Affordable housing project approved on Old El Camino Real

The project site currently, adjacent to Derby Terrace Apartments on Old El Camino Real.
The project site currently, adjacent to Derby Terrace Apartments on Old El Camino Real.

The City of San Diego Planning Commission approved Del Mar Highlands Estates, a new affordable housing development in the west end of Pacific Highlands Ranch.

The project had previously been approved for 13 affordable housing units and, on Feb. 11, the commission approved an amendment to allow for an additional seven multi-family affordable housing units and six market rate units.

The 26-unit Del Mar Highlands Estates will be located within five two-story buildings on a 1.80-acre site on Old El Camino Real. The Tri Pointe Homes (formerly Pardee Homes) development will consist of 10 two-bedroom units and 16 three-bedroom units. The affordable housing units are intended for families earning no more than 65% of the area median income.

The Del Mar Highlands Estates location.

The Carmel Valley Community Planning Board reviewed and approved Pardee’s plans in April 2020, with the condition that the developers consider color variation and building articulations.

At the Feb. 11 hearing Richard Schulman, an attorney representing the neighboring 24-unit Derby Terrace apartments, had requested a continuance due to concerns regarding street visibility from a project turn lane and a utility easement.

Ann Gonsales, from the city’s development services department, said that they believe that Tri Pointe’s plans were appropriate and the commissioners did not support a continuance after hearing further clarifications from Jimmy Ayala, division president for Tri Pointe Homes.

“The project does not impact in any way, shape or form the adjacent property owner,” Ayala said.

The project is also adjacent to the city’s Multiple Habitat Planning Area open space and per the plan, the surrounding habitat will be preserved.

Ayala said Tri Pointe expects construction to begin in July 2022.