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An Affordable First
for the Right Reasons

Bertha Leone | Crest Road

Del Mar has its first deed-restricted affordable housing accessory dwelling unit! Finally!

The ADU (also known as a “granny flat”) at 423 Luzon Avenue is the first to be counted toward Del Mar’s affordable housing quota assigned by the State of California in its effort to mitigate the housing shortage. The ADU will be a replacement of an existing detached garage with the ADU in a project that involves the demolition of the single-family residence and the construction of a new residence with an attached garage. The project is also the first to qualify for Del Mar’s FAR incentive program, where the city is offering a bonus of 500 square feet (added to the allowed FAR for the property) in return for a 30-year deed-restricted ADU.

Until now, Del Mar has had two permitted ADUs but no deed-restricted ones. The new Luzon ADU will be counted as affordable housing that accommodates renters whose income must not exceed 80% of the San Diego County AMI (Area Median Income). The homeowner(s) must agree to a 30-year deed restriction on the income limit.

Lisa Tam and Everett Love, the owners of the approved project and future residents of the property, live a faith-based life, espousing the words of St. Paul to the Corinthians that Lisa paraphrases: God is the Father of all compassion, who comforts us when we are troubled, so that we can comfort others who are troubled. They support missionary partners in Peru, Kenya and India; Everett leads Bible study groups; and Lisa provides independent living and peer support services for the homeless and at-risk-of-homelessness population.

Both Lisa and Everett see their project as an opportunity to share their property and provide affordable housing to someone who will be an asset to Del Mar, but who could not otherwise afford to live here. Lisa envisions that potential renters might be an EMT, lifeguard, graduate student, junior city planner, clergy, a senior citizen on a fixed income, or a caregiver, perhaps allowing a Del Mar resident to age in place at home. She and Everett recognize the need to comply with the City’s process for income verification of applicants before deciding to whom they will rent.

The project has been through the full Design Review Board process. The ADU portion was exempted from design review per state law. The only Del Mar design requirements for approval are that the ADU must respect the architectural design of the primary residence and not exceed 550 square feet.

Two additional affordable units at the former gas station property on Camino Del Mar have been approved by the City and are on the May 9 agenda for Coastal Commission approval. Stay tuned for more information about 941 Camino Del Mar (formerly the Garden Project).

These three affordable units are a small portion of the 76 that Del Mar needs across all income levels, but they do contribute to the city’s critical need for 22 affordable units. If Del Mar does not meet its State quota by the end of the current housing Cycle (2021), it is expected that the city will face more penalty units in addition to its assignment of new units for the next eight-year cycle.
Councilmembers Dwight Worden and Sherryl Parks are Del Mar’s Housing Corporation liaisons. Dwight notes: “Achieving our affordable housing goals to meet aggressive state-imposed mandates and avoid severe penalties remains one of the biggest challenges facing the city. Del Mar also needs to ensure the vibrant diversity we want for our city’s future where our seniors have housing options to age in place, and our lifeguards, school teachers, firefighters, and others who contribute so much to our community, have a shot to live in town.”

Sherryl Parks adds: “This project is a win-win for Lisa and Everett as well as the City. I am hoping others will be inspired by the compatibility with the neighborhood thanks to the collaboration of the owners, the Planning Department and the Design Review Board.”



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