Latest Rhodes Crossing Proposal Seeks 459 Additional Residences off Camino del Sur Connection
Residents of Rancho Peñasquitos, Torrey Highlands and Black Mountain Ranch are rejoicing over the opening of Camino del Sur Road south of SR-56. Who would have predicted that connecting Park Village Road, Carmel Mountain Road and Camino del Sur would make people so happy? Now that the roads are open, area residents are curious about what will be built on the adjacent land. There are single-family homes, townhomes and apartments under construction, and a vast open lot that looks ready for something big. The proposed plans will impact the area with increased residential density and buildings up to 7 levels.
If you live in 92129, specifically Park Village, Torrey Highlands, Black Mountain Ranch or anywhere in the vicinity of the newly opened Camino del Sur connection, you may have heard of “Rhodes Crossing”, a land development project proposed by developer Keith Rhodes, on 147-acres near Camino del Sur, south of SR-56. In 2004, the Planned Development Permit and Vesting Tentative Map approved the development of 150 single family dwelling units (SFDU), 584 multifamily dwelling units (MFDU), 273,855 sq.ft. of self-storage, 257,200 sq.ft. of shopping center commercial development and a 3.5-acre passive park for the land.
After the 2004 approval, an amendment to the original entitlements was successfully processed which changed the section east of Camino del Sur and north of the new extension of Carmel Mountain Road from “shopping center commercial and residential use” to “commercial office and residential use”.
This section of Rhodes Crossing now known as “Merge 56” was sold around 2012 to Seabreeze Properties. In turn, they partnered with Lennar Corporation to build the “Arlo” residential development of homes and townhomes you see taking shape there today. In addition, Seabreeze Properties are amending the entitlements to change the land use designation to allow for a research laboratory facility with an onsite daycare center and a hotel.
The original Rhodes Crossing development approvals also included a 7-acre parcel located to the west of Camino del Sur designated for 342 MFDU/apartments. Rhodes sold this parcel, and an apartment complex is under construction by Holland Partner Group that includes 10 three and four-story buildings, a parking structure, a swimming pool, and a meeting room. The project is known as “Camino del Sur Apartments” until a new marketing name is assigned closer to completion. Driving by you see the parking garage and residential units taking shape.
Mr. Rhodes retained ownership of the remaining areas of the “Rhodes Crossing” land which now consists of approximately 35 acres. In June 2022, Mr. Rhodes submitted to the City of San Diego Planning Department, a request for a Community Plan Amendment, a Rezone, a Vesting Tentative Map & Site Development Plan, to change the use of the remaining residential land from single family to multi-family. If the amendments are approved, the project will change from 52 single family dwelling units and 3.5-acre passive park to 511 apartment units and no proposed passive park, in the same amount of space.
2004 Approved Plan
Lot 8: 14 Single Family Homes
Lot 2: 38 Single Family Homes
Area 3b: 3.5 Acre passive park
TOTAL: 52 SINGLE FAMILY HOMES vs.
2022 Proposed Amendments
Lot 9: 94 Condominiums (3 Story)
Lot 2: 83 Condominiums (3 Story)
Lot 5: 287 Apartments (5 Story + loft and rooftop amenities. Building height 87’9′ from grade.
Lot 14: 47 Senior apartments (3 story) with no proposed passive park
TOTAL: 511 APARTMENTS
The requested amendment was on the agenda of the September 7, 2022, Rancho Peñasquitos Planning Board (RPPB) meeting. The applicant, developer Keith Rhodes, did not attend or make a formal presentation at the meeting. The community members who attended in person and online to comment on the proposal raised concerns about the extreme increase in housing density, the lack of adequate active and passive open space for the number of residents, the effect on traffic circulation on the recently completed 2-lane Camino del Sur connection, the added stress on schools, the impact on adjacent existing single-family homes and neighborhoods and on the sensitive Del Mar Mesa Preserve ecosystem. The placement of a 5 story + loft and rooftop amenities apartment structure adjacent to existing single-family homes on Senda Panacea Road was a concern to everyone present.
The amendment is a “Process 5” which means it eventually must be approved by the San Diego City Council, a process that could take a year or two. According to the application, there will be opportunities for public comment and to follow the project as it receives further review.
If you are interested in the progress of this proposal, here are ways you can stay informed and participate in the public review and comment:
Community Noticing: Meetings held in our local community, where your comments and participation are valuable.
- The current chair of the Rancho Peñasquitos Planning Board (RPPB) is Brian Reschke. Email email@example.com and ask to be added to the distribution list for announcements of RPPB meetings and agendas. RPPB agendas are separate from City noticing.
- The amendments proposed for Merge 56 will be presented at the Rancho Peñasquitos Planning Board Land Use Subcommittee meeting on January 4, 2023 from 6:00 – 7:30 pm at Rancho Peñasquitos Library, 13330 Salmon River Rd, San Diego, CA 92129. The proposal is shown as an action item on the agenda. (Check time and location online)
Here is a link to the proposed plans that will be presented at the January 2023 meeting:
- Follow the website of The Rancho Peñasquitos Planning Board. Meetings are on the first Wednesday of the month. 6:30 pm is the Land Use Committee, 7:30pm is the Planning Board Meeting. Check here for agendas and meeting locations: https://sites.google.com/site/ranchopenasquitosplanning/home
- Subscribe to Rancho Peñasquitos Community Planning Group (CPG) Public Notices and Agendas. SD Community Planning Groups Scroll down on the bottom right of the page to “Sign Up to Stay Informed” and click on the SUBSCRIBE NOW button, then choose the Rancho Peñasquitos email list from the menu and provide your contact information.
City Noticing: The following information is provided by the City of San Diego Development Services Department and is based on if the project is determined to require an Environmental Impact Report. To be added to the Interested Party Noticing List to receive California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) notices, email your request to Benjamin Hafertepe at BHafertepe@sandiego.gov
There is a Public Notice website Public Hearings, Meetings and Notices | Development Services | City of San Diego Official Website scroll down to “Public Notices” and follow the prompts.
Concurrent with community noticing, there are four opportunities for public comment as the proposed amendments go through the environmental review for conformance with CEQA:
- Notice of Preparation: The first step is during the Notice of Preparation 30-day comment period for CEQA. Interested parties/stakeholders and the Community Planning Group (CPG) can comment via mail, email, or during a required public environmental scoping meeting. The date/details will be announced with more information posted at sandiego.gov/ceqa/meetings. Rhodes Crossing Development, Project 1063437
- CEQA If it is determined to require an EIR (Environmental Impact Report): When the EIR is released for public review, the public will have a 45-day comment period.
- Before Public Hearing: The project is anticipated to be presented to the CPG for a recommendation before the public hearing. A CPG recommendation for approval or denial is encouraged but not required.
- Planning Commission and City Council: The public can comment on the project at the hearings. If you would like to receive CEQA notices and Notice of Public Hearing(s), please email Benjamin Hafertepe at BHafertepe@sandiego.gov
Future blog posts will provide further information about Merge 56 and The Preserve. If you find this information helpful, please let us know by leaving a brief comment.
Our thanks to Jeanette Poole and Jon Becker (RPPB affiliated) and Ben Hafertepe, City of San Diego Development Services Department who contributed to this article. (November 2022)