The Cantarini Ranch (CT 00-18) and Holly Springs (CT 00-21) residential projects are separate contiguous ownerships located on the south side of College Blvd (future), between El Camino Real and Cannon Road, in northeast Carlsbad, CA.
The Cantarini-Holly Springs projects were approved by the City of Carlsbad in 2005, pursuant to EIR 02-02 and the Sunny Creek Specific Plan (SP 191). Together, they encompass ~260 acres designed and approved for 147 half-acre (minimum size) lots, an 80-unit apartment site (SDP 0–10, “MDR”) and ~120 acres of open space. Lot sizes range from ~ 22,000 to 44,000 sq.ft. Set-backs include 20’ side yards and 35’ front yards.
The Dos Colinas property and contiguous Ride America (former) property (“Equestrian”) are situated along the north side of College Blvd. across from Cantarini Ranch. The Dos Colinas+ Equestrian properties (~60 acres) were purchased by West Partners in October 2007 for development of a seniors housing / Continuing Care Residential Community (”CCRC”).
West (“Bent-West LLC”) purchased Cantarini Ranch in April 2007 with entitlements, resource agency permits, a finance plan and cooperation-development agreements in place. West purchased Dos Colinas without entitlements and endeavored for more than a decade to gain Zone 15 property owner and City approval for its alternative development and financing plans, which ultimately failed. In 2018, West abandoned its 305-unit Dos Colinas CCRC development project and sold its senior housing company, West Living, to MBK.
In 2020, after several failed attempts to sell Cantarini Ranch subject to its private reimbursement agreement (“PRA”), West suspended its development and sale efforts in Zone 15 pending completion of College Blvd. “Reach A” by the City of Carlsbad. As a consequence, current entitlements and permits will expire and no significant Zone 15 development is expected to occur before ~2025/26.
The Cantarini Ranch, Holly Springs and Dos Colinas projects are located in the City of Carlsbad’s Northeast Quadrant in Local Facilities Management Zone 15. Access to the Zone 15 area is achieved via College Blvd., Cannon Road and El Camino Real. Interstate 5 is located approx. 4 miles west, Highway 78 is approx. 3 miles north, and Palomar Airport is approx. 2 miles to the southwest. Major employment centers surround Palomar Airport and are located directly east and south of the Zone 15 area, as well.
Carlsbad’s Growth Management Plan requires Zone 15 development projects to design and finance construction of the last segment of College Blvd., known as “Reach A”, and related off-site facilities. The College Blvd. right-of-way was originally designed and secured by the Bentley-Monarch JV as part of its Cantarini-Holly Springs development projects in 2005. The Lot Line Adjustment Agreement (“LLA”), produced and recorded by Bentley-Monarch, adjusted certain Zone 15 property boundaries and consolidated ownerships along either side of future College Blvd. The LLA also grants an irrevocable Offer of Dedication (“IOD”) for the College Blvd. right-of-way to the City of Carlsbad. Bentley-Monarch also negotiated a Zone 15 private cost-share finance plan, prepared engineered plans and secured state and federal agency permits for College Blvd. “Reach A”.
West’s current ownership of Cantarini Ranch and Dos Colinas+Equestrian, represents approx. 70% of the unimproved College Blvd. ”Reach A” frontage and approx. 35% of the Zone 15 pro-rata cost share.
In 2011, West abandoned the Bentley-Monarch Zone 15 private cost-sharing finance plan in order to pursue a public bond-financing program (1913/15 Bond Act, Mello-Roos/CFD). West’s multi-year effort to garner sufficient property owner and city support for one of its financing schemes, including a municipal bond financing district, a public-private hybrid and its own private reimbursement agreement (“PRA”) ultimately failed.
Traffic studies conducted by the City of Carlsbad (Traffic and Mobility Commission & City Staff) during 2018-19, identified Level of Service (LOS) traffic failures with respect to sections of El Camino Real and Cannon Road adjacent to Zone 15. It was further determined that the solution to these traffic failures, and the extreme safety hazards and inconvenience they cause Carlsbad residents, was to complete the construction of College Blvd.
Recognizing the insurmountable financing challenge that College Blvd. “Reach A” has become for the Zone 15 landowners, the Carlsbad City Council directed Staff to develop a finance and construction program for this final section of College Blvd. Initial reports indicate “Reach A” could be constructed in 2025-26. The most significant impediment may be the process of securing voter approval for the road design and construction costs that will ultimately be recouped from Zone 15 developers.
In addition to the city’s fundamental need to solve the LOS traffic failures and associated public safety hazards, timely completion of College Blvd “Reach A“ will support the additional housing needs identified in the city’s updated Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA/2021-29) as well as the myriad legislative initiatives by the State that are intended to solve California’s housing shortage and affordability “emergency” (ref. SB 330, et al).
The “Zone 15 Development Profile 2021” table presented below provides a summary of Zone 15 properties, proposed development projects, and their relationship to each other. Given the facts that (a) the entitlements for Cantarini Ranch, Holly Springs, Dos Colinas and Rancho Milagro will likely expire before College Blvd. is constructed (2025-26?), and (b) recent State legislation encourages higher density development in order to accelerate new housing supply and achieve greater affordability, the ultimate land use profile of the developed Zone 15 area will probably be substantially different than what is currently indicated.