Business Support/Parking Code Changes

As a part of the City of Del Mar’s FY2021-2022 budget approval, the City Council approved a work program to support the business community and facilitate economic recovery in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Draft amendments to the City’s Parking Code were prepared to help support local business in an effort to better align the local code with industry standards and best practices implemented by other cities. An additional benefit of “right-sizing” parking requirements are the associated environmental benefits, which closely align with the City’s Climate Action Plan goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Staff has sought public input and recommendations from the Del Mar Business Community and the Del Mar Village Association (DMCA) (October 5), the Planning Commission (October 12), and the Traffic and Parking Advisory Committee (TPAC) (October 13) prior to taking this item forward to the City Council.

The City Council will consider whether to introduce an Ordinance amending the Del Mar Municipal Code (DMMC) and certified Local Coastal Program (LCP) to make amendments to the City’s Parking Code (DMMC Chapter 30.80) at the City Council hearing scheduled for November 15, 2021.

Project Description - Draft Code Amendments

In summary, the proposed code amendments going forward to the City Council include the following: 

1) Provide an exemption for existing non-conforming commercial properties in the Central Commercial Zone to change-out existing tenant spaces with retail sales, restaurant, or personal service uses without providing additional parking

2) Allow a restaurant to have one accessory food or beverage cart/stand without providing additional parking; and 

3) Reduce the required parking rate for table service restaurants from 1 space per 90 square feet (sf) (1/90) to 1/200 sf and provide a parking exemption for outdoor dining areas up to a maximum size that is equivalent to the size of the restaurant’s indoor area (and that any outdoor dining space above that threshold provide parking at a rate of 1/200 sf), and further to modify the required parking ratio calculation to require that any spaces in restaurants with gross floor area greater than 5,000 sf in size be modified from 1/45 to 1/90 for those restaurant spaces in excess of 5,000 sf.   

The City’s parking regulations are a part of the City’s Local Coastal Program and will require processing amendments thereto.  In accordance with the Coastal Act, the draft code language was made available to the public for review and comment early in the process.   

The current complete draft code language for the proposed code changes can be found here: Draft Code Language to Amend the Existing Parking Code (PDF)

Prior Meeting Information (Public Outreach Meetings Already Held):

September 23, 2021 – Public Workshop for Del Mar Businesses and the Del Mar Village Association(DMVA)

October 12, 2021 - Planning Commission (public hearing – recommendation to City Council)

  • Recommendation Summary: On October 12, 2021, the Planning Commission (PC) voted unanimously to recommend approval to the City Council of amendments #1 and #2 as described above in the project description. However, instead of adopting amendment #3 to reduce the parking rate for restaurants, the Planning Commission recommended that the City test a reduced parking rate of 1/200 sf based on a restaurant’s gross floor area (indoor area) and provide a temporary parking exemption for outdoor dining via a 30-month pilot program that would apply only to existing restaurants and regardless of restaurant size.

    The PC recommendation was not incorporated into the proposed Ordinance in consideration of concerns raised by the Traffic and Parking Advisory Committee (TPAC).  See the TPAC meeting summary below for additional detail.
  • Notice of Availability/Notice of Public Hearing:
  • Meeting Packet:
  • Meeting Video:

October 13, 2021 – TPAC (public meeting – recommendation to City Council)

  • Recommendation Summary: TPAC recommended that the initial proposal (to reduce the parking rate for restaurants to 1 space per 300 sf) should be modified. TPAC indicated that the Pilot Program approach recommended by Planning Commission would not meet the needs of local restaurants (new and existing) and that the existing parking code should be modified to reduce the existing restaurant parking ratio. TPAC further recommended that the City provide an exemption to accommodate outdoor parking while also incorporating controls to account for the respective sizes of the outdoor dining and restaurants gross floor area. The proposed amendments going forward to the City Council reflect the recommendation for approval as provided by TPAC.

Staff contact: Jennifer Gavin, Associate Planner –