Workshops upcoming for proposed senior care facility in Solana Beach

A pair of workshops this month will offer a detailed look at designs for a proposed senior care facility in Solana Beach on course to go to a public vote in November.

Located on a vacant lot along Interstate 5’s eastern edge, just south of the Timbers building, the yet-to-be-named “Solana Beach Senior Care Facility” will require a Specific Plan in order to deviate from the city’s General Plan, which has the 2.9 acres zoned to allow one-third the density needed for the two-story building. Since 2000, Specific Plans must win a referendum before entering the city’s review process.

So far, the project’s Specific Plan allows for up to 99 beds, but its developers expect slightly fewer.

“We are looking at between 94 and 96 beds, dependent on what we think community need is and how community members will react,” said Lisa Margolin, a spokeswoman for Solana Beach Senior Care Facility.

The first of the design workshops will be from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 13 at Calvary Lutheran Church, 424 Via de la Valle. The second workshop will be at the property—959 Genevieve St.—from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, March 24.

With available land in Solana Beach nearly gone while its senior population is poised to explode, the project’s developers say the demand for assisted-living services will far exceed what’s offered by Solana Beach’s only senior-care facility, which already faces a long waiting list for its 105 beds.

According to the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), Solana Beach’s population overall will grow around 7 percent between 2020 and 2035, from 13,276 to 14,207. The city’s senior population (age 70 and older) will double over that same period, SANDAG says, from 2,200 to nearly 3,500.

“Our objective is to provide a facility that meets the needs of Solana Beach families,” Pacific Sound Investment’s John DeWald said in a statement. “And that includes making sure that the design we’re proposing is reflective of what the community would like to see. We are looking forward to meeting neighbors and sharing our plans.”

Services are expected to include memory care, housekeeping, meals, laundry, transportation and entertainment. The facility will not seek state licensure for medical care or skilled nursing.

Residents got their first look at the proposal during a scoping meeting in July that marked the beginning of state-mandated environmental review. Neighbors’ concerns centered on traffic, the impact on children who walk to two nearby schools and a learning center, and how the facility will meld with the neighborhood’s semi-rural character.

A first draft of the project’s Environmental Impact Report has been completed and will be available for public review “within a month or two,” according to the spokeswoman.

If voters sign off on the Specific Plan, the project will still require approval from the city council and the California Coastal Commission.

For more information, go to or search for “SolanaBeachSeniorCare” on Facebook.