Coast Commission Approves Del Mar Rezoning

The city of Del Mar received approval from the California Coastal Commission on February 10 for a zoning change that will accommodate more affordable housing and help the city comply with state regulations on lodging.

The approval included several changes suggested by the commission.

The City Council implemented the zoning change, which applies to the North Commercial and Occupational Commercial zoned lots on the north end of the city, as part of the state’s sixth cycle housing component. As part of this process, each region of the state is assigned a number of new housing units which it is responsible for zoning over the next eight years.

The San Diego Association of Governments, the county’s regional planning agency, allocated 163 units to Del Mar. With 12 units carried over from the last cycle because the city did not meet its assigned allocation, the total of the city ​​is 175.

The zoning of the northern commercial and professional commercial plots to allow 20 units per acre has been controversial for many residents who have said they have concerns such as negative environmental effects. A grassroots group called the Del Mar Community Hillside Association collected enough signatures to create a referendum that could have prevented this zoning change from taking effect. But after a period of negotiation, the petitioners withdrew the referendum in exchange for a set of conditions that called for the city to further investigate the issues they raised.

“We looked at our whole city and unfortunately if we don’t rely on the north commercial area, that means these sites go up to the North Bluff property, which is probably the most sensitive and beautiful from the point of view. landscapes,” Amanda Lee, City of Del Mar’s senior planner, told Coastal Commission members last week.

She added that development on the cliffs is “not the preferable option, even though it is a much larger space”.

“It’s something that would be a contingency plan if housing isn’t developed for the sixth cycle, it would be the fallback for the city,” she said.

Commissioners also raised concerns about the use of new homes for short-term rental sites such as Airbnb. As part of the new North Commercial and Professional Commercial zoning in Del Mar, Affordable Units include deed restrictions that prevent the use of short-term rentals.

“The state is going to have to tackle the housing element to get what it wants in terms of creating residential housing versus housing that is created and then used as vacation or short-term rentals,” the state said. curator Katie Rice.

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