What is being proposed for the old Stoneridge Country Club property?
The Farm in Poway is a proposed new neighborhood that incorporates the best of our community – high-quality homes, abundant open space, and a rural appeal that celebrates “The City in the Country.” Proposed by longtime Poway resident Kevin McNamara, The Farm in Poway will offer a variety of housing options for Poway families including large lot single family homes, clustered single-family homes, and twin homes. The community is designed to promote a “farm-to-table” lifestyle, with community gardens, farmers markets, and small-scale artisan agriculture for local consumption. More than 60% of the property will be preserved and maintained as open space in perpetuity, ensuring that The Farm community will be centered around conservation, agriculture, and recreation.
What are all of the options for this parcel of land?
Realistically, there are two options - develop the property or have it remain as it is today. Developing the property allows for it to generate revenue that can fund open space preservation and public amenities. Without the ability to generate revenue, there will be no funding to restore the open space areas.
The Farm in Poway was designed to balance development and open space preservation. The project proposes 160 homes on 117 acres which will allow for 60% of the land to be preserved as open space in perpetuity.
What size homes are planned? How many?
The project includes a total of 160 homes on just more than 117 acres. Housing types include:
What do you anticipate pricing to be on the proposed homes?
The homes would not be delivered to market for several years, so the projected pricing is not known at this time. If the homes were for sale in today’s market we would anticipate sales prices ranging from $800,000 to $1.4 million.
How will this project fit in with the existing community?
The Farm in Poway has been carefully designed to be compatible with the surrounding community. Conservation open space is a key feature in the community’s design. Not only does the open space provide a buffer between existing homes and new residences, it will create beautiful view corridors to the community and surrounding mountains, and offer the opportunity for residents and neighbors to experience “life on the farm” surrounded by community and specialty gardens.
The Farm in Poway will also significantly improve fire safety in the area. Since the closure of Stoneridge Country Club, the property has become overgrown with vegetation, creating a visual blight and fire danger in the neighborhood. The project will replace dead and dying vegetation with new agricultural uses and native landscaping to restore the visual character of the neighborhood and reduce fire danger. It has also been designed to incorporate best practices in fire safety. Active management of open space, increased setbacks, and state-of-the-art fire safety features will ensure that The Farm in Poway is a fire safe community that will, in turn, enhance fire safety for neighboring residents.
The property is currently in terrible shape with overgrown vegetation. Why hasn’t this been cleaned up?
Kevin McNamara, the project developer, does not yet own the property and has no legal right to clear the overgrown vegetation. He has an option to purchase the property when and if the project is approved by voters in the November 2020 election. Until that time, the existing owner is responsible for weed abatement and has met the minimum requirement of the City of Poway to maintain a 100-foot brush management area from the property line. The City does not have legal authority to require any additional weed abatement.
Kevin has pledged that once he owns the property, his first priority will be to address the visual blight by clearing the overgrown vegetation.
How long will it take for the farm to be completed once it has been approved?
The Farm in Poway will take approximately three years to build out.
Will there be CC&R’S and deed restrictions? Who will administer the CC&R’S and deed restrictions?
Yes, there will be both CC&Rs and deed restrictions. These will be administered by the Homeowners Association (for residential properties) and the Master Community Association (for non-residential properties).
How will this benefit Poway?
The Farm in Poway will create a welcoming neighborhood that reflects Poway’s rural appeal with amenities for all Poway residents to enjoy. The community will replace the recreational opportunities formerly provided by the private golf course with nearly 62 acres of recreational and agricultural open space and amenities.
Why a butterfly farm?
The Butterfly Farms, currently located in Encinitas, is a California nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to education, conservation, and research of butterflies as important pollinators that are crucial to both our native habitats and our agricultural health. They expressed their desire to relocate to this location and it seemed to be a perfect fit with the conservation and agricultural vision for The Farm in Poway.
The Butterfly Farm is more than just a place for kids to visit. It is a research center that studies the host and nectar plant relationships of pollinators using the Monarch Butterfly as a model. They study the metamorphosis process, the interaction of native butterflies in a unique ecosystem, and plants important to the biology of our pollinators. This includes growing plants and raising native butterflies.
