Del Mar Mesa planning board approves development plans for 10-acre site

By Suzanne Evans

The Del Mar Mesa community planning board Feb. 13 approved construction plans for a property located north of Del Mar Mesa Road and West of Del Vino Court.

Southwest Properties architect David Hutchins presented to the board final plans for the former Silberberger property, a project underway since 2005, providing a mixture of nine market-rate, two- and one-story houses on nine lots on a 10-acre site, with one single-family dwelling per acre. The property is now owned by Southwest Properties.

“The project fits the site very well,” Hutchins said, showing plans of houses with Tuscan-style architecture, wrought-iron details and tile roofs.

The city stated the project complies with the objectives, standards, guidelines, and conditions for a permit or tentative map (substantial conformance), allowing for a 1-acre Multiple Habitat Protection Area (MHPA) and preservation of canyon topography.

According to the Silberberger property description, “corridors are placed between core biological resource areas to provide wildlife the ability to move freely within the preserve.”

In conformance with the “dark skies” rural character policy set up in the Del Mar Mesa Specific Plan, the project does not propose street lighting, relying on lighting from the houses.

Section 16 of the Del Mar Specific Plan clearly states, “Lighting shall be designed to avoid intrusion into the Multiple Habitat Protection Area and effects on wildlife . . . to preserve the rural nature of the community and protect the resources in the MHPA.”

The Specific Plan continues, “The only streetlights that should be provided in the community are those necessary for safety as determined by the City Engineer [such as] low-pressure [pale pink] sodium lights. . . . Low voltage outdoor or trail lights, spotlights, or bug lights are prohibited in the preserve.”

Plans are being finalized and will be sent to the city. “Grading will start as soon as the city will allow, hopefully within four weeks, and sales will begin online in May. “Guidelines are being followed,” confirmed chair Gary Levitt.