Village News Reporter
The San Diego County Board of Supervisors approved a time extension for the Bonsall Oaks development.
The supervisors’ 3-0 vote Wednesday, Nov. 16, with Nora Vargas and Terra Lawson-Remer absent, extended the deadline to complete the infrastructure improvements to Nov. 16, 2024. The performance completion date is when road, water, sewer and other infrastructure improvements must be completed although homes or other lot improvements themselves are not required to be completed by that date.
The project was called the Polo Club in 1999 when the county board of supervisors approved a final map to subdivide the 449.54-acre parcel on the north side of Gopher Canyon Road at Vista Valley Road into up to 165 dwelling units with two open space lots. The development was conditioned to obtain permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the California Fish and Wildlife Service and the Regional Water Quality Control Board before construction could begin.
The ownership negotiated with the regulatory agencies, and the project has undergone multiple design changes so that the required permits could be obtained. The subdivision was renamed Bonsall Oaks when Bonsall Oaks LLC agreed to purchase the project from Vista Villas Development L.P.
Bonsall Oaks will be constructed in phases. Phase 1 consists of a winery, a tasting room and a bed and breakfast off Oak Bridge Drive. The tasting room and bed and breakfast will be across Gopher Canyon Road from the entrance to the Vista Valley Country Club. Phase 2 will include 59 residential lots, Phase 3 will provide 57 residential lots; Phase 4 will build 41 residential lots and Phase 5 will construct seven custom homes.
The conditions of a final map include secured agreements to ensure that the infrastructure will be built and that payment for labor and materials used to build the infrastructure will be made. The improvement agreement included Rainbow Municipal Water District sewer and water infrastructure as well as county road, drainage, and monumentation work.
The approval of the final map in 1999 also included approval of the security agreement in which a joint performance bond of $7,826,500 was placed with the clerk of the board. That bond covered $5,176,000 for the streets and drainage facility improvements, $2,427,800 for improvement of the sewer and water facilities for the Rainbow Municipal Water District, $90,000 for setting of final monuments and $132,000 for the Park Land fee.
An additional Joint Labor and Material Bond of $3,913,250 was placed with the clerk of the board to guarantee payment for labor and material involved in the construction of the improvements.
The developers also deposited a check for $5,900 into the Department of Public Works Road Fund for the fair share cost of a future traffic signal at the intersection of Gopher Canyon Road and Interstate 15 and a check for $4,400 in the Department of Public Works Road Fund for the fair share of a future signal at Old River Road and Highway 76. An additional $25,400 construction fee was paid to the county for road improvements on East Vista Way between Mission Road and Osborne Street.
Improvements identified in a secured agreement are required to be completed within two years of the approval of the final map, although if circumstances prevent the improvements from being completed by the agreement's expiration additional time may be requested to complete the infrastructure. Existing agreements and their bonding requirements are reviewed by county staff to determine if time extensions are warranted and if the security agreement amounts are still adequate to guarantee completion of the remaining work.
The first two-year time extension may be approved administratively, although subsequent time extensions require Board of Supervisors approval and any amendments to the security agreement must also be approved by the county supervisors. If an application for a time extension is filed prior to its expiration, the owner is not in default if the extension is granted.
The county board of supervisors granted a time extension for the Vista Valley development in August 2012. Another time extension was granted in October 2014 which extended the completion date to October 2016. That time extension also included the approval of a lien contract to replace the performance bond. A lien contract prohibits the construction of any improvements, the selling of any lots in the subdivision or the issuance of permits before the lien contract is replaced by a security bond. The county may release a lien contract only after the property owner provides a substitute security. The security bond will cover 150% of the costs of the estimated security at the time the lien contract is replaced with the bonds.
A request for a time extension was filed prior to the October 2016 expiration date but was not completed. In 2019, Vista Villas Development L.P. informed the county of a pending sale. In January 2020, the county board of supervisors approved an agreement which reflects the ownership change of the property.
Bonsall Oaks LLC assumed the responsibility and liability for all obligations covered in the joint improvement agreement, the joint lien contract and the holding agreement. That vote also approved a time extension until Jan. 15, 2022, for the Bonsall Oaks development. A September 2020 county board of supervisors vote released the lien contract on 16 of the lots and extended the performance completion date to Aug. 5, 2022.
Because the lien contract prevents work on that portion of the project including infrastructure improvements county staff recommended the time extension.