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Posted on: September 26, 2021

Council amends Parking Code

Empty Parking Lots

Determined to support small businesses and aide economic recovery, the City Council on Dec. 13 approved an ordinance to revise the Parking Code.

The Ordinance provides:

  • greater flexibility for property owners in the Central Commercial Zone to accommodate new tenants in existing spaces by relaxing parking standards for retail, personal service and restaurant uses;
  • a parking exemption for restaurants to operate one accessory food or beverage cart on private property; 
  • a reduction of the parking ratio for restaurants from 11 spaces per 1,000 square feet of gross floor area (1 space per 90 square feet) to 5 spaces per 1,000 square feet (1 space per 200 square feet); and
  • some exemptions from required parking for outdoor dining spaces.

The one space per 200 square foot ratio aligns with industry standards, best practices in other cities and is consistent with the recommendations by the Planning Commission and Traffic & Parking Advisory Committee.

The ordinance must receive Coastal Commission approval.

Earlier, Councilmembers agreed that future parking programs should encourage employees and downtown visitors to park at the Del Mar Civic Center and Shores Park.

The City also should develop wayfinding signage, publish information on where to park, and investigate the purchase of blanket insurance to cover public parking on underutilized private spaces, Councilmembers said.

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