DEL MAR, Calif. – Del Mar City Council voted 4 to 1 to approve a set of guidelines to make it clear where the city stands on the LOSSAN rail realignment project and any future decisions made about it.
Del Mar residents also spoke out on where they believe the city should stand on the controversial plan to move the train off the bluffs by 2035.
“Do not be passive, lets be active. Let’s get active as residents,” Clyde Freeman said.
There are differing opinions even among councilmembers about the plan, which includes the strong possibility of an underground tunnel.
“I find the proposed guidelines problematic, because they don’t clearly state with the majority of residents think. Mainly that there should be no tunnel that goes through Del Mar,” Steve Quirk said.
Some in the community still don’t want the tunnel or a train at all. Additionally, the placement of the proposed tunnel has come with robust discussion, including the idea of running under the Del Mar Fairgrounds.
Carlene Moore, Chief Executive Officer of the 22nd District Agricultural Association, sent a lengthy letter to city council, explaining concerns about how a tunnel would affect affordable housing planned at the fairgrounds, as well as year-round operations.
Ultimately, a majority of councilmembers voted to approve nine guiding principles for the rail re-alignment project, including things like demanding SANDAG study a number of alignment options, particularly those that eliminate impacts to private property, SANDAG should analyze the cost of each option and a statement that removing the rail line altogether is not within the city or SANDAG’s power.
The nine principles as laid out in the city council agenda were somewhat modified during the meeting. An updated version is not available yet, but the public can read more about them here.
SANDAG’s next workshop on the project is Nov. 15 at 6 p.m. at Carmel Valley Middle School library.