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Project Description

Black Mountain Ranch lies entirely within the boundaries of the City of San Diego and consists of 4,677 acres of land located south of Santa Fe Valley and adjoining the communities of Fairbanks Ranch and Rancho Peñasquitos. Southern portions of the property are characterized by gently rolling hills, which ascend from the edge of Rancho Santa Fe and Fairbanks Ranch to the base of Black Mountain, a local landmark. This distinctive setting presents views of Del Mar and the Pacific Ocean. Northern portions of the property consist of a relatively flat mesa, promontories of which overlook a broad central plain known as La Jolla Valley.

Approximately one-quarter of Black Mountain Ranch lies within the planning area of the proposed San Dieguito River Park. When assembled, the San Dieguito River Park will extend from Del Mar on the coast to Volcan Mountain more than fifty miles inland. Black Mountain Ranch will provide a critical link between the proposed San Dieguito River Park and the City’s existing Black Mountain Regional Park, providing public access in the area for the first time. In addition, this linkage will preserve approximately 1,760 acres of existing and enhanced habitat, including protection of key wildlife corridors as part of the City’s Environmental Tier and Multiple Species Conservation Program (MSCP).

Resource-Based Planning

The planning of Black Mountain Ranch began with the preparation of a detailed inventory of sensitive lands. This inventory was rigorously compiled in the field and later digitized for the City’s use in mapping the Environmental Tier. While most of the property has been disturbed by past ranching and agricultural uses – uses no longer economically viable – many important biological and landform resources remain.

This resource-based planning has resulted in the proposed retention of no less than sixty percent of the land as permanent open space. Approximately 1,760 acres of this open space will be set aside for the San Dieguito River Park. An extensive system of horseback riding, bicycle, and pedestrian trails will provide public access to this important conservation area. In addition, approximately, 1,060 acres of private open space will be permanently protected by restrictive easements. This area will include active recreation uses, such as golf courses, and private open space areas. Public neighborhood and community parks will add 50 acres to the open space system for a total open space system in excess of 2,870 acres.

World Class Golf

Black Mountain Ranch will include two 18-hole world-class golf courses, which have been designed to meet the requirements of the PGA TOUR. Nationally renowned architects Rees Jones, Robert Weed, Chris Grey and Johnny Miller have done preliminary routing plans. Rees Jones provided final design plans for the recently completed South Golf Course, now named Santaluz.

The southern “hills” course is oriented to the Santaluz residential community and the northern “valley” course will be open to the general public on a daily fee basis. The golf courses and other major landscape areas will be irrigated from a system of lakes or reservoirs fed by reclaimed water provided by the City of San Diego.

A 20-acre resort hotel or lodge is proposed in association with the “valley” golf course located at the foot of Black Mountain in La Jolla Valley. This 300-room facility will serve as a destination resort/conference facility. Its location will also make it a destination for people using the San Dieguito River Park open space and trail system.

Phased Growth

Black Mountain Ranch will evolve in phases:

The first phase (Phase I) of Black Mountain Ranch, encompassing 3,784 acres, is being developed at an overall rural density of one house per four acres in accordance with existing zoning. It will include a mix of single-family housing types clustered in the southern portion of the property in association with the surrounding golf course and open space system. Of the 1,121 units to be constructed during this phase, 179 will be affordable to people of low income. This first phase, known as Santaluz, is now owned and controlled by Santaluz LLC, Phone: (877) 632 6300. Homes and golf course memberships are now available in the Santaluz community and golf course designed by Rees Jones.

A portion of this first phase will be offered to the public on a lot sales basis in anticipation of the construction of custom homes by individual owners. In order to establish and maintain a strong community character, homes will be constructed in accordance with The Black Mountain Ranch and Santaluz design guidelines. Other portions of the property will be built out and sold by a select group of single-family homebuilders following the same strict guidelines. Lots will range in size from 5,000 square feet to over four acres. This phase of Black Mountain Ranch includes extensive public facilities, including major roads, parks and schools. It must also subsidize the affordable housing while yielding positive revenues to the City of San Diego on both a capital and operating basis.

Consistent with the intent of the zoning, clustering of more manageable lot sizes maximizes the amount of open space. As a consequence, more than 2,870 of the 3,784 acres included in Black Mountain Ranch’s first phase can be set aside as open space. This land will be protected either by public dedication or permanent open space easement. Since the sale of lots and homes is anticipated to span at least ten years, change will be gradual. When finished, this first phase will establish a permanent low intensity buffer between existing and planned communities. It should also be noted that once developed at a density of one house per four acres, the land can’t be rezoned for more intensive use – thereby precluding urban sprawl.

