Rancho del Prado

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Rancho del Prado2020-02-25T09:45:33-08:00

A new, walkable neighborhood nestled in over 320 acres of parks and open space

With a community-focused design aimed at inspiring creativity and embracing the area’s natural beauty, Rancho del Prado will provide a variety of housing choices, an array of recreational opportunities, and an abundance of open space that complements the adjacent neighborhoods.

Surrounded by rolling hills and open space, Rancho del Prado will:

  • Complement Colton’s Housing Element and help improve quality of life
  • Act as a catalyst for important public facilities and road improvements
  • Protect and conserve natural resources, open space, viewsheds, and trails
  • Create a looped road system to increase reliability of emergency medical and delivery services
  • Provide needed fire safety improvements and buffering

About the name

The English translation of Rancho del Prado is Meadow Ranch.  The name is a nod to the nestled beauty of the meadow-like grasslands that are traversed by the site’s ridges and valleys. It also provides a distinct and purposeful connection to the Prado neighborhood at the northwest area of the site.

A better way

For the past two and a half years, University Realty has researched and analyzed opportunities to improve the Canyon’s water infrastructure and fire protection and identify and plan for roadway improvements and secondary access routes.

Public input has helped shape a plan to address these needs and which would be funded by the development of new housing linking Prado and Crystal Ridge neighborhoods. This new neighborhood would be the catalyst for private investment needed to fund improvements in the Canyon.

Rancho del Prado has been shaped by public input and includes:

  • Extensive traffic and infrastructure analyses conducted at no cost to the City
  • Compatible design with existing neighborhoods
  • Secondary access and fire safety improvements
  • A funding mechanism and plan for road improvements, including traffic control measures
  • Mitigation measures and voluntary improvements to Reche Canyon Road to offset impacts
  • New revenue for the City

Developing the project

The Rancho del Prado project began to take shape following extensive study of the land and area, research of critical natural and man-made elements of the area, as well as meetings with and input from community members, elected officials, planning staff, and a broad array of outside experts. The Specific Plan for the proposed project has been prepared in accordance with applicable state and local laws and regulations. The resulting Specific Plan is intended to guide the orderly and efficient development of a new, walkable neighborhood of single-family, detached homes in accordance with the City of Colton’s General Plan.

There will be extensive public review throughout the multi-step process. This is intended to address community priorities as well as development needs.

Frequently asked questions

Will the community be able to provide input on the project?2020-02-25T09:41:40-08:00

Yes. Review is a public process and there will be multiple opportunities to comment on the project. In addition to public meetings and hearings, stakeholders will also be able to provide written comment on the Specific Plan (SP), related project documents, and Environmental Impact Report (EIR). Comments submitted regarding the proposed project, and the City’s responses to those comments, become an important part of the EIR document.

What is a Specific Plan (SP)?2020-02-25T09:41:56-08:00

A Specific Plan defines the land use details for a specific geographic area in accordance with the larger goals and vision of a jurisdiction’s General Plan. An SP contains detailed development standards, designation of land uses, infrastructure requirements, and implementation measures for development within that area.

What is the difference between the Specific Plan and the Environmental Impact Report (EIR)?2020-02-25T09:42:24-08:00

A Specific Plan describes the allowable land uses, intensity and supporting infrastructure for a particular geographic area. As part of the approval process for such planning documents, the California Environmental Quality Act (or CEQA) requires an analysis of a wide range of environmental factors, which in this case will be evaluated in an EIR including aesthetics, air quality, biology, cultural resources, energy, geology, greenhouse gasses, hazards and hazardous materials, hydrology, water quality, land use, noise, population and housing, public services, recreation, transportation, tribal cultural resources, utilities and services, and wildfire risk . CEQA also requires that the EIR include an assessment of environmental impacts associated with the proposed project and the identification of mitigation measures and alternatives which eliminate or reduce the severity of any significant impacts found to exist.

What is the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) process and how long will it take?2020-02-25T09:43:02-08:00

The CEQA process is a multi-step, open dialogue process between the project applicant, governmental agencies, and the public. in the case of the Rancho del Prado project, the CEQA process will involve the preparation of an EIR. The overall length of time it takes to complete the process depends on how long each of the various steps takes.

An initial step in the process will be the City’s issuance of a Notice of Preparation (NOP), which describes the proposed project and solicits information from responsible agencies as to the scope and content of the EIR. Issuance of the NOP starts a 30-day period for comments on the issues the EIR should address. The City may also hold a scoping meeting among the various responsible agencies to assist the City in determining the scope and content of the EIR.

The environmental firm retained by the City to prepare the EIR prepares, commissions, and evaluates the necessary studies and prepares the EIR in coordination with the City. When a draft EIR has been completed and is ready for public review, the City issues a notice of completion. The draft EIR is then circulated for review by the public and other agencies. The public review period ranges from 45 to 60 days, depending on the nature of the project. In addition, the City may hold a public hearing on the draft EIR. During the review period agencies and the general public may provide written comments to the City on the draft EIR and may also comment orally at the hearing, if one is held.

After the public review period, the EIR preparer and the City evaluate the comments received on the draft EIR and prepare responses to those comments. The draft EIR and the City’s responses to the comments received, together comprise the final EIR.

If the City elects to approve the proposed project, before doing so the City must certify the final EIR by determining that it was completed in compliance with CEQA.

What is University Realty LLC and what is its interest in this project?2020-02-25T09:41:02-08:00

University Realty LLC is a subsidiary of Arizona State University’s Enterprise Partners, a non-profit organization. It exists to advance the mission of Arizona State University. University Realty accepts philanthropic gifts of real estate from donors; the land adjacent to Reche Canyon represents one such gift. Revenue generated through real estate activity ultimately benefits the university’s educational priorities, including student scholarships, research, and service programs.

Is the Rancho del Prado project consistent with the Reche Canyon Specific Plan?2020-02-25T10:07:50-08:00

Yes, in fact the proposed Rancho del Prado neighborhood is referenced in the 1991 Reche Canyon Specific Plan. Section 4.2 identifies the Rancho del Prado land as Planning Area 10 and clearly states that it will be subject to its own specific plan at the time of development. That is why University Realty submitted its application for the draft Rancho del Prado Specific Plan to the City of Colton.

How does proposed density of Rancho del Prado compare to what is allowed in the Reche Canyon Specific Plan?2020-02-27T10:58:12-08:00

With a density of 1.72 units per acre, Rancho del Prado is less. Rancho del Prado is Planning Area 10 in the Reche Canyon Specific Plan, which states that “overall densities will be no more than two units per gross acre throughout this area.” The proposed Rancho del Prado plan would allow for a maximum of 350 single-family detached homes on 203 acres of land, yielding a density of approximately 1.72 dwelling units per gross acre—and a 13.7% reduction from the allowed number of units.