Board approves new homes for Rancho Santa Fe community

San Diego County’s Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a plan Aug. 7 that will add 24 single-family homes to a master-planned community near Del Dios Highway in Rancho Santa Fe — Rancho Cielo Estates.

Supervisors said the plan was a big improvement over the one the board rejected in September 2012. That plan proposed building 42 detached condominium-style homes in the gated community of estate homes, including along the top of mountain ridgelines. Board members urged the developer then to go back and work with the community’s residents, their neighbors and San Diego County’s planning department to make the project more compatible with the surrounding area.

At the Aug. 7 board meeting, Supervisor Bill Horn said the new 24-home plan was a much better fit for Rancho Cielo, where the average price of homes sold in 2012 was $1.7 million. Horn’s district includes the community.

“When the project first came to us last year, I was, I guess, very upset that the ridgeline looked like a tract (housing development),” Horn said. “That bothered me. I did not think it met the community character.

“I think you came back with a much better project,” Horn said.

Other supervisors agreed, saying that even though some residents still opposed the 24-home project, the developer compromised “quite a bit” to make improvements.

In addition to reducing the number of residences from 42 to 24, the new project changed the housing types from condos to single family homes and reduced proposed building heights from three stories to two stories.

— County news release