Del Mar Days: Community Life and Civic Engagement in a Small American City: Book 3
- City of Dreams
Because so many of the columns in Book 2 referred to land use, zoning, and planning issues over which we debated long and hard, I believed it would be useful for Book 3 to include some of the original documents for reference. This also served my intention to record the history of those times as a case study in civic engagement. For those who enjoy getting into the thick of it, it is instructive to see the ways in which a community such as Del Mar sought to preserve a broad vision by attending to its minutest details.
On the broader scale, I wanted to elucidate the vision that animates the land use and design criteria for the more than 30 zoning districts that define this 1.8-square-mile village. Del Mar has a 2-mile beach front, a major race track, a floodplain, lagoon, bluffs,canyons, protected ecosystems, and 24/7 railroad service—commuter, Amtrak, and freight, that passes through. Also some 2,200 dwelling units, 4000 to 5000 residents, and several hundred business enterprises. Del Mar’s effective “downtown” commercial district is about six blocks north-to-south.
Part 6 excerpts a series of nine benchmark documents that define this vision. The passionate feelings expressed in these plans for both the development and preservation of the character of the community, each a gleam in the eye of a dreamer, come together in a “City of Dreams” theme for Book 3. Additional newspaper columns accompany some of these entries.
The original dreams for Del Mar as a resort and vacation community, followed by a brief passage as an arts and publishing center (showcased in the "Scrapbook" in Book 1),gave way to the primacy of the residential village it had become and to its surroundings. This led to the preservation of the wondrous natural habitat of which we are the custodians.
No work of this nature can be truly useful unless it is well indexed. Books 1 and 2 are provided with their individual indexes as well as lists of columns in their tables of contents. These are consolidated in Book 3, providing a Combined List of Columns in chronological order from start to finish and a Combined Index: Books 1, 2 & 3.
Central to many of the broader questions I addressed in my columns, were the references I drew on to illustrate or reinforce my thoughts. Hence I have also included in Book 3 a Bibliography and Notes with expanded entries about the principal works I consulted.
Finally, I have included some brief highlights crediting Sources of Illustrations and Citations, and Acknowledgments to those who have helped and encouraged me during the 23 years this work has been incubating.
Eugene G. Schwartz