River Path Del Mar Extension Project

Project Status

Construction of the River Path Extension began February 25, 2016, and is anticipated to be completed by mid-May.   A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held on May 21, 2016 (click here for more details).

Project Overview

As designated in the Community Plan, pedestrian access along the San Dieguito River and Lagoon is envisioned as a component part of the City’s Scenic Loop Trail – a seven-mile hiking trail around the City’s perimeter that is divided into seven key trail segments.  River Path Del Mar, an existing trail that is part of the San Dieguito segment, currently provides pedestrian access along the river’s south edge between the river mouth and Jimmy Durante Boulevard.  The extension project will advance the River Path east from Jimmy Durante Boulevard to the Old Grand Avenue Bridge and bring the Loop Trail one step closer to a future connection at the Crest Canyon segment.   

The proposed extension is being completed by the City in partnership with the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy (www.sdrvc.org).  On September 16, 2014, the Conservancy was awarded $150,000 in grant funding from the Neighborhood Reinvestment Program by the County of San Diego Board of Supervisors.  The funds are designated for completing project design and environmental review, with any remaining funds to be applied toward construction costs.  On November 17, 2014, the City Council authorized an agreement with the Conservancy for the City to manage the project from initial design through construction.  However, due to grant stipulations, funding for project design and environmental work must be expended within one year of the award (by September 16, 2015).  To meet this deadline, staff has been diligent in coordinating efforts between the various stakeholders, environmental reviews and regulatory requirements as efficiently as possible in order to meet the funding deadline.  A public workshop was held at the Old Grand Avenue Bridge on December 3, 2014, followed by several public meetings with the City’s Lagoon Committee, the San Dieguito River Park Joint Powers Authority (JPA), and City Council. 

As of October 2015, several components of the project have been completed and are available for public review (see the maps and links available at the bottom of this page).  These include the following:  1) topographical survey and aerial photo; 2) final trail & planting designs; 3) biological constraints report with associated resource and impact maps; and 4) draft initial study and mitigated negative declaration. 

If you would like to discuss the project with a member of staff and/or schedule a site visit, please contact either of the staff project managers listed below.  

Outreach & Entitlements
Since November 2014, staff has been working with the various stakeholders involved in the project's concept and alignments. On March 20, 2015, the JPA Board provided a formal endorsement of the proposed project.  On May 13, 2015, the City’s Planning Commission adopted a resolution recommending the City Council approve the Conditional Use Permit (CUP) and certify the project’s CEQA document – Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND).

The project requires the following entitlements and actions:  1) CUP from the City Council and certification of the MND (issued at the June 1, 2015 meeting), followed with a conformance review subject to the City’s Design Review ordinance (ADR permit) and a Tree Removal Permit (TRP) issued by the Planning Director (September 2015). The City also processed a consolidated Coastal Development Permit (CDP) with the California Coastal Commission (September 2015).  Following, the City will issue a Request for Proposal to solicit bids for construction of the trail and award a contract to begin construction (anticipated for November 2015).

The total project cost is estimated to be approximately $475,000. This cost includes project design, entitlements and easement acquisition, environmental review and mitigation, and construction. Approximately 87% has been committed through the following: $210,000 in grants from the County of San Diego Board of Supervisors; $175,500 in private donations; $20,000 in direct funding provided by the City; and $10,000 from a Development Agreement tied to the Riverview private development project. 

As of October 2015, the funding gap is approximately $60,000.

If you would like to donate to this project, donations can be submitted through the Conservancy’s website.
Upcoming Milestones

Complete Construction - May 2016

Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony - May 21, 2016 (tentative)

Project Progress
   •  Tree & Stump Removal - Late October 2015
   •  Rough Grading - Late October through November 15, 2015
•  Project Bid Period - December 2015
   •  Award Bid to
Contractor – January 2016
  •  Begin Construction - Late February 2016

Staff Contacts

Joseph Smith, AICP, Senior Planner:  
jsmith@delmar.ca.us or (858) 755-9313
Jon Terwilliger, Senior Management Analyst:  jterwilliger@delmar.ca.us or (858) 755-9313

Final Project Designs

Project Maps

Reports & Studies