Dwight has helped Del Mar succeed on many important fronts over the decades: his early work on the Del Mar Community Plan, protecting the beach as author of the Beach Preservation Initiative, assuring the right to vote on large downtown developments and on Marisol (Measure G), and more. His prior service as City Attorney, as an environmental lawyer, and more recently on council and as Mayor, are all put to good use as we deal with complex problems. The future for Del Mar is bright with the right leadership. Dwight have the knowledge, the experience, and the proven commitment to guide Del Mar in your interest as we face a challenging and complex future.
Climate Action Plan: Worked to create Del Mar’s Climate Action Plan, and voted for its adoption (2016), to shift to carbon-neutral energy sources, reduce water use and waste sent to the landfill, and make wise transportation choices.
Clean Energy Alliance: Worked to establish and launch the CEA, resulting in cleaner, greener energy for Del Mar. Has chaired the CEA’s Community Advisory Committee since its inception.
The Beach Preservation Initiative (BPI): Drafted the BPI, approved by the voters in 1988, which protects public access to the beach and shoreline. As special counsel to the City of Del Mar, successfully defended numerous lawsuits against the BPI and the City, resulting in the return of over 66,740 sq ft of beach to public use and the removal of private encroachments, while protecting private property through BPI-compliant seawalls.
Coastal Commission: Appointed to the California Coastal Commission by Gov. Brown (1977), and later, by Senate President Jim Mills.
SANDAG Shoreline Protection Working Group – current member and Vice-Chair
Sea Level Rise Adaptation Plan: Served as Council liaison to the City’s Sea Level Rise Technical Advisory Committee; worked on City’s Adaptation Plan, and specifically, drafted the language in the Plan that details why managed retreat is an infeasible strategy for Del Mar. Adopted strategies include sand replenishment, river dredging, and a living levee.
San Dieguito Lagoon and San Dieguito River Valley Park: Recognized as a “San Dieguito River Park Key Player” in the 2018 film, “Creating Legacy: The Founding of the San Dieguito River Park.” Former general counsel to the San Dieguito River Valley Regional Open Space Park Joint Powers Authority (JPA). Negotiated with private developers, Coastal Commission and Southern California Edison, as JPA’s lawyer, to bring the SONGS mitigation money to the Lagoon for its $90 million restoration. Current JPA Board member and Council liaison to the City’s Lagoon Advisory Committee.
San Elijo Lagoon: Named by the San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy as a Pioneer Protector of San Elijo Lagoon, “instrumental in the establishment of the San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve and the preservation of this invaluable natural resource in perpetuity.”
Batiquitos Lagoon: Served as lead litigation counsel for the restoration of the Batiquitos Lagoon in Carlsbad.
Los Penasquitos Lagoon: Served on the board of the Penasquitos Lagoon Foundation, founded in 1983.
As an attorney focusing on environmental and local government issues, represented many citizen groups, environmental organizations (including Sierra Club, various chapters of the Audubon Society, California Native Plant Society), cities, and local governments on endangered species, habitat management, park planning, lagoon restoration, Coastal Act and other environmental projects.
Drafted Measure B, approved by the voters in 1986, requiring that any downtown commercial development or redevelopment of more than 11,500 square feet be put to a public vote. Measure B resulted in notable improvements in two key projects: the Del Mar Plaza and the the Del Mar Hotel (now L’Auberge).
An environmental activist since the 1970s: Dwight has been deeply involved in environmental protection since his law school years. Even before he graduated from USD School of Law in 1974, as a member of “San Diego Coastwatchers,” he successfully challenged a Carlsbad beachfront development in 1973 under the recently-enacted Coastal Act. The appellate court’s published opinion noted that in “the strange, new world of legal protection for the physical environment and ecological balance,” Dwight was not a “busybody or intermeddler,” but was, in fact, an “aggrieved” person within the meaning of the Coastal Act, with standing to challenge the grant of a permit to the developer. Since that time, Dwight has been involved in virtually every significant environmental issue in Del Mar as an activist, volunteer, or attorney.