The 204-acre Castlerock community development came one step closer to reality when the Padre Dam Municipal Water District unanimously approved annexation into its jurisdiction Oct. 16.
The housing project needed the water district’s approval to ensure water and sewer services to the planned 430 units, parks and open space.
This vote comes after the San Diego City Council agreed to let the city of Santee annex the land the proposed residential development sits on. The project borders Santee and San Diego city limits, off state Route 52 and north of Mast Boulevard.
“Castlerock will provide significant new revenues to Santee, supporting vital public services and new housing options for Santee families,” said Jimmy Ayala, director of community development for the project’s developer Pardee Homes.
The action by the Santee City Council also allocates about $100,000 to improve infrastructure.
The final approval of the jurisdiction change will come from the San Diego Local Agency Formation Commission made up of eight members of local government agencies and one from the public.
“The city of Santee will submit an application for approval,” Ayala said, adding that a vote could come in six to 12 months. “I don’t see lots of issues that would force this project not to move forward.”
The Castlerock master planned community calls for 283 single-family, detached homes and 147 multifamily, detached homes on a vacant land bordered by Medina Drive to the east and West Hills Parkway. The homes would range from 1,700 to 3,800 square feet.
The project would also include a four-acre park, several smaller parks and four vernal pools, providing habitat for the endangered San Diego fairy shrimp. Nearly half the property — totaling 94 acres — would be left as open space, including 90 acres that would be added to Mission Trails Regional Park.
Pardee Homes estimates the project will create 650 construction jobs and 500 permanent jobs.
Ayala added engineering work and grading of land would begin soon, and that the total Castlerock project would take four years to complete, barring economic difficulties.
“I’m excited because we’ve been working for more than 10 years on this project,” said Ayala, after the San Diego City Council approved the annexation, adding that more than 100 community meetings have been held.
During public comment at City Council meetings, residents and groups such as the local chapter of the Sierra Club and Preserve Wild Santee opposed the project, citing sewage, traffic and fire protection concerns.
Castlerock’s incorporation into Santee would ensure the city receives financial benefits such as property and sales tax revenues, traffic improvement fees and public facilities and park fees.
If the San Diego Local Agency Formation Commission does not approve the annexation of Castlerock’s property into Santee, the project could still be developed within San Diego city limits.
Castlerock site plan (pdf)