Sea-Level Rise Local Coastal Program Amendment

Preparation of a Local Coastal Program Amendment to Address Sea-Level Rise, Storm-Surge, and Coastal Flooding
This Project involves an analysis of potential impacts and the creation of polices and regulations to manage the City’s coastline and to protect public health and safety. Guidance is being provided by the City’s appointed Sea-Level Rise Stakeholder-Technical Advisory Committee (STAC). For more information, please visit Work Program Brochure.

News Items

Press Release: Draft Del Mar Vulnerability and Risk Assessment Study

Draft Adaptation Plan

The Draft Adaptation Plan will serve as the City's long-ranging planning guide for SLR management and will be integrated into the City's Local Coastal Program. Draft Adaptation Plan (Large Document)

Upcoming City Meetings


Past Meetings

  • September 29, 2016 (regular STAC meeting) 
  • July 21, 2016 (Regular STAC Meeting)  
  • June 9. 2016 (Regular STAC Meeting) - Minutes
  • May 5, 2016 (Community Workshop and STAC meeting) - Minutes
  • April 14, 2016 (regular STAC meeting) - Minutes
  • February 25, 2016 (Community Workshop and STAC meeting) - Minutes
  • January 14, 2016 (Community Forum) - Minutes
  • December 3, 2015 (regular STAC meeting) - Minutes
  • November 5, 2015 (regular STAC meeting) - Minutes
  • October 15, 2015 (regular STAC meeting) - Minutes
  • September 24, 2015 (regular STAC meeting) - Minutes

Upcoming Training of Interest 

No upcoming training's of interest.

Work Program Documents

Work Program - Overview:
Del Mar Final Work Program (final).pdf

The Work Program outlines the City’s effort to address sea-level rise, storm-surge, and coastal flooding impacts.

Task 1.4:  Public Involvement Plan Task 1.4 - Public Outreach Plan FINAL.pdf

The Public Involvement Plan describes the City’s process for engaging the community, stakeholders, and the general
Task 2.1: Gaps Analysis and Data Summary Task 2.1 - Gaps Analysis and Data Summary FINAL.pdf
This memorandum presents a review and collection of pertinent data sets and documents that will be used to  
Task 2.2 – Project Planning Area Project Planning Area

The Planning Area delineates the boundaries of the areas under review as part of the Work Program.
Task 2.3 – STAC/Community Meeting Report (through December 2015) STAC/Community Meeting Report

This report summarizes the first five meetings conducted by the City’s Sea-Level Rise Stakeholder-Technical Advisory Group (STAC) through December 2015.   

Task 2.3 – Stakeholder Outreach Report (through December 2015) Stakeholder Outreach Report

This report summarizes stakeholder outreach completed through December 2015, including stakeholder presentations made at STAC meetings.
Tasks 2.4 & 2.5 -  Final Draft Vulnerability and Risk Assessment - Coastal Hazards, Vulnerability and Risk Assessment (Large Document)
The Vulnerability Assessment (VA) serves as part of the underlying foundation for the Adaptation Plan (Task 3.1) and 
 the City’s planned Local Coastal Program amendment overall.  Specifically, the VA provides an understanding of the 
 degree of vulnerability posed to the City’s beaches, lagoons, bluffs, visitor-serving amenities, public access areas, 
 residential/commercial, and infrastructure by examining the magnitude of risks and sensitivities associated with 
 sea-level rise, storm-surge, and coastal flooding, and combination of sea-level rise and storms or extreme high water 
 events.  In addition, the VA examines historical erosion and storm data along the City’s coastline, and the results of the hydrodynamic model of the Planning Area created in Task 2.2.  The Risk Assessment (RA) evaluates how expected 
 sea-level rise impacts will affect people, development, infrastructure, and natural resources located in areas vulnerable to sea-level rise.  In addition, the RA prioritizes areas to target with sea-level rise strategies as part of an Adaptation 
Plan (Task 3.1).

Task 3.1 - Draft Adaptation Plan - Draft Adaptation Plan (Large Document)

The Draft Adaptation Plan will serve as the City's long-ranging planning guide for SLR management and will be integrated into the City's Local Coastal Program, and will draw from the prior work completed under Tasks 1 and 2. Specifically, the AP identifies effective shoreline Accommodation, Protection and Retreat strategies through a rigorous analysis of SLR and community/stakeholder input.


Benchmark Schedule



Project Commencement  July 6, 2015
Prepare Gaps Analysis December 11, 2015
Define Planning Area December 11, 2015-January 29, 2016
Community/Stakeholder Meetings - Planning Area/Assessments

December-February 2016

Prepare Vulnerability and Risk Assessments April 30, 2016
Community/Stakeholder Meetings - Assessments March-April 2016
Determine SLR Strategies and Develop Adaptation Plan August 31, 2016
Community/Stakeholder Meeting - Adaption Plan May-July, 2016
Draft LCP Amendment Package October 28, 2016
Planning Commission Hearing(s) January 13, 2017
City Council Hearing(s) April 3, 2017
CCC Amendment Submittal April 30, 2017
CCC Certification Hearing TBD

Sea-Level Rise LCP Amendment

The purpose of the City’s work program is to create a long-term plan to manage the City’s coastlines in the event of sea-level rise, storm-surge, and coastal flooding impacts.  On December 2, 2014, the California Ocean Protection Council (OPC) awarded the City a $100,000 grant, which the City matched, to incorporate strategies to address these impacts in the City’s certified Local Coastal Program (LCP).  These strategies will be designed on the principles of shoreline Accommodation, Protection, and Retreat as identified in an Adaptation Plan, to be produced as part of the Work Program.  Through rigorous analysis of planning scenarios, vulnerability and risk assessments, and extensive community input, the Adaptation Plan would be integrated into the City’s LCP as part of an LCP Amendment (LCPA).  The Adaptation Plan would serve as the City’s long-range planning guide to manage the City’s shoreline and low-lying areas with respect to sea-level rise, storm-surge, and coastal-flooding impacts. 

