DEL MAR, Calif, - Del Mar City Council asks SANDAG to study rail realignment option.
On November 6th, RT&S reported the city of Del Mar would hold an event for its rail relocation project. As of November 14th, members of the Del Mar city council have not endorsed or indicated support for any of the proposed alternative alignments. Del Mar Times reports that two realignment options would move the track off the bluff, but the “next step is an environmental analysis of rail realignment options.” Del Mar city council members have not announced a preferred option as of reporting.
However, the potential of a Fairgrounds option “currently lacks buy-in from officials. . . who are also trying to accommodate an affordable housing project.” CEO of Del Mar Fairgrounds, Carlene Moore, wrote to the city, that they “believe continuing to plan for the siting of an affordable housing development could be imprudent if SANDAG initiates further study of a Del Mar Fairgrounds alignment. . . We do not know, for example, whether any agreed-upon housing development plans might later be significantly impacted by potential construction and/or future train service.” Moore continued, stating that a Fairgrounds alignment would impact the neighborhood’s activities that “currently generate significant sales tax revenue for Del Mar.”
Del Mar residents have said they would support an alignment along I-5, but the two options under consideration are tunnels that run underneath the city. During public comments, some residents voiced that there should not be an underground tunnel, and others “said they wanted to consider eliminating the rail line altogether.” Despite this, council members asserted that the city does not have the ability to make unilateral decisions. Dave Druker, a Del Mar city councilmember, said they “need to spend the time and energy working with SANDAG to make sure that this train, and wherever they put it, has the least amount of disruption for the city of Del Mar.”