The Butterfly Farms will also offer educational tours and will sell a wide selection of native plants that are grown without pesticides. This facility could also benefit local hospice and senior groups.
What amenities in the project are open to the public and what is private?
All amenities, with the exception of the community gardens and the agri-fields, will be open to the public.
Who will operate and maintain these amenities?
The operation and maintenance of these amenities will vary. Some facilities will be managed by the HOA while others will be privately managed. The Barn, The Social, The Butterfly Farm, and The Club will be privately operated and open to the public. The facilities in The Meadow (amphitheater, dog park, picnic pavilions) and the trails will be owned and operated by the HOA and open to the public. The community gardens will be owned by the HOA and space will be available for residents only.
How can we be sure the community gardens will be maintained and will be visually appealing?
The Specific Plan includes a requirement that the community gardens be professionally managed. The developer has engaged Farmscape, a company that specializes in designing and managing community farms and gardens, to manage community gardens at The Farm in Poway.
What is the small-scale artisan agriculture proposed for the community?
The project has identified an operator for the artisan agriculture areas who plans to grow flowers and ornamental plants. The Specific Plan does allow for other types of agriculture to allow for future operators to lease the farmland in the event that the current operator is no longer available.
What happens if an amenity doesn’t generate enough attendance and fails?
The Specific Plan for The Farm in Poway includes a list of permissible uses that have been carefully selected for their compatibility with the vision for the community and the surrounding neighborhood. Although we anticipate the uses proposed in the plan to be successful for the long-term, the list of additional permissible uses will allow for the community to respond to any vacancies that might occur in the future. For example, if the Butterfly Farm were no longer viable, it could become a park or perhaps a nature-themed preschool.
Any “replacement” uses would be subject to the same regulations as the currently proposed uses – setbacks, locational requirements for buildings, parking, and other facilities, would apply to any new use. These uses would also be limited to the same hours of operation and would not be allowed to generate any additional traffic. Any proposed changes in these uses and regulations would be subject to a City review and City Council approval through the public hearing process.
How is the open space guaranteed in perpetuity?
The open space areas will be guaranteed in perpetuity in three ways:
Where will the main entrance of the Farm be?
The main entrance to The Farm in Poway is located at the south end of the property off Espola Road at Martincoit.
Will the project make improvements on Espola Road?
The area of Espola Road that fronts The Farm in Poway will be significantly improved. The project will underground utilities, landscape the entire frontage, and install an 8-foot sidewalk and a pedestrian/bicycle trail. All told, these improvements will result in ta 75-foot buffer between Espola Road and the new development.
With the extensive auto/bike/pedestrian improvements, who will fund the improvements?
All of the transportation improvements will be paid for and implemented by the developer.
What about parking for people attending the public spaces?
All public spaces and amenities have dedicated parking areas. The number of parking spaces planned exceeds requirements established by the City of Poway.
What exactly is the smart metering of the traffic signal on Pomerado and Stone Canyon Rd. meant to accomplish? How does this system deter from people using short cuts?
“Smart” signals are proposed along the Espola Road corridor to improve traffic flow. “Smart” traffic signals communicate with each other and dynamically adjust signal timings, memorize traffic patterns, improve traffic flow and reduce vehicle stops. Espola Road is expected to see improved travel times and thus, cut-through travel routes would be less desirable.
Will the project incorporate solar energy?
The Farm in Poway was designed with environmental sustainability as a top priority, and all buildings in the community will incorporate solar energy sources.
Is a public vote needed to approve this project?
Yes. Because the property is currently zoned for open space, it is subject to Proposition FF, which requires zoning changes on land designated as open space to be voted on by the public. The Farm in Poway is currently going through the project and environmental review process with the City of Poway and will be voted on by the Poway City Council. If it is approved by Council, they will place the matter on the November 2020 ballot.
What happens if the vote passes?
Kevin McNamara, the project developer, has an option to purchase the property if it is approved by the Poway City Council and voters in Poway. If approved, the property will transfer ownership. The project will then proceed to final engineering, and then to construction. Construction is anticipated to be complete by 2025.
What happens if the voters deny the project?
If the project is voted down, the option to purchase the property will expire and the current owner, Michael Schlesinger, will continue to own the property.