July 2012 home page

About Changes
Kathy Garcia, City of Del Mar



Community comment has had a profound effect on the Village Specific Plan. Since the March 19th release of the “Pencil Draft,” there were 70 comment letters and over 50 meetings to provide input. Neighborhood conversations alone involved over 200 residents. City Council directed many revisions to address these comments and create a much improved Plan.

• Many felt the Specific Plan did not address the economic findings, community benefits or their impacts. This has been changed in Chapters II and III, with descriptions of market findings, potential community benefits, potential impacts and assessment criteria for discretionary project review.

• The streetscape proposals for Camino del Mar generated the most comments and as a result, Chapter IV – Mobility has extensive changes. Monitoring, thresholds and funding for remediation were added to protect the surrounding neighborhoods, especially Crest/Via Alta, Stratford, Luneta and Ocean. Design modifications were stipulated to improve safety, function and circulation. Construction mitigation was expanded based on input from businesses and restaurateurs.

• Comments were numerous on the proposed development regulations, and the revisions to Chapters V and VI were commensurate. City Council rejected the proposed 30 foot buildings and maintained a maximum height of 26 feet. They also stipulated thresholds so that there is assessment when any west side block reaches 50% at 26 feet. Many commenters were concerned about the residential interface, and as a result, height is restricted to 26 feet in the 50 foot band immediately adjacent to residential zones. Thresholds were established to review cumulative development and housing when triggers are reached. The Exceptional Public Benefits (EPBs) were modified to be more equitable and an incentive was added for view corridors based upon concern for the potential loss of views. Nearby residents also influenced a change to separate outdoor dining from the residentially zoned property.

• Community input on parking (Chapter VII) added a Village parking monitoring program and additional environmental review at the time of parking structure design. City Council reinforced the stipulation that the DMMC parking requirements stay in effect unless the parking is committed to shared, public parking.

• Based upon the input received on Public Finance, Chapter IX was revised to modify revenue generation, include provisions for development impact fees, and provide a clearer picture of the strategy. Importantly, City Council reinforced that no residential fees or assessments are required of residents to implement the public improvements.

• Changes were made to Chapter X, Implementation, to address the requests for better descriptions of the public facilities implementation program and timelines as well as thresholds to address any impact.

• The Amendment and Enforcement section (Chapter XII) was also changed to elevate the EPB approvals from staff level to City Council approval, and processes were included for decreasing development and modifying the public improvements.

You can find a much revised document in the final draft that goes before the Planning Commission on July 10th. The redline changes to the Village Specific Plan, as well as the public comment letters and neighborhood workshop comments are all posted at www.delmar.ca.us/Government/Pages/VillageRevitalization.aspx

Thanks to all who have contributed; you have shaped this into a stronger and more effective Plan for downtown revitalization.


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