Development plans are in the works for a new retirement community on the long vacant lot on Calzada Del Bosque and Via De La Valle. The 29-acre property, with its existing big white house, is located at the entrance to Rancho Santa Fe across from Chino Farms.
AmeriCare Health and Retirement, a company headquartered in Solana Beach, purchased the property in August 2021. David Petree, a longtime local resident, came before the Rancho Santa Fe Association board during public comment on Oct. 6 to give them a heads-up on their intention to develop, own and operate a high-end, campus-style retirement and assisted living community on the property.
AmeriCare operates Silvergate retirement properties in Fallbrook, San Marcos and one newly opened in Rancho Bernardo. The company also owns the North Coast Health Center (also known as the “477” medical office building) in Encinitas.
“This presentation is for information purposes only and is solely intended to offer early transparency to our plans for the future use of this land and the development of the property,” said Petree, also a former member of the Santa Fe Irrigation District board. AmeriCare is a family business and his two sons, both Torrey Pines High School alums, run the daily operations and development of new properties.
There aren’t any senior housing opportunities like this in the Covenant and Petree said he has mentioned the project to a few friends in the Ranch who’ve said that they have been waiting for a place like this so they won’t have to leave Rancho Santa Fe and asked how they could get on a waiting list.
“We hope to add this to Rancho Santa Fe as an element of infrastructure,” Petree said.
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This is not the first time that the parcel has been considered for development. In 2006, there was a proposal for 84 senior housing units and it was once considered by the Rancho Santa Fe School District for a new campus before the lot was purchased in 2007 by Golden Eagle Land Investment. Their plans for the property first included a horse-breeding facility and then Rancho Librado, a step-down housing development with 55 age-restricted units and four custom estate lots.
In 2015, Golden Eagle filed a lawsuit against the Rancho Santa Fe Association over its handling of the proposed project—the lawsuit was settled in 2018. Although the project was never officially submitted, there was strong neighbor opposition to the Rancho Librado plans.
Uniquely, 50% of the 29-acre property is in the Covenant and under the jurisdiction of the Association. The Covenant designates the land as “residence district class C” which allows for purposes similar to a retirement home—it would be subject to review and approval by the Art Jury and the board. The county’s zoning ordinance allows the land to be used for higher-density development, subject to the approval of a major use permit.
“We want you to know that the development of the property will comply with all the requirements of the zoning and building codes of the County of San Diego and all the restrictions and provisions of the Regulatory and Protective Covenant codes of Rancho Santa Fe,” Petree said.