Housing at the forefront of Haviland’s first year as Del Mar mayor

Del Mar City Councilwoman Ellie Haviland became the city's new mayor at the annual December reorganization.
(City of Del Mar)

Bluff stabilization, moving the train tracks inland, the Marisol initiative and affordable housing will be some of the notable issues confronting the Del Mar City Council in 2020.

“I think it’s going to be a busy, but hopefully very productive year for us,” said Del Mar Mayor Ellie Haviland, who entered her first one-year term as the city’s mayor during the annual December reorganization ceremony.

At their Jan. 13 meeting, council members will discuss the new housing element and provide an overview of the steps they will take throughout the year to accommodate 163 new units, a figure assigned by the San Diego Association of Governments. That allocation includes 64 units for low-income residents and 37 for very low-income residents, relative to the area’s median income.

As one of the 21 members of SANDAG’s board of directors, Haviland voted to approved a methodology that divided about 171,000 state-mandated, new units for San Diego County among all 18 cities and unincorporated territory.

During the Del Mar City Council’s final December meeting, council members talked about putting together a committee of residents from different corners of the city, with different viewpoints about the process to offer their opinions of the possible options.

“We need to really think about how do we get a group of people together who are really going to be proactive about educating the rest of the community and who are willing to understand the process and be realistic about what is feasible in our community,” Haviland said.

More accessory dwelling units and adding housing at the fairgrounds are two of the potential options council members have mentioned. The city has until October 2020 to submit the final draft of its new housing element to the California Department of Housing and Community Development.

Haviland said the city will “try to get as much community engagement and feedback as we can.”

On Jan. 14, Del Mar’s Planning Commission will review and listen to public input on the city’s draft environmental impact report on the Marisol project, which will appear on the city’s March 3 ballot. If approved, the initiative would create the zoning for 22 affordable housing units as part of a larger complex that would include 65 hotel rooms and 31 villas, 27 of which can be subdivided into three units.

The city also launched a website with updates about the housing element process to develop the new housing element. For more information, visit www.delmar.ca.us/housingelement.