Downtown revitalization update

By Howard Gad

Chairman, Form-Based Code Committee

Work on Del Mar’s commercial revitalization is well underway through the city’s Form-Based Code (FBC) Committee. As discussed in previous articles, the FBC committee has been appointed by the City Council to study, analyze, evaluate and recommend ways to enhance Del Mar’s downtown by creating development incentives for commercial property owners.

The nine-member committee has been meeting weekly with a goal of having a concept plan solidified by the end of January. Over the next two months concept drawings will be shared with the Design Review Board (DRB) and Planning Commission to gain comments and input from members.

An introduction to Form-Based Codes was given at the November DRB meeting and the same will occur at the Dec. 8 Planning Commission meeting. In January there will be a more formalized DRB and Planning Commission meeting followed by a three-day public charrette where community members can share their ideas and make recommendations.

During this stage of concept development, the FBC committee has generated several colored exhibits of potential modifications to Camino Del Mar.

One of the concepts being considered is reducing Camino Del Mar from four lanes to two lanes in each direction within the downtown area. This reduction would help slow traffic, create a more pedestrian-friendly environment and increase parking. This potential change would allow for diagonal parking on both sides of the street for a net increase in convenient, shop-oriented parking.

The committee is also considering replacing the stop signs at 11th and 13th streets with traffic roundabouts similar to La Jolla Boulevard in the Bird Rock neighborhood of La Jolla. Both of these conceptual traffic ideas are subject to review by the city’s traffic engineer.

Preliminary diagrams have been developed for potential enhancements to commercial buildings from 12th to 15th Street and work is proceeding on ideas for buildings from 8th to 12th Street. All design work is subject to further input by the various stakeholders involved and more formalized exhibits will be available when appropriate.

The next FBC Committee meeting is Dec. 8 at 3 p.m. in the Del Mar TV studio. Televised meeting schedules are posted in the “Form-Based Code” section of the city’s Web site at

If you have any comments on information presented here or from our meetings, the FBC section of the city Web site has a link for e-mail comments.

For more information contact Planning & Community Development Director Brian Mooney via e-mail at

Happy Holidays!