Business Support/Parking Code Changes

On December 13, 2021, the City Council  adopted 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). The locally-adopted amendments are not yet effective. They require additional processing to obtain the necessary State-level approval.

The Ordinance and Local Coastal Program Amendment (LCPA) will next be considered by the California Coastal Commission (CCC) for certification. Staff anticipates approximately 6-12 months for the CCC to process the LCPA. The Parking Ordinance will become effective on the date CCC takes action to unconditionally certify the Local Coastal Program Amendment.

Project Description - Adopted Amendments

In summary, the adopted code amendments approved by 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 (one per site) 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.   

A strike through underline version of the adopted code changes can be found here: Strike Through underline Version(PDF)

The adopted Ordinance can be found here: Adopted Ordinance(PDF)

The City Council meeting videos can be found here: 

  • November 19, 2021 (First Reading): VIDEO
  • December 13, 2021 (Second Reading/Adoption of Ordinance): VIDEO

Prior Meeting Information (Public Outreach Meetings Already Held):

October 5, 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 –