Del Mar Resort Specific Plan

This web page contains information about the Del Mar Resort Specific Plan Project and will be updated to be as current as possible. As information or documents become available for public review, links to that information will be provided on this page/site. If you would like to receive notifications when content is added to this web page, please subscribe via: Notify Me

City of Del Mar Staff Contact Information

Matt Bator, Principal Planner - Current Planning | Email Matt Bator | Phone: 858-755-9313

Upcoming Public Meetings






*When available, a link will be provided to view copies of notices for public meetings regarding the Del Mar Resort Specific Plan Project.

Project Processing and Tentative Schedule Information

Note: all future dates displayed are tentative and are subject to change. Please check the Agenda Center for noticed hearings.

Citizens’ Participation Program (CPP)

  • The required CPP Project Design Presentation Meeting was conducted on August 27, 2018. CPP comments for inclusion in the required CPP report were collected until September 24, 2018. View all materials (PDF) presented by the development team at the CPP meeting.
  • A non-action, joint workshop/meeting of the Planning Commission and Design Review Board took place on October 17, 2018, at the Del Mar Town Hall for early PC/DRB comment/input regarding the conceptual regulatory criteria and project design. Public testimony was accepted and no formal action was takenView the Staff Report/ Memo (PDF).
  • The developers written responses to the comments, along with an explanation of any changes made to the conceptual design based on the CPP comments received is anticipated in January 2019.

Specific Plan Documents (currently deemed “incomplete”)

  • Revisions to the Del Mar Resort Specific Plan Document are currently under review by City Staff. Based on review to date, a determination of “completeness” is anticipated for early 2019.
  • A (non-action) review of the Specific Plan Document by the Planning Commission will be scheduled following the determination of completeness.

City Economic Analysis

  • A brief description of the Analysis is provided further down on this webpage.
  • Del Mar Resort - Economic Impact and Fiscal Analysis (PDF) (Revised October 15, 2018, Errata Sheet Attached)
  • The City’s Finance Advisory Committee received a presentation regarding the analysis on October 23, 2019.

Environmental Impact Report (EIR)

  • Review of technical studies and drafting of the environmental analysis is currently underway by the City and its environmental consultant.
  • Public Review of a Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) is anticipated for early 2019.
  • A (non-action) public meeting will be conducted with the Planning Commission for public information/review of the DEIR. This would occur in the approximate midpoint of the DEIR public review period.
  • The City of Del Mar has determined that the public review period of the DEIR shall be 90 (calendar) days.

North Bluff Preserve Planning (City of Del Mar)

  • Draft North Bluff Preserve Goals, Policies and Regulations for inclusion in the Del Mar Resort Specific Plan is scheduled be presented to the City Council for direction to proceed on December 3, 2018.

Public Hearings for Recommendations and Project Decisions

  • Planning Commission and DRB public hearings for recommendations to the City Council
    • Spring 2019
  • City Council Hearings – Summer 2019

Information Available from Past Meetings

  • The conceptual architectural design plans for the proposed Del Mar Resort as submitted by the applicant at the October 27, 2018 Citizens’ Participation Meeting can be viewed online.
  • The presentation to the Del Mar City Council on September 17, 2018 about the status report on the process can be viewed here. The video of September 17, 2018 City Council Meeting can be found here: Item 16

Project Information


Zephyr Development and the Robert Green Company. Applicant Website

Project DescriptionDel Mar Resort

The proposed project, as currently conceptualized by the applicant, consists of a Specific Plan for a multiple-building resort complex on the eight privately owned lots. As conceptually proposed, the resort would include 251 hotel rooms and 76 residential units. The resort would include a main hotel building on the northeast portion of the project site, as well as individual hotel guestrooms and residential units throughout the center of the project site. Low-cost visitor accommodations and affordable housing are also proposed within the resort project.

The resort would be accessed from Border Avenue and resort amenities would include space for events and conferences, restaurants, ancillary retail shops, a fitness center and pool/spa, and public recreational amenities. Public access to the coastal bluff would be constructed, which would consist of a paved multi-use trail around the resort. Vehicular public, resort, and private villa parking would be provided on-site within subterranean parking garages.

The conceptual architectural design plans for the proposed Del Mar Resort as submitted by the applicant at the October 27, 2018 Citizens’ Participation Meeting can be viewed online (PDF). Revisions to the above-described design are, based on comment received during the CPP process, are expected in January 2019.

Project Location/Site Description

Del Mar Resort Property Oblique

The Del Mar Resort Specific Plan Area is located in the northwestern portion of the City of Del Mar on the coastal bluffs, south of Border Avenue and west of Camino del Mar. The Plan Area consists of eleven parcels, eight of which are privately owned (APNs 298-241-06, 07, 29, -34, -35, and -36, and 299-030-14 and 15), two publically owned parcels that, together, comprise the City’s North Bluff Preserve parkland (299-030-07 and 16), and one public parcel (298-241-18) that serves as a public coastal viewing access, west of Border Avenue. Much of the Specific Plan Area disturbed, vacant land, however, one parcel located at 101 Border Avenue (APN 299-030-15), the southernmost private property in the Plan Area, is currently developed with a 5,800-square-foot residence with an detached accessory garage structure and pool cabana building. The Specific Plan Area is generally flat near the center of the site and is surrounded by steep cliffs to the east, south, and west. Public beach is located at the base of the bluffs to the west and south.

Planning Efforts for Adjacent Public Lands

At its September 18, 2017 City Council meeting, the City Council directed staff to include the adjacent public lands, including the Camino del Mar, Border Avenue and Via de la Valle Rights-of-Way, the Coastal Access Walkway, James G. Scripps Bluff (North Bluff Preserve); and North Beach into the Specific Plan study area for purposes of context and CEQA environmental review.

