The City Council on Sept. 8 approved amendments to allow multiple dwelling unit residential uses in one commercial zone but fell short of gaining the super majority vote required to authorize the uses in a second, larger commercial zone.
On the first reading of an ordinance, the Council approved allowing dwelling units in the Professional Commercial Zone on Camino del Mar between 8th and 9th streets. A second reading is set for Sept. 21.
In the North Commercial Zone, on Jimmy Durante Boulevard and San Dieguito Drive, the Planning Department’s package of amendments did not receive the four Council votes needed to modify Del Mar’s Community Plan for consistency with the Housing Element.
In both zones, the amendments to the Community Plan, Zoning Code, and Local Coastal Program called for residential occupancy of up to 20 dwelling units per acre as allowed uses under the City’s existing, certified Housing Element.
Also on Sept. 8, the Council certified an environmental impact report. The report found that by applying a mitigation, monitoring and reporting program to future development projects, the amendments would cause no significant environmental impact.
The Planning Department brought forward the proposed amendments to bring the City into compliance with State Housing Element law and avoid exposure to a range of penalties.
As proposed, all existing zoning limits on height, floor area ratio and setbacks continue to apply and all existing, non-residential uses would continue to be allowed. Future commercial development is not required to include housing.
On Sept. 15, the Planning Commission is set to review the Draft 6th Cycle Housing Element Update, which relies upon the amendments to the two commercial zones in order to meet required State criteria for compliance with State law and to gain Housing Element certification.
The Planning Commission will consider whether the Housing Element Update should include 20 dwelling units per acre in the North Commercial Zone or whether the 20 affordable units proposed for that zone should be absorbed through increased rezoning -- to allow for at least 71 affordable units -- on vacant property on Del Mar’s north and south bluffs.
In the North Commercial Zone, the only way Del Mar can meet the State’s “adequate sites” requirement is by allowing at least 20 dwellings per acre throughout the zone. The cherry-picking of sites from within the zone is not permitted.
On Oct. 5, a draft of the 6th Cycle Housing Element Update is scheduled to be presented to the City Council for approval. The City must submit an approved draft to the State in November to initiate a 90-day review period as required by State law. The City Council and State authorities must certify the update by April 2021.
Open the North Commercial/Professional Commercial Amendments staff report
Watch a video of the City Council hearing
North Commercial Zone
Professional Commercial Zone