6th Cycle Housing Element Update


The Housing Element is a required component of the City’s General Plan (Community Plan) that must be updated every eight years. After a multi-year public process, the City Council re-adopted a final version of its 6th Cycle Housing Element by adoption of Resolution 2023-12 (PDF) in a duly noticed public hearing on April 3, 2023. The 6th Cycle housing plan covers the planning period years 2021 to 2029. The City Council initially adopted the 6th Cycle Housing Element on March 25, 2021.   Following the initial adoption, the City has taken multiple actions in response to feedback from the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), which included re-adoption actions taken on December 13, 2021 and April 3, 2023 to address the items needed for final certification.  

HCD is the State department responsible for Housing Element review, certification, and enforcement.  In May 2023, HCD indicated the City would receive a substantial compliance letter for its Housing Element if the City agreed to make one final clarifying “technical modification” edit to Chapter 4, Program 3B (Affordable Housing on Public Sites) pursuant to the authority provided in the previously adopted City Council Resolution 2023-12. On May 25, 2023, the City Manager approved and submitted the Program 3B Housing Element clarification to HCD to complete the certification process.  

On May 31, 2023, HCD determined the City’s Housing Element to be in substantial compliance with State Housing Element Law. The HCD letter confirms that the City currently has adequate sites in its Housing Element sites inventory and that the City addressed all statutory requirements and revisions requested by HCD to establish “substantial compliance”. Following is the clarifying “technical modification” edit that was incorporated into Program 3B:


Following are links to the final revised Housing Element as adopted on April 3, 2023 (Resolution 2023-12) and including the technical modification to Program 3B in accordance with HCD’s Substantial Compliance Letter (5.31.2023). Staff will bring a Resolution to the City Council on June 19, 2023 to memorialize incorporation of the technical modification required by HCD in order for the City to maintain certification and compliance with State Housing Element Law.  

For ease of review, a combined document of Final Housing Element Chapters 1-4 is linked below: 

These are large documents, so following are individual links to the final April 2023 clean version of the revised Housing Element proposed for re-adoption by the City Council:

Prior Housing Element redline drafts are available for reference below to show the modifications incorporated into the March 2023 and November 2022 revised drafts that were posted for public review and comment. Note that the final Housing Element (April 3, 2023) and revised Chapter 4 (May 31, 2023) posted above include all edits identified in the March 2023 redline drafts and two minor corrections shown on the redline pages linked below:

Below are redline copies of the March 2023 draft Chapters 3 and 4 and Appendix B, and November 2022 drafts for Chapters 1, 2, and remaining Appendices showing edits that were incorporated into the final version proposed for adoption (linked above):

Following is a link to the revised Housing Element submitted to HCD on November 11, 2022:

Following is a record of HCD correspondence that was provided to the City following the City's initial action to timely adopt its 6th Cycle Housing Element and subsequent responses to HCD letters reporting the results of their reviews and inquiry of status:

o    HCD Feedback on City’s 12. HCD Feedback on City’s 3.25.2021 Adopted HEU -  HCD July 9, 2021 Letter Requesting Revisions o    12.13.2021 Re-Adopted HEU – HCD March 21, 2022 Letter
o    HCD Letter of Inquiry August 25, 2022 
o    HCD Feedback on City’s 11.11.2022 Revised HEU Draft – HCD January 13, 2023 Letter

On Tuesday, November 9, 2021, the Planning Commission reviewed the revised 6th Cycle Housing Element document and recommended approval to the City Council. Staff Report (PDF)

Following is a link to the Draft Housing Element dated November 3, 2021: November 2021 Draft Housing Element (PDF) 

On March 25, 2021, the City Council adopted the 6th Cycle Housing Element as a part of the Del Mar Community Plan (General Plan) via Resolution 2021-14 (PDF).  The Housing Element covers an eight-year planning period from 2021-2029.  The adopted Housing Element is currently being reviewed by the State for certification.

The adopted Housing Element includes North Commercial Program 1A as a program to achieve capacity for 22 lower income affordable units.  The City Council identified the Border Avenue Rezone option as the contingency plan only in the event the City is unable to rely upon North Commercial for Program 1A due to the Referendum in process.

Read the March 25, 2021 Item 2 Agenda Report (PDF). Following are links to the adopted 6th Cycle Housing Element documents:

On October 5, 2020 the City Council approved the draft 6th Cycle Housing Element Update (October 5, 2020 Item 7 Agenda Report PDF)  (Resolution 2020-52 PDF) as recommended by the Planning Commission on September 15, 2020.  The approved draft 6th Cycle HEU was submitted to the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) for a required 60-day HCD review and comment period required per State law.  See below for links to the approved draft and HCD’s comments on the draft

On September 30, 2020, the City of Del Mar received an enforcement letter from HCD stating written findings of the City’s existing status in violation of California’s Housing Element Law.  On October 19, 2020, the City Council unanimously approved a response to HCD identifying the City’s plan to cure its non-compliance and avoid further enforcement actions. On December 4, 2020, HCD confirmed that it accepted the City’s response and would be closely monitoring the City’s progress in meeting the commitments as outlined in the City’s response letter.  See below for links to correspondence with HCD relating to the City’s status and HCD’s close monitoring of City progress for prospective enforcement:

On October 5, 2020, the City Council certified the Final Program Environmental Impact Report (PEIR) and adopted findings of fact and the Mitigation, Monitoring, and Reporting Program via Resolution 2020-51 (PDF). The Final PEIR and initial Draft EIR are available for review by clicking the links below:

Based on questions received by Staff, the City has prepared a Housing Element Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document.  To review the FAQ, please click the link below:

What is the Housing Element?

The Housing Element is a State-mandated policy document within the Del Mar Community Plan that provides direction for the implementation of various programs to meet existing and projected future housing needs for all income levels within the Del Mar community.  The Housing Element provides policies, programs, and actions that accommodate growth, produce opportunity for the development of new housing units, preserve existing housing stock, and assist the existing population.

The City’s stated housing goal is to, “Inspire a more diverse, sustainable, and balanced community through implementation of strategies and programs that will result in economically and socially diversified housing choices that preserve and enhance the special character of Del Mar.”


On January 13, 2020 the City Council Established a seven member 6th Cycle Housing Element Ad-Hoc Citizens’ Task Force (Task Force) to work with Staff and the City Council Housing Liaisons to:

  1. Discuss, evaluate, and provide feedback on potential goals, policies, programs, and objectives to be included within the 6th Cycle Housing Element Update during preparation of the associated CEQA document;
  2. To help educate and encourage Housing Element participation among fellow Del Mar citizens; and
  3. Generally aid the City in the preparation and development of the 6th Cycle Housing Element Update during preparation of the associated CEQA document.

The Task Force presented their findings and recommendations to the City Council on June 15, 2020, and their recommendations were included in the October 5, 2020 agenda report on the 6th Cycle Program Environmental Impact Report and Draft Housing Element Update. The Task Force was disbanded on June 30, 2020.

For more information on the Ad-Hoc Citizens’ Task Force you can visit their web page below: 

6th Cycle Housing Element Ad-Hoc Citizens’ Task Force Web Page

Click on each of the tabs below to read more information.

  1. Project Timeline
  2. CEQA
  3. Reports & More
  4. RHNA

Anticipated 6th Cycle Housing Element Update Timeline (Subject to Change)

The City Council on March 14 approved an emergency declaration to address Coronavirus, cancelling ALL public meetings through April 6, and cancelling all events in City buildings and parks through May 31, 2020.

The schedule below is subject to change:

6th Cycle Housing Element Update Schedule updated 3-29-21