As some of you may know, we recently submitted our revised site plans and studies to the City of Escondido. Changes happen for a variety of reasons, but in this case, the changes were a result of feedback we received from the community and other stakeholders from our original submittal, as well as direction provided to us by the City. Thus, we made modifications to the proposed Safari Highlands Ranch (SHR) development plans. Here’s a snapshot of a few of those changes:
- The City did not want the burden of maintaining an additional public park and asked us to remove it. The revised plan now shows this area has been reconfigured into private open space and new location for the Fire Station. Instead of building a park on our site, we have decided to pay park impact fees and an additional sum of money to improve the existing park systems in the City. We’re currently working with the City to determine the amount of this additional contribution, as well as the use of these funds. Our intent is to see that these additional funds are used to benefit our local community within the City to the maximum extent agreeable to the City.
- A satellite sewage treatment facility (Water Factory) was proposed that would treat liquids on site and use the treated water for common open space irrigation. In order to address the concerns of odor, hazardous materials and long-term maintenance issues, we agreed to eliminate the facility. Our revised plans now include a new proposed connection to City’s recycled water system that will satisfy 100 percent of our open space landscape irrigation needs. This extension of the City’s reclaimed water system through the valley may also allow Rancho San Pasqual, Rancho Vistamonte and Eagle Crest Golf Course to utilize recycled water for their irrigation needs.
- A new fire station near the project’s entrance was in our original plans. In addition, we are currently working with the City of Escondido, the City of San Diego, and CalFire to determine the logistics of staffing and funding the on-going operations of this feature.
- The amount of preserved public open space has been increased by 6.16 acres resulting in approximately 69.2 percent of the entire site being preserved in permanent open space.
- All trails within the proposed open space and throughout the project have now been made public trails.
- We have set aside some property to accommodate the City’s installation of a wet weather recycled water storage near the northeasterly project boundary.
- Various lots within the original building envelope have been reconfigured. Specifically, lots were pulled back from the NE corner in response to comments regarding the proximity of our lots to existing homes in that area.
- SHR Road is now designated and designed as a private rather than a public road. We have designed a significant amount of traffic calming measures throughout the project which will ensure cars aren’t speeding up or down the hill.
We continue to have great discussions with the City and other parties regarding the SHR development. The benefits to the community offered by this project will be numerous and significant. We are working to make it the best we can not only for future SHR residents, but also for our neighbors.