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IMAGINE THe Possibilities
Ann Gardner | Via Latina

Redevelopment of empty office spaces on upper floor at 1201 Camino del Mar would provide a modern “bungalow court,” sheltered from the main street but close to community amenities e.g. library, bus line and work. The building also houses the Beeside Balcony Restaurant and is for sale.
Idea and photo submitted by Ann Gardner at Feb. 29
Housing Workshop

Citizens’ Task Force and Roster. Courtesy City of Del Mar.
Click to enlarge.

Please go to DelMarHousingElement.MetroQuest.com and take the survey asking for your response to specific suggestions on how the City might add more housing in Del Mar. The deadline is April 20. Your online input becomes critical as the bi-weekly public meetings of the Housing Element Ad-Hoc Citizens’ Task Force and scheduled community workshops are temporarily cancelled due to COVID-19 and their work has gone online. If you have already completed the Survey, thanks, and do continue reading. You can also submit your ideas, questions to either a community Task Force member (see list above) or Shaun McMahon at smcmahon@delmar.ca.us.

“These cottages were built as housing for Stratford Inn/Hotel Del Mar employees. Our earliest aerial photo from 1930 shows them, but my best guess is closer to 1920.” Larry Brooks, Historical Society. Photo Ann Gardner.

As we go to press the City’s October 30, 2020 deadline to update its State-mandated Housing Element for April, 2021 to April 2029 (Sixth Cycle) has not been extended. The updated Element must include policies, programs and actions that incentivize new housing units, including more affordable units, and will become part of our Community Plan. The Task Force, comprised of eight residents representing different parts of our community, will review and provide input for the City’s updated Housing Element and depend on your participation and input to help them do this. Please sign up for the “Sixth Cycle Housing Element Update” on the City’s website, (bit.ly/Sandpiper-7), You will also find a link to watch the Task Force’s first public workshop on February 29 when members introduced themselves to the community and were updated along with the audience by Housing Element consultants Kimley-Horn. Experienced in the community-based Housing Element process that includes a variety of public participation activities, Kimley-Horn was hired by the City last year to assist with Del Mar’s update. The workshop allowed participants to circulate with staff and the consultants to explore:

-What Creative Ways can Del Mar provide housing in existing commercial and residential areas? Currently the City is preparing responses to a Draft EIR for the proposed zoning change that would allow residential units in the North Commercial and Professional Commercial zones where only one is currently allowed.

-What types of community assistance programs can the city provide to facilitate housing?

-How should the City incorporate public lands into the Housing Element strategy? Housing on the Fairgrounds is one of the programs included in our current Housing Element.

Another significant option for developing more housing in a land-scarce city such as Del Mar, is the accessory dwelling unit (ADU) or, to put another way, second small /tiny homes on existing lots with a primary dwelling. As of January 1, 2020 State law now requires municipalities to allow these units with administrative review only, and they will count toward our allocation of planning for 163 new units by 2029. The city has already received 11 ADU applications this year. On March 6 the Planning Commission approved a zoning change to allow ADU’s of up to 800 feet and Jr. ADU’s (500 feet) with a maximum height limitation of 16 feet. Construction of an ADU does not count toward the lot’s Floor Area Ratio FAR. For more information, watch the staff’s 3/10/2020 presentation and discussion with the Planning Commission - the only item on the agenda, and very informative: bit.ly/Sandpiper-02.

And for your viewing pleasure: many of the Task Force members attended the Tiny House Festival at the Fairgrounds in early March. Task Force member Shirley King recommends the link bit.ly/TinyHouseZoning to get a sense of what the Festival offered and to see how Ojai and Fresno have incorporated the Accessory Dwelling Unit/Tiny House concept as a way to provide more affordable housing. Shirley also noted the concept of bungalow courts is returning and cited our own bungalow court on Coast Blvd., on the west side just before 13th street as an example.


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