Council approves letters on I-5 project

DEL MAR — Council members approved two letters at the April 15 meeting stating their positions on the Interstate 5 widening project and nominees to the California Coastal Commission. 

Commenting on the Transportation Enhancement Resource Program for the North Coast Corridor Project, the letter to the Department of Transportation acknowledges appreciation for changes to the plan, but details 14 additional areas of concern.

They include the impact on nearby homes and businesses that will result from an increase in the elevation of the proposed replacement train bridge over the San Dieguito Lagoon.

There are also concerns the proposed double-tracking realignment will move the tracks closer to a residential neighborhood in the city.

Del Mar officials are also asking for more detailed plans for the Via de la Valle undercrossing to ensure improvements there will accommodate vehicular, bicycle and pedestrian flows.

There is also a need for more in-depth analysis to ensure the interchange and surrounding roads can accommodate peak traffic, the letter states.

City officials also ask for a more in-depth study addressing the impacts the freeway expansion will have on roads in Del Mar.

There are also concerns about impacts to the San Dieguito Lagoon.

The proposed project from Caltrans and the federal Highway Administration is designed to ease traffic along a 27-mile segment of I-5 from La Jolla to Oceanside.

It includes expanding the number of freeway lanes, designating additional carpool lanes and rail, bicycle and pedestrian improvements.

In a letter to John Perez, speaker of the Assembly, Mayor Terry Sinnott, on behalf of City Council, supported the nomination of Supervisor Dave Roberts and Oceanside City Councilwoman Esther Sanchez to the California Coastal Commission.

The CCC is an independent, quasi-judicial state agency made up of 12 voting members appointed equally by the governor, Senate Rules Committee and speaker of the Assembly.

Six commissioners are locally elected officials and six are appointed from the public at large.

The CCC’s mission is to protect, conserve, restore and enhance environmental and human-based resources of the California coast and ocean for environmentally sustainable and prudent use by current and future generations.

It was established by voter initiative in 1972 and made permanent through adoption of the California Coastal Act of 1976.

The Coastal Commission, in partnership with coastal cities and counties, plans and regulates the use of land and water in the coastal zone.

Sanchez currently serves on the commission. Her term expires in May. Roberts served eight years on the Solana Beach City Council before his recent election to the Board of Supervisors.

Del Mar council members approved the letter April 15, but it had already been sent to Sacramento.

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