Del Mar Update from Dwight Worden

Hello friends! Here is my April 1, 2016 newsletter as your City Councilmember. I'll address a few topical issues for Del Mar in  each of these periodic newsletters, welcoming your feedback! Please feel free to share this with your Del Mar friends and neighbors.

Dwight's April Office Hours - Friday, April 1, 2016 - 9:30-11:30 am 

Stop in to chat--no appointment required.  Location: Del Mar Community Building, 225 9th St., Del Mar. Can't make it, but have something to say? Email me at:

Brief Updates

City Hall:  Permits approved; EIR certified; Project on schedule and on budget.
Del Mar's new Town Hall and City Hall will serve staff and the public.

Access. An   EIR update, requested by council, is coming soon addressing options for equalizing  ingress and egress to and from the new civic center between 10th and 11th str eets, a contentious issue for some immediate neighbors. Council will decide on the final access configuration at a public meeting with expert and neighbor/community input. We are looking for the best traffic flow for the civic center and for the whole town while minimizing impacts to immediate neighbors. Let me know if you have an opinion:

Parking: Council is evaluating reducing the two story underground parking structure to a one story with 140 spaces instead of 160. This will reduce impacts to neighbors and save about $500,000. 

Lawsuit: A lawsuit was filed against the city by one neighbor challenging the City Hall EIR and permits. It is winding its way through the process, but no project delays are expected.

Sustainability. I'm very excited that many important sustainability measures will be included in the project. Solar hot water and electricity, electric vehicle charging (cars and bikes), plus natural ventilation, a demonstration green roof, rainwater capture for landscape water, materials recycling, and more. Check out the full list of proposed measures here

Roundabout: San Dieguto Drive intersection with Jimmy Durante: EIR certified, Roundabout approved. On March 21 council certified the EIR and approved the roundabout as the best project compared to a  traffic signal and stop signs. It is safer for pedestrians, bikes, and cars, will slow traffic that now often speeds, will prevent the illegal U-turns now causing problems, will save money, and will serve well into the future. At my suggestion conditions were attached to make sure Del Mar residents reliant on San Dieguito road to get in and out of their homes will be able to navigate the roundabout even in high traffic circumstances. Measures include on site traffic flag people on busy days and a hot-lot for residents to call if they encounter problems. Watch the video of the council meeting here. Click on agenda item 16.

Emergency   Repair to CDM at Anderson Canyon. Emergency repairs are proceeding well and  should  be complete soon where recent rains caused a major washout. The city is intrigued with the fact that during the repair CDM has been reduced to one lane each way between Carmel Valley Road and just south of Del Mar Heights. Hmmm--it seems to work, and through traffic in downtown has been reduced. Why not make this permanent? We'll be looking at that.

Short Term Rentals. This topic will be returning to council this April. I'm hearing lots of input, which I value greatly--keep it coming! Send me your thoughts at:

Code of Civil Discourse. Mayor Parks and I are working up a Code of Civil Discourse for Del Mar, with help from the National Conflict Resolution Center . And, with support from the Del Mar Foundation, we are planning a conflict resolution training session for up to 24 good folks from Del Mar. We'll be looking at who to invite soon, so if you have suggestions send them on over!  A private citizen is also funding three more sessions independent of the city. 

We hope these training sessions can bring more civility to community interactions. Hey, civility works! It's the best way to get what you want. We have heard concerns about poor neighbor relations in parts of Del Mar, and this is one effort to try and address those concerns. You can help by expressing your views on the topics of the day as powerfully as you want, but respectfully; by listening to the views of others even when you disagree, and by sticking to the issues laying off the personal comments. Don't be surprised if your effectiveness increases! If we all foster this kind of civil discourse Del Mar can be a friendlier and more effective village for everyone. 

Trees: Can Good Trees go Bad? Sadly, yes, especially when stressed by drought and infested with bark beetles. Under these stresses our torreys and other trees can become sick and die, and then they serve as beetle breeding grounds. Arborists advise that unless trimmed or removed dead/diseased trees will quickly become beetle factories, spreading the blight to neighbors. In  response to citizen concerns about this issue, the council (with my support) is adopting a code amendment that will, as a last resort, allow the city to compel the trimming/removal of such trees from private property. This last resort will be used only if notice to the property owner, offers of assistance, and requests for voluntary compliance fail. The city already has a program to address trees on public property.

Del Mar Trails. If you haven't seen it, check out this cool video done by Josh, Frank, Nick and Beau Chisari. It takes you on a video walk on 19 public trails in Del Mar. Thanks guys for a great piece of work!

Voting in Del Mar--Watermark

I have been a long-time supporter of the right of citizens to vote on major projects affecting their city. I authored and supported Measure B back in the 1980's allowing voting on the L'Auberge and Plaza projects. I served on the committee that marshaled the Del Mar Garden project though a successful Measure B community vote. So, no surprise that I support the right of the community to vote on major projects.

I have received many emails and have seen a petition asking for a vote on Watermark. It seems clear to me that a significant number of folks want to vote on Watermark. So, I have asked the city attorney to advise council on what the legally available options are. When we have that information we can intelligently evaluate the options. 

Dwight's Photos and Tidbits
Gloria Curry, former Del Mar City Manager.

Prior City Manager Gloria Curry passed away on February 20, 2016. Gloria ran for the office of County Treasurer before becoming Finance Director and then City Manager of Del Mar. After leaving Del Mar she served as Interim City Manager for Solana Beach. She also served as President of the Women's Republican League. Gloria remained involved in local government after retirement, as a respected consultant. Gloria is remembered fondly by many, including me. A few months before her death I visited her and she gave me historical photos of Del Mar  to donate to the city which are now in the capable hands of the  Del Mar Historical Society.

Bill Healy, former Del Mar Planning Director.

Former planning director Bill Healy passed away on December 15, 2015. Bill served on the staff of the Coastal Commission in its early days, then spent many years as Del Mar Planning Director before becoming the planning director for the city of Salem, Oregon and finally ending his career as planning director for Colorado Springs. Bill was an influential force in Del Mar in the 1970's and 80's. Among other things, he was the originator of the project to install stop signs on CDM, and he was the principal drafter of the first major overhaul of the city's zoning code.

Dwight in the Marine Room with waves crashing on the windows.

Wow! That's me taking a selfie as I attend a conference on sea level rise held at the Marine Room in La Jolla. With waves hammering the windows it was hard to miss the point being made! Del Mar has an active advisory committee studying sea level rise issues and I am pleased to be one of the council liaisons to the committee. 

On many of our streets, a few parked cars can block traffic. 

Recently, council has faced a number of requests to allow major private encroachments into our public streets. Our streets are narrow, few have sidewalks, and if we want local traffic to be able to flow, including garbage trucks, moving vans, cars, and pedestrians/bicycles, we need to keep enough room free of encroachments so it all works safely. Council adopted a policy on encroachments that I support (see Policy 110).

At council direction Del Mar has called the fairgrounds and Kaaboo to task for violating noise limits at last fall's event. Our independent noise consultant confirmed the violations. After some initial bluster and blow back, we now seem to be making progress with the fairgrounds and Kaaboo for next year--their noise consultant is working with us to look at how to assure compliance, not just with the decibel limits of the applicable noise ordinance, but also to assure avoidance of  "nuisance" noise in our residential neighborhoods. We take the violations last year as serious and unacceptable, and are pushing hard for "fixes" for next year.