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Neighborhood amenities key to Otay Ranch success

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Neighborhood amenities such as private swim clubs, walking trails, abundant parks, shopping and technically advanced schools are key to Otay Ranch's success.

"Our homebuyers are attracted by the 'small town experience' built into our plan," said Kent Aden, executive vice president of The Otay Ranch Co., developer of the 5,300-acre pedestrian-friendly community. "By integrating must-have amenities with the neighborhoods, residents can easily meet friends for a pick-up game of basketball, gather at a coffee shop, attend a PTO meeting, or pick up a few items at the store - all without using a car. The result is a neighborly village-style community where residents regularly run into neighbors as part of their ordinary routine."

Otay Ranch's neighborly design has obviously hit a cord with homebuyers. Otay Ranch has consistently been one of the top-selling planned communities in San Diego County since its inception in 1999. Last year, nearly 900 homes were sold.

"By concentrating on well-designed community amenities, we're building community spirit and cohesion," said Aden. "And, we've enhanced the residential areas to further the sense of neighborliness."

Neighborhoods include tree-lined streets with parkways and many homes feature inviting front porches and large front windows. Some homes were also designed with recessed garages or garages tucked in back, accessible from the alley. The result is a streetscape that emphasizes residents, not their cars.

Homes are now selling in the new French County-inspired village of Hillsborough, where a variety of single-family homes, townhomes and condominiums are arranged around an inviting village core. Currently, five neighborhoods, priced from the low $300,000s to the low $800,000s, are selling and two neighborhoods are nearing close out.

The Otay Ranch Co. has recently commenced grading on Montecito Ridge, a new enclave of homes located just south of the village of Hillsborough.

Montecito Ridge is planned to feature a collection of 360 single-family homes on a ridge overlooking the 280-acre Wolf Canyon. Plans call for four single-family-home neighborhoods, a pedestrian park, a landscaped paseo and walking/biking trails that lead to amenities throughout Otay Ranch.

Montecito Ridge will feature Santa Barbara-inspired architecture and a Mediterranean atmosphere. Guest builders will include Oakwood Development, Pacific Coast Communities, The Sunrise Co. and Kane Development.

Nearly half of the homes are expected to offer four to five bedrooms and two-car garages and the other half will be homes designed with garages in the back with alley access. Sales are anticipated to start in the fall.

Residents of Montecito Ridge will be within easy walking distance of the many future amenities being planned in the neighboring village of Montecito, planned to be underway in early 2006. The nearby village of Montecito, encompassing more than 800 acres, is planned to offer an urban core with an estimated total of more than 300,000 square feet of shopping and entertainment venues along with a variety of parks and community facilities.

Information on all of Otay Ranch's available neighborhoods, including floor plans and virtual tours, is available on the community Web site at otayranch.com.

The phone numbers are (619) 421-8811 or toll-free (800) 421-9088.

Metz is principal of Metz Public Relations

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