October 2, 2018
Dear Del Mar Community,
We are united with fellow resident Rick Thompson in our common quest for greater transparency and proper due process from the City of Del Mar.
City ordinances that make some houses and business in Del Mar “non-conforming” without proper notice or consideration for impacted property owners, and ordinances that are not clearly written or consistently applied, are unfair and erode public trust in city government. Thi s creates unfortunate situations like that endured by the Thompson f amily who were denied their proper land -use rights which other property owners were previously and subsequently granted.
Thus, we urge the City of Del Mar to consider the following reforms to improve noticing, provide greater transparency, and to promote fairness for all property owners in Del Mar:
- Improved Noticing
- Similar to the requirements for the Design Review Board, notice should be sent to all property owners within 300 feet of a development application or a property on the agenda for a City Council or Planning Commission meeting.
- If an item on the City Council or Planning Commission agenda impacts an entire zone or area of properties, notice should be mailed to all the affected properties. That notice should clearly identify the potential impact of the action iem on floor area ratio, lot coverage, setbacks, height restrictions, flood and sea level rise regulation, other entitlements and/or the potential creation of non-conforming uses.
- If an item on the City Council or Planning Commission agenda impacts all properties in Del Mar, reasonable efforts should be made to include notice in every utility bill sent by the City, in the City Manager’s weekly e-blast and be prominently posted on the City’s website. Again, it should clearly identify the potential impact of the action item on floor area ratio, lot coverage, setbacks, height restrictions, flood and sea level rise regulation, other entitlements and/or the potential creation of non-conforming uses.
- Greater Transparency
- When City staff provide property owners with their calculation of the allowable Floor Area Ratio for their property, they should disclose if other similar or neighboring properties in the same zone were permitted different allowable Floor Area Ratios.
- Historical planning documents should be digitally archived and searchable by subject, address or APN, with notations for any variances previously granted.
- Ombudsperson or Mediator Offering
- Provide a single dedicated person (or a group of potential mediators to select from) to provide assistance to residents and property owners in navigating the labyrinth of Del Mar’s planning processes and to help resolve issues with the city’s administration.
We believe these improvements in noticing, transparency and dispute resolution will provide greater fairness and harmony to our community. Together with Rick Thompson, we urge Del Mar citizens to press for these reforms from current and prospective City Council members and to also vote No on Measure R.
Laura and Ralph DeMarco
Pam Slater-Price and Hershell Price
Terry Gaasterland and Karl Willert
Brian and Lisa Fletcher
Debbie and Brian Church
Terri and Galen Pavelko
Shelley and Rick Kuhle
Beth and Reid Westberg
Linda Martin and Terry Plowden
Sara Jane Garrison