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Posted on: October 8, 2020

City Council approves Housing Element Update

Cover page of Housing Element Update

Acting on recommendations from its Planning Commission and staff, the City Council on Oct. 5 approved a draft of Del Mar’s 6th Cycle Housing Element Update.  The Council’s vote certified an accompanying environmental impact report and authorized submittal to the State for a 60-day review.

The Housing Element Update presents strategies through 2029 to accommodate 175 new housing units – 113 of them affordable -- at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, in residential neighborhoods, in commercial zones, and on City-owned property.

In process for more than a year, the Housing Element Update has faced great challenges in identifying locations for lower-income housing.  

In residential neighborhoods, accessory dwelling units – or “granny flats” – are projected to provide up to 15 affordable units. So far in 2020, the City has already received 31 applications to build ADUs. 

During their deliberations, Council members agreed to remove City-owned parkland on 9th Street (at Shores Park) and Court Street from a proposed list of “adequate sites.” An increase in ADU applications and the addition of two sites in the North Commercial Zone on Jimmy Durante Boulevard can compensate for the removal of property at Shores and Court Street parks.  The Housing Element Update also identifies affordable housing locations in commercial zones on Camino del Mar.

Two City-owned properties remain on the list of adequate sites for seven small, affordable units: a vacant lot at 28th Street and the City Hall expansion lot on 10th Street.

The Housing Element Update targets the Del Mar Fairgrounds and adjoining, State-owned property as locations to build as many of the 113 affordable units as possible. Council members agreed to vigorously pursue an agreement with the 22nd District Agricultural Association to allow for affordable housing on the property it controls.

Pending approval of an agreement, the City must identify sites of at least 20 dwelling units per acre on the North and South bluffs. Those locations would be activated to facilitate 51 affordable units if an agreement with 22nd District Agricultural Association could not be reached.

A final draft of the Housing Element Update, which addresses comments from the State Housing and Community Development Department, is expected to be presented to the Planning Commission and City Council in February and March 2021.

Watch meeting

Open the 6th Cycle Housing Element Update webpage

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