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Revised Watermark to be revealed Dec. 3

DEL MAR — The developers of Watermark Del Mar will hold a workshop to present a scaled-down version of the multifamily complex proposed for the southeast comer of Jimmy Durante Boulevard and San Dieguito Drive.

The event to garner additional public input will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Dec. 3 in the rear courtyard on the third level of the Del Mar Plaza.

The recent alternative was created in response to community comments received during outreach efforts earlier this year.

Preliminary plans revealed in 2013 featured 54 one- to four-bedroom apartments and townhomes on the approximately 2.3-acre lot. The following year City Council approved a specific plan for the proposed development, which eventually was down-sized to 48 units in one- and two-story buildings.

The council action prompted a group of residents to circulate a petition that would require a vote on projects larger than 25,000 square feet that allowed a density bonus, specific plan or zoning change, all of which apply to Watermark.

While the group gathered signatures for what was to become Measure R, which failed to pass in the Nov. 8 election, the development team was working to modify Watermark in response to continual public input.

Arnold Wiesel, who led the Measure R effort, said he has seen the newly revised plans.

“They will modify and modify it until they can get something that’s acceptable, and I think that’s the process they’re in,” Wiesel said. “It seems to me they still have some work to do and then it seems like they might get what they want.

“But they need to conform to the community,” he added. “You can’t put something in there that’s ridiculous.”

Wiesel said he was never “fighting Watermark in and of itself.”

“It’s just that they’re changing zoning laws and the Community Plan to the effect that it impacts not only our community but our immediate neighborhood,” he said.

“They’re in a process and I think it could be a good project but they have to do it in a way that they don’t offend and destroy and build within what is acceptable and reasonable.”

Because Watermark would be located in the north commercial zone, several legislative changes and discretionary permits must be approved before residential units are allowed.

Such land-use modifications require Community Plan and Local Coastal Program amendments and a new zoning map.

The development is slated to include seven affordable units, four of which will be deeded at no cost to a nonprofit benefit corporation selected by the city that will keep all the rental income.

The affordable units will help the city meet the state-approved requirements of its housing element.

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