At the October 16 City Council meeting, Del Mar Deputy Mayor Dwight Worden proposed that an informal, ad-hoc committee be formed with the City of Solana Beach to promote communication regarding the North Bluff Resort Project. Since the project is entirely in the City of Del Mar, the primary function of the committee, composed of two representatives from each City Council, would be to keep the City of Solana Beach apprised of the progress of the project, and to make sure Del Mar understands its concerns. However, Council Member Dave Druker suggested the possibility of a more permanent committee to work with Solana Beach on an ongoing basis. In addition, the city is working with owners to award a joint contract for financial analyses of the entire public and private operation.The Sandpiper asked the developers to comment on the feedback they have been getting from their outreach activities. Read their comments here.
The San Dieguito Wetlands Restoration Project team plans to excavate the buildup of sand that is blocking the San Dieguito River tidal channel, with mobilization of equipment expected to start on Nov. 8, 2017, and last for approximately two weeks. The same process of sand removal and replacement of sand for beach replenishment has been used in past years to open the river mouth and protect the restored150 acres of wetlands. The plan is to excavate about 19,000 cubic yards of high quality beach sand from the San Dieguito River channel east of the Camino del Mar (Highway 101) bridge, and place it on the beach south of the river mouth. Removing the sand periodically is one of the most important components in the overall health of the wetlands, since the aquatic life, vegetation and wildlife in the nature preserve are connected and dependent on daily salt water tidal flows for their sustenance.
The city’s contractor, Keyser Marston, is recommending an increase in new condo development fees from $23,508 to a flat fee of $30 per square foot to be used for the city housing fund. If this fee had been in place for the past 8 years, it would have yielded $1.4 million instead of the $400k actually received. The Finance Committee and the Housing Corporation intend to analyze the recommendation further before recommending Council acceptance.
Keyser Marston is also studying proposals for reaching the city’s 5 in 22 goal of creating 22 affordable housing units within the next five years.
Council members and City staff agree that this year’s KAABOO festival at the fairgrounds was much less noisy. “The feedback I had was very positive from the noise standpoint,” said Mayor Terry Sinnott at a recent City Council meeting. “It was much better than it was in previous years.” All agreed, however that there are still areas of concern regarding ride services drop-off areas, pedestrian access from downtown, and litter control. Council Member Sherryl Parks also suggested that, in light of the recent Las Vegas shootings, the City and KAABOO organizers should discuss a plan for emergency evacuation. KAABOO has announced that their next festival will be held on September 14-16, 2018.
Two alternative plans were previewed by the Planning Commission and the Design Review Board. Both bodies expressed preference for the reduced 38 unit alternative, instead of the 48 unit plan. Formal review of the Specific Plan will be scheduled in the near future by both bodies. Under the Specific Plan procedure, they will make recommendations to the City Council for final determination.
Update on plans by the 22nd DAA Board (the Fair Board) to convert half of the satellite wagering center, Surfside Race Place, to a concert venue: The Coastal Commission agreed with the 22nd DAA that the plan does not require a change to the existing coastal permit since the original approval for the offtrack betting venue was for 5500 patrons with attendant parking, and the concert venue is designed for 1900 patrons, so the lesser use can be accommodated under the existing coastal permit. The CC approval is for five years, with renewal conditioned on a review of data on parking and attendance for each event during the next five years.