Shores Park Master Plan

Planning & Community Development | City of Del Mar

The 5.3 acre Del Mar Shores property, generally located west of Camino del Mar, south of 9th Street, and east of Stratford Court, was purchased by the City of Del Mar in 2008.  More than half of the funds to purchase the site, approximately $5.4 million, were raised by donations from the community.

The Shores property, formerly owned by the Del Mar Unified School District (DMUSD), served as the home of the Del Mar Shores School from 1947 to the 1970s.  Since then, a portion of the property was leased to a succession of tenants, including the current occupant of a portion of the site, the private Winston School, since 1988.

The Shores property was acquired with the intention of preserving  open space and recreational uses, as well as the continued operation of the Winston School.  Today, the property, outside of the Winston School lease, is currently used for informal recreation, Little League games, and as an intermittent dog park.  No City of Del Mar recreational programming occurs on the site.  The former DMUSD buildings are used by two Del Mar non-profit organizations – Del Mar Community Connections and the Del Mar Foundation.

The City has embarked on a master planning process for the property to develop a long-range vision to guide the park’s development.  The master plan will be a “blue print” for the future that identifies future facilities, programs, and a plan for implementation.

Public input will be an essential part of developing the park master plan.  This part of the process is expected to begin in late fall 2014.

The City Council nominated eight community members to serve on the Shores Advisory Committee.  For information on SAC meeting dates and agendas, please visit the Shores Advisory Committee page on this site.

Del Mar City Council explores options to retire Shores debt

By Halie Johnson | Del Mar Times

The city manager’s office on Monday presented several options for the council and community to consider in retiring the remaining loan debt for the 5.3-acre Shores property.

The remaining balance is $3.245 million of the $3.673 million the city borrowed to pay for the property.

The Friends of the Del Mar Parks have raised $5.46 million so far, Barbara Mandel Pache, who heads the Campaignfor the Del Mar Shores, said at Monday night’s City Council meeting.

The Friends contributed $30,000, enabling the city to pay the payment due on the loan at the end of the 2008-09 fiscal year. Another $15,000 remains to put toward the Aug. 13 payment of $28,944.

“We’re confident we’ll be able to bring the rest of that money to you,” Mandel-Pache said.
She said the Lobster and Wine Festival on July 18 raised approximately $24,000 for the campaign through the auction alone.

Assistant City Manager Mark Delin detailed the options his office faces and asked for city direction.

The council struck down any possibilities that required using money from the general fund, which Delin said could not support the debt service. The possibilities included renegotiating the loan terms with Union Bank of California or looking into a lease revenue bond.

“It is very difficult to finance this and do anything meaningful with our capital programs,” Delin said.

He also said the city could put a general obligation bond on the ballot. It would require a two-thirds vote, but would offer the lowest possible interest rates.

The council and residents who submitted their comments seemed to favor this option, although the council was hesitant to take the other ideas off the table.

Delin said there are other ways to generate revenue to pay the debt by looking at city assets, such as the Balboa property and the possibility of selling or leasing a portion, not used by the Winston School, of the Shores property.

Delin also discussed selling other unused city properties that lack potential for future use.

“You need immediately to take off the table the idea of selling any portion of the (Shores) property,” Laura DeMarco said during the public comment period.

“The Winston community would be very concerned if an RFP went out on the land,” Mark Peterson told the council.

And Linda Castile, who teaches at the Winston School, urged the city to complete a long-term lease with the school.

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Friends of Del Mar Park share ‘vision’

Barbara Mandel Pache and the Friends of Del Mar Park presented an updated “vision” of the park to the Del Mar City Council May 18: “The top priorities voiced by the community for the future uses of Del Mar Shores Park are: a fenced dog park (36 percent), baseball/softball field (31.8 percent), children’s play area (31.8 percent), and soccer field (31.8 percent). The results to date are based on an online survey completed through the Friends of Del Mar Parks website.

“Based on over a year of community input, the Friends of Del Mar Parks created a visual representation of what the Shores Park may look like in the future. The “vision” includes space for a community garden (priority to 27.3 percent of respondents), basketball and tennis courts, the Del Mar Historical Society Alvarado House, open space with benches and picnic tables facing the ocean view, and potential relocation of the weekly Farmer’s Market, in addition to the four top priorities and The Winston School campus.

“The Friends created the ‘vision’ in response to many community members’ questions of what the Shores Park is and what it may become. Community members expressed their opinions through community events, emails and other surveys. The “vision” is not an official plan for the park, but is a visual representation of the many potential uses for the 5.3 acre parcel bounded by Camino del Mar, Ninth Street and Stratford Court.

“Community members have been asked to contribute to the Campaign for Del Mar Shores to pay off the $3.7 million loan the city of Del Mar committed to last fall with Union Bank. Contributions of $41 per month for 36 months will reap a contribution of almost $1,500 per family; if each Del Mar household were to contribute at this level, the full loan amount would be raised. The Friends of Del Mar Parks is a non-profit, 501c3 California corporation dedicated to acquiring, preserving and enhancing recreational and open space in the greater Del Mar community. The Friends committed to raise the necessary funds for the City of Del Mar to acquire this valuable property.
Those interested in more information or to make a contribution can visit online www.delmarparks.org, or call the Friends of Del Mar Parks at 858-481-4201.”

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