The old Stoneridge property is currently in terrible shape. How will this project improve that?
The Farm in Poway will revitalize this currently blighted property by replacing the overgrown former private golf course and crumbling country club buildings with more than 70 acres of maintained open space for conservation and public recreation, amenities that are open to all Poway residents and high quality homes that reflect Poway’s rural character. Longtime Poway resident Kevin McNamara and his team have an option to purchase the property, and should the voters approve Measure P at the ballot box in November, they have pledged that their first priority upon taking ownership of the property will be to address the visual blight by clearing the overgrown vegetation
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. The density of the residential areas is consistent with the density of homes in the surrounding neighborhoods. 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.
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. 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 you guarantee that the residential density will never change?
The residential density is explicitly outlined in the Specific Plan and no development that is not consistent with the Specific Plan is permitted. In addition, all Residential land will be encumbered with a private deed restriction that will prohibit increases in residential density. The Farm in Poway developers and the City of Poway have ensured that the Specific Plan cannot be changed or amended in the future without approval from the HOA, a vote of the City Council and approval of voters.
The property is currently in terrible shape with overgrown vegetation. Why hasn’t this been cleaned up?
The Farm in Poway's development partners do not yet own the property and have no legal right to clear the overgrown vegetation. They have an option to purchase the property when and if Measure P 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.
The Farm in Poway development partners have pledged that once they own the property, their 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. The deed restrictions on Open Space and Residential land will prevent any change to these land uses and any increases in residential density. 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 former private golf course with more than 70 acres of publicly accessible recreational and conservation open space and amenities.
What kinds of events and performances would happen at the amphitheatre?
The amphitheater in The Meadow is designed for acoustic weekend concerts, family picnics and neighborhood gatherings of 200 or so people. Some typical events might be a summer acoustic music series, children’s performances or movies in the park.
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 on butterflies as important pollinators that are crucial to both our native habitats and our agricultural health. They expressed their desire to expand and have a location at The Farm in Poway. It is a perfect fit with the conservation and agricultural vision of the community.
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 agricultural 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.
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 agriculture proposed for the community?
The project has identified an operator for the 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 children's-themed museum.
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 Road.
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 a 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 at no cost to taxpayers.
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 by 240 spaces.
What exactly is the smart metering of the traffic signals 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. Traffic engineers estimate that it will improve traffic flow by 14-17% over existing conditions.
Can local schools accommodate the children that will live in The Farm in Poway?
Yes. The Poway Unified School District confirmed that they can accommodate the students that will live in The Farm in Poway. The project will generate approximately 110 students at build-out - 65 Elementary students, 24 Middle School students and 21 High School students. The following table outlines the capacity of each school at project build-out:
# Students Generated
% Capacity at Build Out
Chaparral Elementary School
Twin Peaks Middle School
Poway High School
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. This property is subject to Proposition FF, which requires zoning changes to be voted on by the public. The Farm in Poway was unanimously approved by the Poway City Council on June 16, 2020. The Council placed the project on the ballot as Measure P for the November 3, 2020 election.
What happens if Measure P passes?
The Farm in Poway partners have an option to purchase the property if Measure P is approved. 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 Measure P is not approved, the option to purchase the property will expire and the current owner, Michael Schlesinger, will continue to own the property. There are no alternative plans for the property, so if Measure P does not pass the property will continue to deteriorate.