Plans for Carmel Valley development to be submitted to city by month’s end


By Karen Billing

The Carmel Valley Community Planning Board’s regional issues subcommittee Sept. 5 reviewed plans for a proposed housing development that will bring 177 more homes to Pacific Highlands Ranch. The development is being planned by Taylor Morrison and Latitude 33 and will be submitted to the city by the end of the month.

The development includes 177 homes on 26.3 acres near Rancho Santa Fe Farms Road, just east of the future Pacific Highlands Ranch Village Center.

Access to the development will be in line with Lopelia Meadows Place.

An affordable housing component of 32 units on 5 acres is also included on the piece of the project’s property that extends to the south side of SR-56, accessed off the Rancho Santa Fe Farms frontage road.

Co-chair Anne Harvey, who was involved in the planning of PHR from the early days, said the community was planned down to the details, hoping to avoid bit-by-bit development so the concepts they envisioned wouldn’t get “goofed up.”

The challenge in PHR is that many lots, like the neighboring “Lynn property” next to the proposed project, have yet to be designed and it can be difficult for developers to work together in creating connecting communities.

The land, previously known as the “Kasai property,” is zoned peripheral residential and the density planned is consistent with that zoning, according to Randi Coopersmith, senior principal planner with Latitude 33. The development will have single-family detached homes at a density of 6.7 homes per acre.

While the property developed just east of the project site uses private streets, Coopersmith said their development would have all public streets to provide easy access through to the future Village Center for pedestrians, bicyclists and cars.

The access complements PHR’s concept goal to be a walkable community.

“If you want to have connectivity between projects, you have to have public roads,” Coopersmith said.

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.” Garage placement varies from traditional to tucked behind the home. With the project’s smallest product, they stayed away from having shared alleys with garages facing one another.

The developers strongly believe their product is something that will sell well in the area.

“People really want a smaller traditional home with a backyard,” said April Tornillo, a project manager at Taylor Morrison.

Jan Fuchs, co-chair of the subcommittee, had some concerns about parking.

“We’ve found that the city parking standards didn’t work in Carmel Valley, we have a lot of street parking,” Fuchs said. “It’s got to have enough parking or your neighborhood is going to start looking like a lot of the problem neighborhoods we have here…It’s a tightly planned development and I don’t see a lot of room.”

Coopersmith said that they do meet city code plus some and will have CC and Rs (Covenant, Codes and Restrictions) that state two cars need to be in a garage. Driveways will also be long enough to park additional cars.

Planning board chair Frisco White said there is some concern with isolating the affordable housing component away from the rest of the development and asked them to look at mixing it with the other product to have a more diverse community. He also suggested widening the entrance into the development to make it more of a “grand boulevard” to stress the concept of connectability.