New Housing and Economic Benefits
Safari Highlands Ranch will create new luxury housing opportunities in Escondido, fulfilling the vision set forth in the City’s General Plan and providing significant economic benefits to the local community, including new jobs and tax revenues for local governments. The project will include amenities such as a private swim and tennis club, pocket parks and viewpoints, public hiking trails and biking trails, and access to award-winning schools and the nearby Eagle Crest Golf Club. A village core located at the heart of the community will provide a gathering place for residents to enjoy community events, concerts, movie nights and more, while an expansive recreational center will include a conference room, commercial space, a small grocery or coffee/convenience store use, fitness center, pool and splash pad, Jacuzzi, basketball court, tot lot and other features.
Improved Public Safety
The proposed project will enhance public safety and fire protection services by improving response times and emergency access for the project site, and for surrounding neighborhoods and schools. Public safety improvements include a new fully equipped, 7,000-square-foot fire station constructed at no cost to the City of Escondido. Taxes and fees generated by the new homes will provide the majority of funding needed to support ongoing operations at the fire station. This new facility will provide emergency services to the San Pasqual Valley within minutes, helping to save lives when seconds count and reducing homeowners’ insurance premiums for nearby residents by up to 50 percent. Safari Highlands Ranch will also provide the community with an alternate emergency access route to exit the San Pasqual Valley to the northwest.
Benefits for Local Schools
Safari Highlands Ranch will support local schools, providing nearly $3 million in development school fees dedicated to the San Pasqual Union School District and a total of over $7 mill in overall school fees to the districts. Specific enhancements will be determined at the discretion of the school board but could include traffic and parking improvements on the San Pasqual Valley Elementary School campus. The project will provide these benefits while maintaining current enrollment at the school and allowing for inter-district transfers to ensure continued diversity. At full buildout, Safari Highlands Ranch is expected to contribute 136 students to the San Pasqual Union School, which currently admits approximately 180 students through inter-district transfer. As a result, the project will leave sufficient capacity to accommodate inter-district transfers without increasing the student population.
Permanent Open Space and Recreational Improvements
The project will preserve up to 70 percent of the site as permanent open space, while providing recreational opportunities such as nine miles of new public trails, and significant improvements and financial stimulus to the Eagle Crest Golf Club. This open space includes the most visible and biologically sensitive portions of the property to achieve the highest standards for environmental conservation, and homes will be clustered to preserve the existing aesthetics. Portions of the open space will be preserved through a permanent conservation easement, with the remainder being maintained through the homeowners association. Safari Highlands Ranch will also help build or fund a new clubhouse for Eagle Crest Golf Club, develop a signature hole, contribute funds for additional improvements and purchase an annual membership for half the community’s new homeowners.
Enhancements to Local Roads and Infrastructure
Traffic improvements will be made as part of the Safari Highlands Ranch project to maintain the current level of service on nearby roads. The project will also provide approximately $4 million for additional improvements outside the project area. Specific enhancements will include a new traffic signal at Rockwood and Cloverdale roads, restriping to add a second westbound lane on Rockwood Road turning south at the intersection, and a median along Rockwood Road from Cloverdale Road ending before San Pasqual Union Elementary School (no parking would be eliminated). A new signal and turn lanes will be installed at State Route 78 and Summit Road, and the intersection at State Route 78 and Cloverdale Road will be reworked to ease the flow of traffic into the Valley. Safari Highlands Ranch has also proposed to design and fund new drop-off and pick-up improvements including additional parking on campus at San Pasqual Union Elementary School to reduce congestion and increase safety during these critical periods of time. Safari Highlands Ranch will also extend reclaimed water infrastructure into the San Pasqual Valley.