Watermark Del Mar is a new residential community that will be built at the intersection of Jimmy Durante Boulevard and San Dieguito Drive in the city of Del Mar. This community will transform what is now an unsightly vacant lot into an attractive northern gateway to the Village of Del Mar.
Watermark Del Mar will offer 50 homes in a three-story multi-family residential project on a 2.37 acre site. It will provide studio, one, two, and three-bedroom apartments, recreational areas for residents, and parking garage with 105 vehicle spaces in an open garage parking podium. Mediterranean and native coastal California landscaping will promote drought tolerance, beautify the property, and substantially conceal the parking area from view.
Watermark Del Mar was approved by the City of Del Mar in April 2022. Because the City failed to rezone the Watermark properties to allow for residential use within the timeframes outlined in the 5th Cycle Housing Element, the project was entitled to “by-right” processing with the zoning designations contemplated in the Housing Element.*
Additionally, the approval of Senate Bill 330 gave the project a vested right to the regulatory framework existing at the time its Preliminary Application was deemed submitted. The review process ensured that the project was consistent with the Housing Element, restrictions imposed on environmentally sensitive resources, and allowed for an expeditious project approval process. Approval of the project demonstrates the City of Del Mar’s desire to address the on-going housing crisis in the State of California and remove barriers to much needed affordable housing.
The project was appealed to the California Coastal Commission on May 9, 2022. It is anticipated that the Coastal Commission will consider this appeal in late
2022 or early 2023.
*pursuant to California Government Code section 65583(g)(1)
Yes. At the request of the City of Del Mar, the Watermark Del Mar development team has posted informational webcast to provide information about the project and provide answers to questions that we have received. Watch the webcast.
Watermark Del Mar will offer several benefits to the Del Mar community. Probably the most important benefit is that it will provide much-needed housing at a time when it is critically needed. Ten of the 50 homes will be set aside for residents with low incomes, and these units will help the city of Del Mar meet state-mandated requirements for affordable housing. Other benefits include:
Access to Education: In Del Mar education is highly valued and citizens take great pride in the quality of its primary and secondary education offerings as well its connection to UCSD. Watermark Del Mar will provide its residents access to some of the state’s top rated primary and secondary schools regardless of income level.
Watermark Del Mar will be a high-quality rental community. It will incorporate a mix of studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom homes to meet a diverse range of housing needs. The majority of the homes will rent for market rate, while ten of units will be designated as affordable homes for residents with low, very low, and extremely low incomes.
State law requires that cities, including Del Mar, provide affordable housing consistent with the Regional Housing Needs Assessment and detail how this will be accomplished in a certified Housing Element. The City of Del Mar Community Plan Housing Element 2013-2021 was adopted by the Del Mar City Council on May 20, 2013 and certified by the State of California on June 6, 2013 (the City’s updated Housing Element 2021-2029 has not yet been certified by the state). Watermark Del Mar will help meet a portion of the city’s obligations for affordable homes as detailed in the Housing Element.
No. The affordable homes will be designed to be indistinguishable from the market-rate units. They will share the same amenities and be a part of the Watermark Del Mar community.
After the project successfully gets through the Coastal Commission appeal process, the next step is to prepare construction documents and obtain building permits from the city of Del Mar. Construction will begin when building permits are issued and it is expected to take between 18 and 24 months to complete.
San Dieguito Land Partners has built a number of successful projects throughout San Diego County. Anthony Cassolato, principal of San Dieguito Land Partners, LLC, completed the highly acclaimed Gallery project in Encinitas. His family has been in Del Mar since 1945.
Kitchell has more than 70 years’ experience building, developing, and managing projects throughout the U.S. With offices in San Diego, the company has a strong local presence and extensive experience in the region.
Starck Architecture + Planning is a San Diego-based architectural firm with 40+ years of residential and mixed-use innovation. The firm has established a reputation for its ability to develop exceptional designs that respond to changing market conditions and client needs.
Based in Cardiff, Sowards & Brown lends its extensive local experience and expertise to Watermark Del Mar. Sowards & Brown has completed multiple projects in Del Mar and along the north county coastline.
Founded in 1983, Schmidt Design Group has provided quality landscape architecture and planning services throughout southern California and the western United States. The firm has a passionate commitment to environmental sensitivity and focuses on creating signature spaces that reflect the character and vision of the communities in which they work.