The planning process for the North Bluff Preserve is being developed by City staff under the direction of the City Council, with feedback sought from City advisory committees. Per Council direction, the intent is for these processes to be included within the Specific Plan document for the Resort to give legislative and regulatory guidance for the Preserve without the City land being a design component of the Resort proposal/project. Staff is currently developing goals, policies and standards to guide and regulate future use, improvement and maintenance of the North Bluff Preserve. Staff is scheduled to present the draft goals, policies and standards to the City Council at a future meeting in the early Fall of 2018.

The following documents pertain to the City’s North Bluff Preserve and the private parcel located at 101 Border Avenue (former Woodward Estate), and an analysis of the documents performed by the City Attorney:

** Supersedes previous documents

Additional Project Processing Information

What is a Specific Plan?

A Specific Plan includes a special set of development standards that apply to a particular geographical area, carrying out the intent and goals of the City’s General (Community) Plan. The preparation of a Specific Plan is regulated by State of California Government Code Sections 65450–65457. The adoption of a Specific Plan is a legislative action that assigns a new land use designation to the property within the Specific Plan Area (Plan Area), along with accompanying regulatory development parameters. In essence, it creates land use designations and zones for the property or properties. In addition to laying out the zoning parameters, the Specific Plan identifies any deviations from the otherwise applicable (existing) zoning regulations and also identifies benefits to the community that would be derived from the development of a project consistent with the Specific Plan.

At a noticed public hearing conducted on June 19, 2017, the Del Mar City Council adopted Resolution No. 2017-38 (PDF) in which the Council affirmed the use of a Specific Plan as being the appropriate mechanism for the processing of the proposed Del Mar Resort development. In that resolution, the Council also recognized the benefits of a Specific Plan process to comprehensively address the legislative and discretionary actions to implement the proposed Del Mar Resort.

How are Specific Plans Processed in the City of Del Mar?

The City of Del Mar’s City Council Policy 112 (Resolution 2017-49 (PDF)), Processing Specific Plans, sets forth processing guidelines to formalize the requirement of community outreach and the discretionary order of legislative and discretionary actions required for, and during, the processing of a Specific Plan. Policy 112 identifies two processes that may be undertaken: Concurrent Process or Sequential Process. This Specific Plan is proposing to follow the Concurrent Process, which allows required discretionary permits to be processed concurrently with the Specific Plan and other legislative actions. Under the Concurrent Process, the City Council takes all required final actions on the project, after considering recommendations provided by the Planning Commission and Design Review Board.

Required Discretionary Actions

The following table includes the anticipated discretionary considerations/actions, and responsible City hearing bodies for each action, that will be required for the Del Mar Resort Specific Plan as currently proposed:

Entitlement/ActionPlanning Commission (Spring 2019)Design Review Board (Spring 2019)City Council (Summer 2019)
Specific Plan

RecommendationRecommendationFinal Action
Certification of Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR)Recommendation

Final Action
Community Plan Amendment/RezoneRecommendation

Final Action
Local Coastal Program AmendmentRecommendation

Final City Action
(Coastal Commission Certification Required)
Coastal Development PermitRecommendation

Final Action
Design Review Permit

RecommendationFinal Action
Land Conservation Permit

RecommendationFinal Action
Tree Removal Permit

RecommendationFinal Action
Tentative Map


Final Action
Final Map

Final Action

Note: All dates/time periods are tentative. Additional “workshop” meetings by the discretionary bodies may occur prior to the above-referenced “action” hearings.

Environmental Review

In accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act [CEQA] (California Public Resources Code, Section 21000 et seq.), the CEQA Guidelines (14 California Code of Regulations (CCR) 15000 et seq.), and the City of Del Mar CEQA Supplemental Guidelines, the City of Del Mar is currently preparing a draft Environmental Impact Report DEIR) for the Del Mar Resort Specific Plan All CEQA issues will be evaluated and significant impacts will be identified in the DEIR, as applicable; with a focus on the following probable environmental effects: Aesthetics, Air Quality, Biological Resources, Cultural Resources (including Tribal Cultural Resources), Geology and Soils (including bluff erosion/instability), Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Hazards and Hazardous Materials, Hydrology and Water Quality, Land Use (including Coastal Zone requirements), Noise, Public Services, Transportation/Traffic, and Utilities, Service Systems, and Energy. Other environmental effects including Agriculture and Forestry Resources, Mineral Resources, Population and Housing, and Recreation, are not anticipated to result in significant impacts and are expected to be discussed in the EIR as Effects Found Not to be Significant.

Upon completion, the DEIR will be available for responsible agency and public review for a period of 90 (calendar) days. A (non-action) public meeting will be conducted with the Planning Commission for public information/review of the DEIR. This would occur in the approximate midpoint of the DEIR agency/public review period.

Economic Impact and Fiscal Analysis

An Economic Impact and Fiscal Analysis was prepared for the proposed Del Mar Resort, suggested on the 16.6 acre site at the southwest corner of Camino del Mar and Border Avenue. This independent study was prepared for the City of Del Mar by the economics consultant team of Keyser Marston Associates Inc. (KMA) and Maurice Robinson & Associates LLC (MRA) and published in September 2018. The report is based upon the proposed development of a multi-building resort complex with a 251 room hotel, 76 resort villas, an 11 room visitor's inn, approximately 2,000 SF of retail space, approximately 6,000 SF of restaurant space, and 15 affordable rental units. The analyses within the report include:

  • Competitive Market Position
  • Financial Feasibility Analysis
  • Economic Impact Analysis
  • Affordable Housing Needs Assessment; and
  • Fiscal Impact Analysis

To view the full report with appendices, please click here: Del Mar Resort - Economic Impact and Fiscal Analysis (PDF)