial floor area is also subject to a vote of the people. Prop J overrides this ordinance by providing that as long as any developer is in compliance with the provisions of Prop J, Prop B would be overridden and has no effect

These are just a few of the reasons that I believe Prop J is overly ambitious for our seaside town and will cause our way of life to be negatively altered forever. Please give thought to the reality of what will happen to our little piece of Heaven before you cast your vote. My wife and I, as long-time residents who love Del Mar, are in opposition and will vote No on Prop J. Please join us in voting No on Prop J.

Hershell Price