Gables plan makes progress

Development at Clews ranch site may include traffic circle

A traffic circle could be coming to a congested area of Carmel Country Road.

As Gables Residential continues to plan its luxury rental housing development on the current Clews Horse Ranch site, they are submitting plans for a traffic calming measure that would help the traffic flow for neighboring San Diego Jewish Academy, the Pinnacle Apartments and future development that includes a senior living community.

The traffic circle would force those exiting the academy to turn right and drive around the circle. Drivers exiting Pinnacle would also have to slow down to make a slight right out of their driveway.

Michael Yanicelli, Gables director of development, presented some updated plans to the Carmel Valley Community Planning Board last week.

The architecture has an “old Europe, town square look” with details such as clay tile roofs, exposed wood, tower elements and bay windows.

Most members of the planning board liked the design, but others still felt it was too flat.

“It’s a fine addition to the streetscape,” member Scott Tillson said.

“You need some rhythm in the skyline,” Chair Frisco White, an architect, said.

Yanicelli said they would consider adding more variations.

Plans also showed a long dog run and a courtyard area with walking paths, a fire pit, a fitness area and water fountains.

Audience member Karen Cody’s ears perked at the mention of water fountains. She asked if the developers are keeping the current water restriction guidelines in mind.

“The city has given extreme input on drought tolerant plants and the water feature,” Yanicelli said.

Other amenities Gables hopes to offer are a bench, shade structure and dog-waste facility at the entrance to the Carmel Valley Restoration and Enhancement Project trails along Highway 56 at the Tang Road trailhead.

Yanicelli said that the city prefers that they don’t make that addition and just stay out of the Multi-Habitat Planning Area, land set aside to preserve in the city’s Multiple Species Conservation Program.

Board member Christian Clews said that he hopes the city will rethink their stance as the trails are well used and trash can build up on that site.

“That would be a real benefit for the people who use that area,” Clews said.