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Marisol Process Check
Kathy Garcia | Planning and Community Development Director

Depiction of Marisol site on bluffs. Source: Marisol.

A different process: On August 5, 2019, the City received a Notice of Intention (NOI) to circulate a petition related to the Marisol Specific Plan Initiative. According to the text of the NOI, “the purpose of this Initiative is to facilitate the development and preservation of an approximately 17.45-acre area located south of Border Avenue and west of Camino Del Mar (the “Specific Plan Area”), by adopting the Marisol Specific Plan (“Specific Plan”) and conforming amendments to the City’s Community Plan, Local Coastal Program, and Zoning Map.”
The initiative does not include lands at the Scripps/North Bluff Preserve or North Beach.

Approval of the Initiative by the Del Mar electorate would approve the “legislative” changes necessary to allow visitor-serving uses. This initiative replaces the staff process that was underway to develop the Resort Specific Plan. The Marisol Specific Plan, as it is now known, along with the proposed amendments to the Community Plan and Local Coastal Program, would rezone eight private properties from single-family residential to “Marisol Specific Plan” and provide the regulatory framework for a visitor-serving resort development. The Local Coastal Program Amendment would still be subject to certification by the California Coastal Commission.

The proposed initiative and related documents can be reviewed on the City’s website at https://www.delmar.ca.us/761/2020-Initiatives. Questions on the Specific Plan as an initiative should now be directed to Zephyr Development rather than staff at https://builtbyzephyr.com/projects/marisol/.

In order to build any future development allowed and regulated by the Marisol Specific Plan, “discretionary” approvals by the Del Mar City Council, upon recommendations by the Planning Commission and Design Review Board, would still be required. Those development applications/entitlements, which are not part of the Initiative process, include the following:

• Design Review Permit;
• Coastal Development Permit;
• Land Conservation Permit;
• Tentative Tract Map; and
• Tree Removal Permit.

What Happens Next:
The California Elections Code governs the submittal and processing of citizens’ initiatives and provides for several actions that are to be taken leading up to an election. To date, several steps have been completed, including submittal of Del Mar registered voter signatures/petitions for verification by election officials and certification by the City Council. The City Council has also called for a report (called the 9212 Report) to address City Council questions and other matters related to the initiative.

Upon certification of the required petition signatures and receipt of the 9212 Report, the City Council will have the option of either adopting the initiative as an ordinance or placing it on the ballot.

Additional Information to be Provided:
By law, citizen initiatives filed in the State of California are not required to undergo an EIR review for CEQA compliance. However, the developer is currently processing an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and Economic & Fiscal Analysis for the project and will continue to do so. It is anticipated that both the draft EIR and Economic & Fiscal Analysis will be available for public review by year-end or early 2020.


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