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Frequently Asked Questions


What is being proposed and where?

  • Voters are being asked to approve a Specific Plan that envisions a 99-bed assisted-living facility on a vacant, 2.91-acre lot immediately east of Interstate 5 at 959 Genevieve.
  • If voters approve this land-use, the developer would then apply for permits and complete environmental studies to construct a two story building that would run parallel to the freeway. 

What is an assisted-living facility?

  • Solana Beach Municipal Code Section 17.060.1OO(B) provides this definition: “(A facility) with or without food service(s) and kitchen facilities, for 24-hour non-medical care of persons in need of personal services, supervision, or assistance essential for sustaining the activities of daily living or for the protection of the individual."
  • The State of California, which licenses and regulates Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly, defines them as “residential home(s) for seniors aged 60 and over who require or prefer assistance with care and supervision. Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly may also be known as Assisted Living facilities, retirement homes and board and care homes.”
  • Quality senior living communities offer recreation and enrichment programs in addition to assisted-living and memory care services.
  • Learn more: 

Why does Solana Beach need an assisted-living facility?

  • Solana Beach is home to an aging population. A San Diego Association of Governments report shows that from 2020 to 2035, the number of Solana Beach residents who are 70 or older will climb from nearly 2,200 to 3,500. During that same time period, the number of residents who are 80 or older will nearly double, from 660 to 1,271. That’s a 93 percent increase.
  • Our seniors deserve the option to stay in their community if they need assisted living. Similarly, residents with aging parents should be able to find quality lodgings and care for them right in Solana Beach.
  • Today, a single, 105-bed assisted-living community is open in Solana Beach. The facility generally is filled to capacity with a waiting list. It also provides no specialized housing for residents with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia.
  •  Another complication is the lack of open land in Solana Beach to build a quality assisted-living project to meet the community’s need.

Why is a Specific Plan being proposed?

  • The Solana Beach Senior Care Specific Plan seeks to increase floor area ratios to improve existing standards for sleeping areas, storage, bathrooms, common living areas and open space. This will provide larger spaces for the amenities and comforts Solana Beach residents would want for themselves and their loved ones. 
  • A Specific Plan establishes a regulatory framework and guidelines to ensure the project meets the expectations and needs of the community.

Why is the initiative process being used?

  • The Solana Beach Senior Care Initiative follows the process set in Proposition T, a citizen initiative passed in 2000, which requires that voters approve changes to the city’s general plan, such as the Specific Plan proposed for the Genevieve site. The initiative process enables voters to approve the proposed land-use and its package of accompanying guidelines and development standards.
  • Under Proposition T, registered voters in Solana Beach assume a direct role in approving rules and restrictions for land-use on the Genevieve property.
  • If the initiative passes, plans for project would then be subject to a public approval process that includes hearings before the View Assessment Committee, City Council and California Coastal Commission. The project also would face the scrutiny of an environmental impact report.

How can I support this initiative?

  • Sign the petition to bring the initiative to a public vote. Encourage your friends to do the same. Register your e-mail address to be notified of public workshops, open houses and City meetings. Attend those meetings and provide input. Stay in touch!

When will the vote take place?

  • If enough signatures are gathered, voting for the Solana Beach Senior Care Specific Plan could happen as soon as late Fall 2017.


What services will this Residential Care Facility for the Elderly provide?

  • The Residential Care Facility for the Elderly will provide assisted living and memory care services. It will not provide medical care and is not a skilled nursing facility. Services would include memory care, housekeeping, meals, laundry, transportation, entertainment and other non-medical assistance. The facility would not be licensed for medical care and skilled nursing.

 What will this project do for the neighborhood?

  • The project is planned for vacant property adjacent to northbound Interstate 5. Just north of the site is a 3-story office building and a nursery yard. To the east and south are single-family homes. An assisted-living facility would provide a compatible and logical transition among the neighboring buildings.
  • It would also provide a valuable noise buffer between existing homes and the freeway. The building would block noise and sightlines to the freeway but would not obstruct horizon views.
  •  As an added benefit, and to maintain the rural character of the neighborhood, site plans call for preserving the Marine View Avenue frontage as open space.
  • The project would be designed to blend with nearby properties. It would not create a substantial traffic increase as most of its residents don’t drive but would provide street improvements along the project frontage, including a public pathway along Marine View Avenue.

What will it look like?

  • Plans call for a two-story building of craftsman styling -- clad in shingles and supported by heavy timbers – that runs parallel to the freeway. A terraced roofline would cap a well-articulated façade. The service bay and parking garage entrance would be located on the west side of the building and out of view from neighboring homes.
  • Inside the building, individual rooms will contain one or two beds and be furnished with convenience features such as a sink, small refrigerator and microwave oven to complement the full-service kitchen, cafe and common dining rooms where meal service would be provided.

Will the project include sustainability features?

  • Yes. Project designers want to hear from the public as to what those features should include. Green features that are under consideration include: Solar collectors on the roof and parking lot shade structures, green roof elements, permeable pavers in hardscaped areas, on-site gardens for food production, drought-tolerant native landscapes, energy-efficient HVAC, rain harvesting and gray-water systems, natural interior lighting and energy-efficient walls and windows.

Will this facility serve only seniors?

  • The majority of residents would be seniors, but the facility would also serve adults who need memory care or assistance with daily living, such as injured military veterans.

Why is this a good site for an assisted-living facility?

  • With our City's aging population, the demand for quality residential care facilities is only going to grow. Residents of Solana Beach want the opportunity, for themselves and their loved ones, to remain in their community if they can no longer live independently.
  • The Genevieve Street site provides adequate space and is near shopping, medical offices and other services. The property adjoins a mix of residential, office and business uses.  It is also one of few, if not the only, piece of vacant property in Solana Beach that meets the size requirements for a project of this type.
  • Because of its proximity to the freeway and a large office building, the property is less attractive for single family homes, which could explain why it has sat vacant for so many years.

What kind of environmental review will be required?

  • An Environmental Impact Report will be prepared in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act and City of Solana Beach regulations. This will include opportunities for public input throughout the process. A vote of the City Council is required to certify the EIR.

Who is developing the project?

  • Experienced local developer John DeWald is managing the development of this project. 

How can I provide input on the project design?

  • During the initiative process and after the vote, the public can provide input at neighborhood meetings, public hearings and in writing.
  • Sign up for email alerts at 

How can I get involved?

  • Register your e-mail address to be notified of public workshops, open houses and City meetings. Attend those meetings and provide input. Stay in touch!