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Major Minor
Dave Druker | 10th Street


Proposed changes to the Garden Del Mar Specific Plan after
developer declares bankruptcy. Photo Ann Gardner. 
Click on image to enlarge.

Between 2006 and 2008, the City of Del Mar along with two developers created a specific plan for the gas station site at the east side of Camino del Mar at 10th Street. The specific plan was based upon retail spaces and offices that would be sold as condominiums. In November 2008 the Garden Del Mar Specific Plan was overwhelmingly approved by the voters of Del Mar. Just prior to the vote, the economy went into recession and the funding for any property development completely dried up. During the deliberations, the concept of using some of the space as residential was broached by the citizen’s committee but was rejected by the developers. The developers eventually declared bankruptcy and the property returned to bank ownership.

Recently some developers approached the City of Del Mar and asked what it would take to change the specific plan to allow residential units. The specific plan notated that major changes included the change in designation of the retail space but was silent on the office space. Major changes would require a vote of the electorate. If the designation of office space as residential is considered a minor change then the City Council could change the plan by a 4/5ths majority. The City Council in mid-November 2013 asked the Garden Del Mar Citizens committee to be reconstituted and opine on the requested change and determine if there were any issues that would need further discussion.

The committee met at the end of November and determined that the change was not major but was significant. The committee recommended that the council hold a mail ballot to gain approval of the requested change and that four issues need to be addressed prior to canvassing – 1) the parking requirement still being met, 2) the use of public areas in relation to residential, 3) the provision or lack of provision of view corridors for the residential units and 4) the restrictions for rental uses of the residential units. The members of the committee all agreed that a change to residential was appropriate and that there be no other changes to the specific plan.

In early December, the council was given a staff report on the issue and determined by a 4/5ths majority to change the specific plan (Sherryl Parks voted no) to allow residential use of the office space. The council also asked the staff to prepare a survey to determine whether the residents of Del Mar agree with the change to residential.


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