Revitalization plans moving forward

By Howard Gad

Chair, Form-Based Code Committee

Del Mar’s Form-Based Code committee is moving forward on how to best implement Form-Based Code zoning for Del Mar’s central commercial district. The nine-member committee has been working with city planners since May to structure development criteria, commercial property owner incentives and a reasonable process by which Form-Based Code zoning could be implemented.

This zoning can achieve development objectives that are not available to city planners under current codes by regulating development on a lot-by-lot basis rather than blanket zoning. It helps to create a predictable public appearance by controlling the physical form of buildings, streets, sidewalks or other public structures.

The City Council feels that a change to FBC zoning is a more predictable way to create the village character originally laid out by the Del Mar Community Plan, while promoting incentives for commercial property owners to revitalize their properties.

Also, many in town have expressed a desire to have the city implement many of the unfulfilled goals and objectives brought forth in the Community Plan (1976) and the Del Mar 2000 Plan (1982).

The FBC committee is tasked to bring this zoning forward and help implement many of the concepts and ideas for downtown redevelopment that have been studied, talked about and envisioned for decades. We are making every effort to fulfill the City Council’s desire to come up with reasonable and workable concepts, ideas and processes for a new zoning ordinance.

The FBC committee is finalizing many of its recommendations and plans to share with various community groups over the next two months. Also, there will be a community workshop in late February to obtain additional input.

Once the plans are finalized, incorporating thoughts and ideas from all stakeholders, the FBC document will be presented to the Planning Commission and then the City Council. A public vote in November may also be required.

Go to the Form-Based Code section at or contact Brian Mooney at (858) 755-9313. The site also has a section for comments.

Our meeting schedule is available on the city’s Web site, as are videos of previous televised meetings.