New Pacific Highlands Ranch Elms and Ivy neighborhoods in Carmel Valley approved

By Karen Billing

The Carmel Valley Community Planning Board approved plans for The Elms and The Ivy, a new housing development in Pacific Highlands Ranch at its Oct. 24 meeting. The Elms and The Ivy will include 174 single-family homes on 26.3 acres off Carmel Valley Road near Rancho Santa Fe Farms Road, just east of the future Pacific Highlands Ranch Village Center.

The project also includes an affordable housing component of 28 units on 5 acres on the south side of SR-56, accessed off the Rancho Santa Fe Farms frontage road.

The development will have several different models of homes, ranging from 3,200 square feet to 4,000 square feet in styles such as “classic Americana” and “coastal cottage.”

Randi Coopersmith, senior principal planner with Latitude 33, said the project has gone through many changes as a result of the city’s process. They had to redesign to comply with the community plan to include “alley-loaded” homes (homes with garages tucked behind the homes) and they widened the development’s entrance to make it a 106-foot-wide parkway that aligns with Lopeila Meadows Place across Carmel Valley Road.

“The process has been very productive and I think it’s a much better plan as a result,” Coopersmith said.

The project was also originally planned to have private roads but they will now be public, connecting to the future Village at Pacific Highlands Ranch and the neighboring proposed residential project on the “Lynn property” on the west via the parkway.

The one city requirement that the board did not agree with was building a road to connect to its neighbor to the east, Costa Del Sol. Costa Del Sol was allowed to be built with private roads so a connection will never occur — the road has to simply end at that development.

“It’s detrimental to the neighborhood to have a road to nowhere,” said board member Manjeet Ranu.

In its approval of the project, the board included a condition that instead of using the land for a road, the land should be used as a pocket park or open space

Coopersmith said they plan to be before the city for project approval in December or January.