Big Ridge Bluff?

Is a 259-unit housing development called Seaside Ridge coming to the North Bluff? On March 30, 2023, the City of Del Mar received a development application for a housing development on the North Bluff property located at 929 Border Ave., commonly known as the Lazier Property. Though this property is currently zoned R1-40 (“Very Low Density”), the development application is filed as a “by-right Housing Development Project subject to the City’s HEI-OZ,” and claims the right to build 259 units.


What does this mean, in plain English? Very simply: if the developer’s claims are not correct, the development application will likely be denied for violating zoning. However, if the developer’s assertions are correct, the City will likely lose its ability to apply its zoning and its discretionary planning and development standards to the project. State law does not allow cities to impose conditions that would make a housing project “infeasible,” if the City is deemed not to be in substantial compliance with State housing laws. And on March 30, when the Seaside Ridge application was filed, the City was deemed by the State’s housing department, Housing and Community Development (HCD), to be out of compliance with State housing laws. Even though the City re-adopted its 6th Cycle Housing Element (HE) on April 3 to bring it into compliance, as of this writing (April 14), HCD’s website shows Del Mar’s HE to be “under review,” and Del Mar to be “out of compliance.”


What is Seaside Ridge? This development would be in the “middle” section of North Bluff, south of the northernmost section adjacent to Border Avenue, and north of the James Scripps Bluff Preserve and the Gilbert Property (formerly Woodward). It would include 259 housing units: 42 low-income, 43 moderate-income, and 174 market-rate. The development seeks a density bonus and certain waivers and concessions because of the affordable units it includes. Based on a geotechnical study included with the application, it proposes a setback from the bluff top ranging from 60-90 feet.


Project, site and architectural plans, geotechnical studies, and more are included in the voluminous (500+ page) March 30 submittal, available for public review at the planning counter at City Hall.

The Lazier property in the middle section of the North Bluff, north of the James Scripps Bluff Preserve, is the site of the proposed Seaside Ridge Development. (Image from applicant’s 3/30/2023 submittal to the City of Del Mar)
In this rendering, the proposed Seaside Ridge development is shown with the northwest corner of the property in the foreground, with (D) described as “The Circle.” (A) marks the “The Gateway” entry into the project from Camino Del Mar. (Image from applicant’s 3/30/2023 submittal to the City of Del Mar)