By Karen Billing
The Carmel Valley Community Planning Board got a look at another proposed project for the growing Pacific Highlands Ranch community at its June 27 meeting. The board responded favorably to initial designs for 130 high-end, luxury condos and 30,000-square- feet of medical office space on 4.9 acres east of Canyon Crest Academy and next door to the future Village at Pacific Highlands Ranch on Carmel Valley Road.
Developers John and Mike Finley of Equity Properties Group presented their conceptual plans for their mixed-use project, which they aim to submit to the city in late July.
The Finley property shares boundaries with two future development sites, the “Lin” and “Gonzales” properties, off Village Loop Drive. The planning board recently reviewed another housing development in PHR, The Elms and The Ivy, 174 single homes located further east on Carmel Valley Road near Rancho Santa Fe Farms Road.
The Finleys’ initial conceptual design for the project includes 109 market rate luxury condos and 21 affordable housing units.
John Finley said their vision is to stay consistent with the general plan and provide a pedestrian-friendly link to the Village and activate the street with vertical mixed-use, with both office and homes facing the access street, Village Way.
“We tried to find ways to make [the street] look friendly with overhangs, balconies and French windows because the curving street creates a special feeling of warmth,” said architect Ricardo Rabines of Safdie Rabines Architects.
Board member Anne Harvey complimented the architects on “hugging the curves” with buildings.
The project’s green space will create a “linear park” along Carmel Valley Road, chair Frisco White observed, making for what he thinks will be a “pleasant walkway.”
The project’s open space fronting Carmel Valley Road will have gardens, clubhouse/gym, tennis courts and pool — the residences and offices buildings will be located in the interior of the project.
The second story residential units above the medical offices will feature open floor plans and outdoor terraces. The units will be one- to-three-bedroom single-level flats and there will also be a penthouse option.
Planning board member Brian Brady questioned why the developers are opting for medical offices over retail for their mixed use element.
Finley said they made the decision as there is a void of medical offices in PHR, however, he noted the plan is flexible and if there is more demand for retail it could change.