The later phases (Phase II-A, B and C) of Black Mountain Ranch will be constructed on the remaining 893 acres of the property. These later phases will further diversify the residential mix of the community. Approvals for these phases were obtained by the July 1998 adoption by the San Diego City Council of the Black Mountain Ranch Subarea Plan and the implementation of the same Subarea Plan in a phase change vote (Prop K in November 1998) by the citizens of the City of San Diego. These later phases will also add necessary commercial and institutional uses, which will be needed as Black Mountain Ranch matures. Up to 3,500 additional homes may be constructed. A compact village strategy has been adopted for the residential development in order to provide a diversity of housing types and prices. This strategy will also optimize pedestrian and public transportation opportunities, while minimizing potential impacts to the basic land forms and surrounding communities.

Phase II-A, the South Village, will be the first of the later phases of development at Black Mountain Ranch. The South Village is traditional in form with streets laid out in a grid pattern. A church, day-care, and senior center complex, an elementary school, fire station, and a community center are envisioned to serve the village and surrounding rural residential areas. Residences will cluster behind a central retail area, with the surrounding neighborhood being single-family in character. The Tentative Map for the South Village was approved by the San Diego City Council on May 16, 2000 and the project is named Verrazzano.

The next phase (Phase II-B) of development at Black Mountain Ranch will be the North Village. The design of the northern village, which is approximately 640 acres in size, is the product of community-based planning by the property owner, the City, the surrounding communities and environmental organizations, including the Sierra Club. The tentative map for the North Village was approved by the San Diego City Council on November 27, 2001. Further planning and engineering will now be coordinated with the development of the adjoining 4-S Ranch and Santa Fe Valley properties in the County. It should be noted that the relatively flat mesa area of the North Village affords a high degree of planning flexibility, since the land is not constrained by the proposed park lands and rolling hills which characterize the first phase.

The last phase (Phase II-C) of Black Mountain Ranch will be the East, West and North Clusters. The East and West Cluster areas are larger lot, single-family residential projects. The tentative maps for these two projects were approved by the San Diego City Council on June 19, 2001. The North Cluster tentative map was approved by the San Diego City Council on February 10, 2004. These projects locate residential areas in the least environmentally sensitive areas of the east, west and north areas of Black Mountain Ranch.

This development program establishes an overall residential density for all of Black Mountain Ranch of approximately one house per acre upon build-out, well within the estimated traffic capacity of the area. A development and infrastructure phasing program will ensure that Black Mountain Ranch maintains adequate levels of service on the regional road system, through the build-out of the project, and will provide immediate transportation system improvements and traffic benefits to surrounding communities. The overall development program currently envisioned for Black Mountain Ranch is detailed below:

Community Benefits

As a consequence of the development of Black Mountain Ranch, a number of benefits will accrue to the City and the entire San Diego region. These include the following:

  • Creation of a permanent low intensity and open space buffer between the adjacent communities of Fairbanks Ranch, Rancho Santa Fe, Rancho Bernardo and Rancho Peñasquitos, guarding against the run-on development characterized by urban sprawl.

  • Permanent protection of a 2,870 acre open space system which will dedicate more than 1,760 acres to the San Dieguito River Park while protecting the remaining private open space by permanent restrictive easements.

  • Provision for public access by means of an extensive system of pedestrian, horseback riding, and bicycle trails which will link the proposed San Dieguito River Park and existing Black Mountain Park.

  • Identification and dedication to the public of critical links in the City’s Environmental Tier, creating a permanent system of coherent wildlife corridors. This protection may serve as mitigation for San Diego’s Clean Water Program while playing a key role in the Multiple Species Conservation Program.

  • An unprecedented contribution of $25 million for capacity improvements to the I-15, I-5 and SR-56 freeway systems.

  • Financing, construction and provision of right-of-way for other important segments of the regional transportation system, such as portions of Camino del Sur, Camino del Norte, San Dieguito Road and Carmel Valley Road.

  • A contribution of over $2 million toward mass transit systems, facilities and operational expenses. A transit center will be located in the heart of the BMR northern village.

  • Construction of a reclaimed water pipeline system and reservoir as a part of the irrigation system for Black Mountain Ranch’s common landscaped areas and golf courses. This facility will be an integral part of a comprehensive water conservation program, which includes a drought resistant landscape theme. This facility will be available for integration into sub-regional water reclamation and reuse programs.

  • Provision for a region-serving, 25-million gallon potable water storage facility.

  • The generation of employment and tax revenues for the City of San Diego. Annual revenues from Black Mountain Ranch to the City will exceed costs to the City for both the capital and operating expenses of the project.

For further information on the Santaluz project
in Black Mountain Ranch Phase I,
please visit:

For further information on
the remaining phases (Phases II-B and II-C)
of Black Mountain Ranch
please visit:

You can also contact us directly at
Black Mountain Ranch LLC
16010 Camino Del Sur
San Diego, CA 92127

Phone: (888) 4DELSUR
Local: (858) 481 4200
Fax: (858) 792 7625