Some residents within the Bonsall Unified School District (BUSD) boundaries would like to see a 13-acre site near the future Palomar College campus in Fallbrook used for high school students who could take classes at the community college, but a non-voting item at the Feb. 9 BUSD board meeting noted the obligation to use the site for an elementary school.
“There was some question on whether the 13 acres could go toward a high school site,” said BUSD superintendent Justin Cunningham. “We explained to them that the folks who put it into a plan had put it as an elementary school.”
In January 2012, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors approved the 390-acre Meadowood development proposed by Pardee Homes. That map includes 397 single-family homes, 447 multi-family dwelling units, and 13 acres for an elementary school to be built by the Bonsall Unified School District.
Meadowood is part of a master specific planning area which totals 1,178 acres and also includes the Campus Park, Campus Park West, and Horse Creek Ridge developments.
The Board of Supervisors approved the 416-acre Campus Park project in May 2011 when Passerelle, LLC, owned all of that land. Passerelle subsequently sold the residential component to D.R. Horton, who will be building the Horse Creek Ridge development with 521 single-family dwelling units and 230 multi-family dwelling units.
The Campus Park map also includes a community center, an 8.5-acre active sports park, and six neighborhood parks as well as commercial and office land. The supervisors’ June 2014 approval of Campus Park West created a map for the 116.5-acre Pappas Investments project which includes 283 multi-family units. The Palomar College campus comprises 70 acres of the area.
The new elementary school is expected to serve students from the Meadowood, Horse Creek Ridge, and Campus Park West developments, and some students in the Pala Mesa area west of Interstate 15 may find the new elementary school to be more convenient than Bonsall Elementary School.
The Bonsall district also operates Vivian Banks Charter School on the Pala Indian Reservation, although most of the Vivian Banks students are tribal members and the new development is not expected to increase enrollment at the charter school while the new elementary school is not expected to impact Vivian Banks enrollment.
The map approved by the county merely designates 13 acres of the Meadowood property for an elementary school site but did not stipulate whether the land would be donated to the school district. Pardee and the school district will negotiate whether the elementary school site will be donated in lieu of developer fees or whether the school district would purchase that property and Pardee would pay developer fees.
The school district and Pardee will also determine whether the developer will be responsible for building the school or whether impact fees would cover that cost.
“That would be something we’d have to work out,” Cunningham said.
The timing of the school construction will depend on the timing of the completion of the residences.
“A lot of it will depend on how quickly they sell the homes,” Cunningham said. “They’re starting to move dirt. They’re starting to get some things going. What they’re going to be in there by next year I can’t tell you.”