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Watermark Del Mar is a new residential community proposed at the intersection of Jimmy Durante Boulevard and San Dieguito Drive. This community will transform what is now a vacant lot into a welcoming northern gateway to the Village of Del Mar.

In 2015, Watermark Del Mar was submitted to the City of Del Mar as a 48-home project with a concealed below grade parking structure. After receiving comments on the project from the public, the team developed a new, reduced density alternative with 38 homes in response to the comments received. Called the Community Response Alternative, this alternative will be evaluated alongside the original proposed project in the Draft Environmental Impact Report.

Below is a comparison of the two project alternatives:

Number of homes 48 38
Number of affordable homes 7 (4 donated to City) 6 (3 donated to City)
Density (units/acres) 20.25 16.3
Lot Coverage 0.45 0.39
F.A.R. 0.67 0.60
Number of parking spaces 108

96 resident/12 guest

2 spaces per unit/0.25 guest spaces per unit

Minimum of 100

81 resident/19 guest

Minimum 2 spaces per unit/0.50 guest spaces per unit


Both project alternatives help fulfill the vision of the Del Mar Housing Element for this site as an appropriate location for high-quality multifamily homes. Both alternatives also:

  • Incorporate a variety of floor plans and range of home sizes (from 3 bedroom to studios) to meet the diverse housing needs of the community.
  • Accommodate parking in a concealed garage carefully integrated into the topography of the site, which will screen vehicles from view, reduce light and noise impacts and provide secure parking for residents and guests.
  • Include a pool, spa area, and a small recreation room for use by Watermark Del Mar residents.


This new Community Response Alternative design incorporates a number of changes to address comments that were received from the public.


  • Number of units reduced by 21 percent, from 48 homes to 38 homes
  • Average number of units per building reduced from 3.7 to 2.2
  • Lot coverage reduced by 15 percent
  • F.A.R. reduced by 12 percent
  • Interior courtyard areas increased


Streetscape Presentation

  • More space created between buildings, reducing bulk and mass of the project
  • Second floors stepped back from the street
  • Setbacks from the street increased
  • Pool area setback from the street increased
  • Pool trellis removed and additional landscape screening added
  • Shade trees and ornamental plantings added to improve pedestrian experience along the streets
  • Retaining wall adjacent to sidewalk eliminated
  • Will work with City and SDG&E to underground power lines


Impacts to adjacent neighbors – Noise, View, Light

  • Eliminated rooftop air conditioning units
  • Eliminated second floor deck areas facing Heather Lane
  • Front doors oriented away from neighbors
  • Eliminated one hillside unit to increase setback
  • Decreased second floor building mass along Heather Lane
  • Increased landscape buffer area along Heather Lane
  • Increased setback on both residential property lines
  • Added fence and dense landscaping to screen view on both residential property lines
  • Low level/dark sky lighting
  • Removed roof decks on all hillside units
  • Increased space between buildings on hillside units



  • Minimum 100 total parking spaces – 81 spaces for residents (minimum 2 per unit) and 19 spaces for guests (0.5 space per unit, twice the required amount)



  • Reduces traffic impacts an additional 21 percent from the 48-home proposal; results in a total reduction in traffic impact of 34 percent from the office use approved for the site

Benefits to the Community

Both Watermark Del Mar project alternatives would realize a number of benefits for the Del Mar community.

  • Creates a Gateway to the Village. Watermark Del Mar will create a beautiful coastal-inspired gateway to the Village of Del Mar. The terraced hillside design will blend seamlessly into the adjacent neighborhood and be consistent with the greater Del Mar community.
  • Supports the Residential Character of the Neighborhood. Watermark Del Mar will transform the northern entry to Del Mar from its current commercial/warehouse character to one that is compatible with the adjacent residential neighborhood.
  • Increases Property Tax Revenue. Watermark Del Mar will increase the value of the property, resulting in substantially more property tax revenue for the City.
  • Boosts Local Businesses. Watermark Del Mar’s residents will provide a new customer base for local businesses.
  • Helps Meet Del Mar’s Housing Needs. Watermark Del Mar will help meet the goals of the City of Del Mar’s Housing Element (the 48-home proposal would provide 79 percent of the units required in the Housing Element; the 38-home proposal would provide 62 percent of the units required). All of the homes will be built to high quality, for-sale standards.  While the majority of the homes will be market rate, both alternatives propose to designate some of the homes as affordable, with a select number of these deeded to the City.
  • Offers Multi-Generational Housing Opportunities. The project’s range of home types will meet a variety of needs, including Del Mar residents looking to downsize their homes, families, and professionals.

High-Quality Homes and Environmentally Responsible Design

Watermark Del Mar will be a superior project with a number of environmentally responsible features:

  • Single story buildings at the corner create an open and welcoming introduction to the project.
  • Views along San Dieguito Drive to the natural sandstone bluffs are maintained.
  • A variety of architectural elements and themes established throughout the Village are reflected in the design of the homes.
  • The project will feature Energy Star Appliances, high-efficiency lighting, and high-efficiency HVAC Systems to reduce energy consumption.
  • Radiant roofing barriers, enhanced insulation and ventilation, and Low-e windows will support Watermark Del Mar’s focus on energy efficiency, sustainability, and high quality amenities.
  • Mediterranean and native coastal California landscaping will promote drought tolerance and unify the site with the surrounding landscape.
  • Smart irrigation systems are planned for the unique planting zones to maintain robust vegetation with economical use of irrigation water.
  • On-site wetlands will be buffered and preserved to maintain natural open space resources.
  • Watermark Del Mar will offer convenient pedestrian and cyclist access to the River Path Del Mar lagoon trail, bike routes, beaches, restaurants, businesses, and shops.
  • Watermark Del Mar encourages alternative modes of transportation, and the residential use is expected to generate less traffic than the office complex currently approved on the property.