Jeff Barnouw | Amphitheatre Drive
Dubbed “an out-of-control Monster” by Pam Slater-Price (Sandpiper June 2012), the Rancho Del Mar project has been abandoned. New plans for a managed care retirement community on the nearly 22-acre floodplain lot between the Polo Fields and Via de la Valle will no longer call for 224 dwelling-units including 52 casitas. What the new project would include remains to be determined.
But the initial approach of the developers has definitely changed. Milan Capital Management of Anaheim, which already owned the property but did not head the previous proposal, has reached out to community groups who opposed Rancho Del Mar. In early June three executives of the land devel`opment and management firm along with their local lawyer, David E. Watson, met with Jay Powell, Cory Ha’o and Jeff Barnouw of the coalition “Protect San Dieguito River Valley” and Jan Fuchs and Anne Harvey from the Carmel Valley Planning Board. Signs of good will were exchanged, channels of communication opened.
A critical issue raised by the Monster project was the attempt, abetted by planning staff and others at the City of San Diego, to bypass the 1985 Proposition “A” Managed Growth Initiative voted by the people of the City of San Diego. Prop A requires that rezoning for such a project on agriculturally zoned land go to a popular vote. We’ll see whether the eventual proposal will be acceptable to the point that the developers would risk such a vote, or try to finesse it once more. Stay tuned.