Jeff Barnouw | Amphitheatre Drive
|Principal Planner Amanda Lee. Photo Jeff Barnouw.
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Beginning her first full year as Principal Planner, Amanda Lee has a long-standing connection with Del Mar. She lived here while studying for her BA at UCSD in Urban Studies and Planning, 1992-97. Her M.A. in City Planning is from SDSU in 2000. (A classmate in that program was Dustin Fuller, now with the 22nd District Agricultural Association.) She was a Planning Intern and then Assistant Planner in Del Mar 1998-2001, before going to the City of San Diego as Associate Planner, 2001-16.
Now back on the Del Mar City staff, she is responsible for long-range planning (and that can mean keeping the year 2100 in mind!), while Matt Bator, the other Principal Planner, is more focused on current projects. So Amanda is staff liaison for the Planning Commission, Matt for the Design Review Board.
A major long-term concern is sea-level rise. Amanda has been working with STAC (Sea-level Rise Stakeholder Technical Advisory Committee) on developing an Adaptation Plan. Coastal resilience, the City’s capacity to bounce back after inundation, including sedimentation management , is important with regard to the San Dieguito River as well as the Pacific Ocean. Vulnerable areas are coastal bluffs (erosion) and low-lying flood-plain structures including not only homes on or near the beach but, for example, the new brew-pub and the temporary City Hall at Southfair.
The Adaptation Plan, after revisions that took long meetings and much discussion, is finally going to the Planning Commission in February. You can check Vulnerability Assessment on the City Website. The next focus of concern will be protecting the wetland restoration, the layered micro-habitats and the trails in the Lagoon. That’s for another issue.
Since 2000 Amanda has lived in University City with her husband and two children, a 12-year-old in 7th grade and a 9-year-old in 4th. When she was at UCSD she played soccer and that has continued. She is currently on the Comets in the Peninsula Women’s Soccer League, 18-and-older, playing on Sundays. In April 2017 she traveled to New Zealand for the World Masters tournament with a 35-and-older team from Southern California and won the Gold Medal.
Amanda says she is very happy with her colleagues, their dedication and team spirit. She enjoys problem solving and concern with community vision. It is quite different from the City of San Diego where staff had to work (in much larger, more self-contained departments) with a Strong Mayor, an elected Attorney and nine Councilmembers representing different districts and interests. This contrast is not to suggest that Del Mar City is a peaceful harmonious idyll.