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Lagoon Monster Resurfaces
Jeff Barnouw | Amphitheatre Drive

The photo file was provided by the developer, Milan Capital, to Shawna Anderson of SDRP. Click to enlarge.

Earlier Sandpiper articles recorded the inception and abandonment of a project called Rancho Del Mar (dubbed a “monster by the lagoon” by Pam Slater-Price) intended for the almost 24-acre vacant lot between the former polo fields and Via del la Valle just east of Horse Park. A successor project, Hacienda Del Mar, proposed by the same owner now acting also as developer, Milan Capital of Orange County, includes 150 independent plus assisted living and memory units, 191 beds in all. Less dense than Rancho, Hacienda would have 38% lot coverage, clustered to the east, a mix of one- and two-story buildings, none higher than 34 ft, built on 12 feet of fill, with 11 acres of open space to the west along El Camino Real. 172 parking spaces would all be surface parking around the perimeter. The site is currently zoned AR1-1, one dwelling unit per four acres.

Milan presented the project to a meeting of the Carmel Valley Community Planning Board September 21 and at the November 14 meeting of the Project Review Committee of the Citizens Advisory Committee of the San Dieguito River Park. Most recently a subcommittee of the Carmel Valley Board met to review the terms of the 1985 Proposition A, a citizen-generated “Managed Growth Initiative” which covers the zoning of the Milan lot. Any rezoning would require a San Diego city-wide vote, which Milan hopes to avoid. Milan was represented by a local lawyer David Watson, also a member of the Fair Board, who provided an outline of their current approach.

A Notice of Preparation will be filed in December, followed by a Scoping Meeting with the City of San Diego in January. The project is moving ahead. Watson’s outline argument maintains that Hacienda Del Mar complies with Proposition A because Proposition A allows development “Non-Urban in Character and Scale.” The discussion at the meeting may have prefigured that of future San Diego City deliberations, revolving about the definition of “non-urban.”


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