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Council sets Shores committee guidelines

DEL MAR — Residents interested in helping to plan the development of the Shores property will soon be able to apply for a position on an advisory committee.

Council members adopted a resolution at the Feb. 3 meeting that establishes the makeup and mission of the group.

It will include seven “objective and unbiased” residents who represent “the broad spectrum of interests” in the park and not any particular stakeholder or special interest group, such as Little League or dog lovers, according to the staff report.

The committee will meet about once a month for approximately a year and a half. Its mission will be to oversee the master planning process to ensure it is open and inclusive and develops consensus among the stakeholders.

Other objectives include assisting the community in prioritizing the many different uses, discussing and providing advice to City Council on challenges and reviewing and providing input to council on the process.

Tasks will also include listening to community input and reviewing preliminary development.

Meetings may be held at various times of the day to accommodate members of all ages. Council members in an earlier meeting stressed the importance of including residents with younger families who will likely use the park.

The committee will be subject to all the rules and regulations of other appointed advisory groups.

“The folks on this steering committee, I think, are to really help us make sure that the process that we use to come to a community consensus is open and complete and thorough,” Councilman Terry Sinnott said. “They’re not to come in to represent a particular issue because the process itself … will identify all the priorities in the community.”

Sinnott said it should be considered more of a steering committee than a planning group “because the community’s going to plan it.”

The city purchased the 5.3-acre site on Ninth Street and Camino del Mar from Del Mar Union School District in 2008 for $8.5 million for open space and recreational uses. Its use became controversial when park users — primarily Little League — sought to ban off-leash dogs.

A compromise use schedule was eventually adopted until the master plan is complete.

Sinnott and Councilwoman Sherryl Parks were appointed liaisons for the committee. The full council will select committee members during a regular meeting once at least nine applications are received.