November 2009 home page

Howard Gad
Form-Based Code
Howard Gad | Chairman Form-based Code Committee


As many of you know, Del Mar has embarked on a new zoning program to help revitalize downtown.

Many in town have questions such as: Why is this being done? / How will it work? / Can I give input?

Why is this being done?
There has been little redevelopment in downtown for over 20 years. Many structures are physically and functionally obsolete unable to attract quality tenants. Significant vacancies and underperforming businesses have diminished Del Mar’s commercial viability reducing City revenues at a time those revenues are needed to provide public services. This lack of commercial vitality can also spill over into the residential sector affecting neighborhood property values. To help reverse this trend, the City Council wants to create development incentives for specific properties to encourage redevelopment conforming to our Community Plan. Those incentives will be structured through new Form-Based Code (FBC) zoning currently underway by the FBC Committee.

How will it work?
Current zoning establishes uniform standards such as set-backs, dwellings per acre, floor area ratios, height restrictions and parking. By contrast, Form-Based Code zoning sets design parameters lot by lot regulating development in order to achieve specific building forms, creating predictable public appearances for buildings, streets, sidewalks or other structures. The regulations and standards are presented in diagrams, drawings and words keyed to a “regulating plan”. The gathering of data on existing “as built” conditions in town is complete and the schematic design phase is underway. The FBC program focuses only on non-residential properties and is intended as a long term tool to improve the retail vitality and village character of Del Mar. It will be up to individual property owners whether they want to take advantage of these incentives.

Can I give input?
There will be several public meetings in November and December plus a community workshop tentatively scheduled for the first part of December. Televised public meetings are held monthly at the Del Mar TV studio with meeting schedules posted in the “Form-Based Code” section of the City’s website (www.delmar.ca.us/default.aspx). For more specifics contact Planning Director Brian Mooney (858.755.9313).


© 2007-2015 Del Mar Community Alliance, Inc.  All rights reserved.