Making it in San Diego: Del Mar could hike fees to bring affordable housing

Posted at 6:04 PM, May 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-21 21:07:09-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Del Mar may be the county's smallest city, but it has no shortage of workers commuting in every day to serve its residents and tourists.

They're coming from as far away as Oceanside, La mesa, and Rancho Penasquitos. It's because the city - with a median home price of $2.7 million - has no affordable housing. 

"If they could live here and walk to work we'd get all kinds of benefits from that," said Del Mar Mayor Dwight Worden. 

To help make that happen, Del Mar may start charging developers of condos and condo conversions fees by the square foot. That could add to more than a hundred thousand dollars per project for affordable housing. 

Right now developers of those projects pay a flat fee of $23,500, which hasn't been updated since 2007.

The city council is considering a $30 per square foot charge for existing construction and $60 per square foot for new construction.

The money would either go to expanding Del Mar's rent subsidy program, which currently assists five families in the city.

Worden, however, said he prefers physical units because they are there forever. Del Mar currently has no affordable housing units, but the state requires it to have about 70. 

Worden said two currently proposed developments would include units, but he also would like the city to use the extra money to apply for federal and state grants.

He also floated the idea of Del Mar buying an apartment building, converting them to condos, selling a portion of them to recoup its investment, and keeping some for low-income workers.