Del Mar to draft beachfront development ordinance

The city of Del Mar has agreed to draft an ordinance that would limit the way square footage is calculated for new beachfront homes, in order to avoid a costly ballot measure on the issue.

Del Mar resident Rick Thompson notified the city in April that he intended to collect signatures to place the measure on the ballot in November.

As proposed, the initiative would exclude the strip of land along the beach that is dedicated to public access when calculating the lot size of a beachfront property, thereby limiting the size home that can be built on the lot. At the council's meeting on Monday, June 4, Thompson said the measure is intended to prevent the "mansionization" of Del Mar's beachfront.

While Thompson said he was within 48 hours of submitting his petitions to qualify the initiative for the ballot, the council asked him to delay that submission to give the city time to prepare an ordinance that would contain essentially the same language as the proposed ballot measure.

The city will expedite the drafting of the ordinance so that Thompson can see it before the deadline to get an item on the ballot in November. The first draft of the ordinance will come before the council on June 18, and the final reading of the ordinance would occur on July 2. The council directed city staff to begin preparing the ordinance on a unanimous vote.

During the discussion at Monday's council meeting, Del Mar Planning and Community Development Director Kathy Garcia said the ordinance will affect 18 properties, including 15 designated as residential and three as commercial, north of 29th Street along the Del Mar beachfront.

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