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del mar hts

California district cleared to build elementary after lawsuits dismissed

March 10, 2023
The rebuild of Del Mar Elementary School in Del Mar was supposed to begin in 2020.

The Del Mar (Calif.) Union District can move forward with rebuilding one of its campuses after a judge turned aside legal challenges.

KPBS reports that construction of a new Del Mar Heights Elementary in Del Mar was supposed to begin in 2020 and be ready to welcome students in 2021. But lawsuits from a community group, Save the Field, brought the project to a halt.

Now, a San Diego Superior Court has thrown out an injunction that blocked construction, and the project can proceed.

The new Del Mar Heights will be over 66,000 square feet and will have space to accommodate more than 500 students. 

While waiting for a new school campus, students have been split between two schools, Del Mar Hills and Ocean Air.

The rebuild of Del Mar Heights is expected to take around a year to complete.

In opposing the construction project, Save the Field argued that the district did not complete the appropriate environmental impact studies. The group contended that the project would eliminate field and open space, increase fire risks to the community and decrease emergency access to nearby homes.

An appellate court found that the district’s environmental review for the new Del Mar Heights complied with California Environmental Quality Act, and the state Supreme Court declined to hear further appeals. 

Save the Field says that it still believes significant fire safety concerns remain, but after the latest court ruling, urged people to move forward.

“We now call on everyone to move beyond this divisiveness and to peacefully support the safety of our community, together," the group said.

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