Several areas of the City that are potentially vulnerable to these impacts include: 1) San Dieguito Lagoon State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) and bordering tidelands; 2) Beachfront, beach-area and bluff-top residences; 3) City infrastructure including roads, bridges, storm drains, wastewater and utility systems; 4) Commercial development on Ocean Boulevard and in the North Commercial Zone; 5) Del Mar Racetrack and Fairgrounds; 6) North Beach and the coastal bluff at north City limit; 7) Public beach from 29th Street south to Powerhouse Park; 8) Public beach from Powerhouse Park to south City limit, including the flanking 1.5-mile coastal bluff and rail corridor; 9) Various public access points to the coast; and 10) the Coast-to-Crest Trail, including the Lagoon Boardwalk and River Path Del Mar.   These areas comprise the “Planning Area” of the Work Program.  The LCPA is anticipated to add a new chapter to the LCP Implementing Ordinances (IO) specific to sea-level rise, storm-surge, and coastal flooding with modifications to existing IO provisions, LCP Land Use Plan (LUP) policies, and boundaries of applicable Overlay Zones and the Post-LCP Permit and Appeal Jurisdiction Map.  Corollary amendment to the City’s Community Plan and the Del Mar Municipal Code (DMMC) may also be required.

The formation of the LCPA will occur over a two-year period, beginning July 2015 and ending April 2017.  At the completion of the project, the LCPA would be submitted to the CCC for review and certification.  As part of the LCPA process, technical studies to be prepared by the City’s consultant (ESA) will include a Vulnerability Assessment, Risk Assessment, and Adaptation Plan.  In addition, the creation of a hydrodynamic model of the Planning Area will also be required to provide an accurate picture of the future floodplain based on sea-level rise, storm-surge, and coastal flooding planning scenarios.  An important component of the LCPA is to complete a comprehensive evaluation, with extensive public input, of the long-term effects of sea-level rise, storm-surge, and coastal-flooding.  This evaluation would also include the related effects of erosion and sediment management in the Planning Area. The City would also complete a comprehensive assessment of existing conditions, evaluate their level of vulnerability and risk, and prepare adaptation strategies over a 20, 50 and 100-year planning horizon.  However, absent a comprehensive review of these issues, future development within the Planning Area would continue to evaluate these impacts with on a case-by-case, piecemeal approach with limited guidance provided by the City.

Technical studies and hydrodynamic modeling to be completed as part of this effort would be a valuable asset to the City when planning for future Capital Improvement Projects in vulnerable areas, including upgrading systems facilitating stormwater, wastewater, potable water, and roads and bridges. Further, this information would also be made available to the public and could be used to assist with planning private development projects within identified vulnerable areas.  For example, the results of the hydrodynamic modeling could be used by a homeowner to determine a safe elevation to site a future home.  The information would also be useful for identifying alternatives to maintaining sand supply on the City’s beaches and preserving the fragile ecosystems in the San Dieguito Lagoon SMCA.

STAC (Committee)

STAC was formed by the City Council on March 2, 2015.  The Committee is charged with assisting staff and a technical consultant, Environmental Science Associates (ESA), to oversee the preparation of the LCPA to address sea-level rise, storm-surge, and coastal flooding impacts to several vulnerable areas of the City.  Specifically, STAC provides oversight and ensures that the amendment process is open, inclusive, and develops consensus amongst the many stakeholders involved. In addition, STAC assists in the review of technical studies and sea-level rise, storm-surge, and coastal flooding planning scenarios; assists the community in prioritizing vulnerable coastal resources; and provides input and policy recommendations to the City Council. 

The Committee includes 9 members with the following attributes:  1) individuals with technical expertise in sea-level rise, dynamic modeling, and coastal engineering, including researchers and practitioners; 2) individuals directly impacted by sea-level rise, including property owners in the City with property in beach areas and bluff-tops, and users of City beaches and trails; 3) individuals with a broader interest in coastal resources including representatives from citizen groups, non-profits, and regional organizations; 5) representatives from the California Coastal Commission (CCC) and the 22nd District Agricultural Association (DAA)/Del Mar Racetrack and Fairgrounds.


STAC MembersRoster

Chair: Terry Gaasterland –

Vice Chair: Bruce Bekkar –

Committee Members: Kristin Brinner, Gabe Buhr (CCC), Robin Crabtree, Kim Fletcher, Dustin Fuller (22nd DAA),
Mark Handzel, Sarah Giddings

Council Liaisons: Don Mosier – 
Dwight Worden –

Staff Contacts

Kathleen Garcia, Planning and Community Development Director –

Information requests, notification list registration, and general inquiries should be sent to: