By Kathryn Adams
Julie Reeder photo 

First public meeting regarding Bonsall park sites


Last updated 5/10/2019 at 8:20pm

Josephine Mackenzie photo

Supervisor Jim Desmond speaks to the crowd about county plans to create San Luis Rey Downs Park and San Luis Rey Dulin Park within the San Luis Rey River Park, at the Bonsall Community Center April 29.

The first public meeting regarding two new active recreation park sites was held April 29 at the Bonsall Community Center. The discussion concerned the creation of San Luis Rey Downs Park and San Luis Rey Dulin Park within the San Luis Rey River Park.

San Diego County Supervisor Jim Desmond gave a brief overview of the San Luis Rey River Park, which will stretch 8.5 miles from Oceanside to Interstate 15 in Fallbrook. The goal of this park project is to provide 1,600 acres of open space preserve, 40 acres of active recreational amenities, in addition to a network of multi-use trails that will connect the park internally, as well as linking to the surrounding communities.

Currently, the county owns 672 acres designated for the San Luis Rey River Park. The county has been purchasing land for the park since 2015, spending over $25,000,000 on land acquisitions. The county is continuing to acquire land in order to meet its goal of 1,600 acres for the park. In addition, over the next five years, Caltrans will transfer approximately 695 acres of mitigation land to the county.

Brian Albright, the county department of parks and recreation director, spoke at the meeting and was eager to answer questions and hear input from local residents. Marcus Lubich, the senior park project manager from the county department of parks and recreation; Jill Bankston, the chief of county development of parks and recreation, and Nina Pisano, the park project manager, were also present and available to speak with residents.

The county parks and recreation staff gave residents stickers to place on a map to vote "yes" or "no" on possible amenities for the San Luis Rey Downs and San Luis Rey Dulin parks as part of the active recreation sites. The possible activity elements for the Dulin Park included shaded play areas, soccer field, baseball and softball field, basketball court, fitness stations, dog park, bocce ball, pickleball, Americans with Disabilities Act-accessible loop and multi-use trail, community recreation and nature center, bicycle rack, picnic area, community garden, equestrian staging area, restroom and concession area. Some of the amenities for Downs Park could include shaded play areas, soccer field, bicycle pump track, skate park, amphitheater with an outdoor classroom, bicycle rack, disc golf course, as well as other options.

Many residents from the Rancho Monserate community, which is a 55-plus resident-owned community in Fallbrook, attended the meeting and voiced their concerns with the Dulin Park site entrance. Rancho Monserate residents were concerned that sharing an entrance with the park on Dulin Road will affect their safety and cause traffic. Rancho Monserate residents were also concerned that the 15 mph speed limit within the park will not be enforced, and many left suggestions that the county find another side entrance for the park. At this time, it is unknown if it is economically feasible to create an alternate entrance.

To provide input on park amenities, contact the park project manager Nina Pisano at (858)-966-1353 or There will also be an online survey regarding park amenities available to residents in the coming weeks.

The Master Plan and Programmatic Environmental Impact Report is available at

The Quarterly Update is available at

Julie Reeder photo

Activity elements being voted on by residents include softball/baseball fields, soccer fields, basketball courts, dog park, ADA loop, fitness stations, tennis courts, bocci ball, pickleball, shared areas, and more. Residents were asked to put colored dots on ideas signifying desire or opposition for different activity elements of the two parks


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