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Housing For All:
From Sacramento to Watermark on Jimmy Durante
Bud Emerson | Klish Way


California policy recognizes that local government plays a vital role in providing adequate housing for our state’s growing population. The state passed a law in 1969 requiring all cities to adopt plans. Each housing element must be certified by the state to meet the existing and projected housing needs of all economic segments of the community.

Del Mar process / history
Del Mar’s Housing Element for the period 1999 to 2004 was certified, but failure to implement resulted in decertification for the period 2005 to 2010. For the 2013-2020 plan, the state targeted our downtown area for 20 units per acre as part of our proposed Downtown Specific Plan (Prop J).
After the failure of Prop J, the leaders of the opposition publicly urged the Council to petition the state to target the lot on Jimmy Durante for 20 residential units per acre instead of downtown. After numerous public hearings the Council agreed and got the state to certify our Housing Element accordingly.
According to the certified plan Del Mar’s allocation of affordable housing totals 61 units, of which 34 are above moderate. The average median income is in the range of about $45,000- $65,000 per year.

Housing Programs

The City’s Housing Element has 19 specific programs to accomplish the housing goals including the following:

• Allowing construction of some new second dwelling units throughout the city
• Re-designation of the Watermark property for a Specific Plan to allow residential development at 20 units per acre
• Identifying other appropriate locations for higher density residential development
• Changing the North Commercial and Professional Commercial zones to 20 units per acre.
• Construction of winter dwelling units by the 22nd DAA on the fairgrounds.

While the City is required to create the mandated environment for these changes, the actual development of affordable housing units is ultimately dependent upon willing developers and property owners undertaking projects over the next eight year period covered by the certified Housing Element. The State will be monitoring our compliance and progress.


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