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Supervisors approve land exchange of Citro property between Fallbrook and Bonsall school districts

Joe Naiman

Village News Reporter

In California, the transfer of territory between multiple school districts requires approval from the San Diego County Board of Supervisors after the county Board of Education submits a resolution for the boundary change. The Thursday, Oct. 24, meeting of the county board of supervisors approved a modification of the boundaries of the Bonsall Unified School District, the Fallbrook Union Elementary School District and the Fallbrook Union High School District.

The county supervisors’ 4-0 vote, with one vacant seat, approved the territory exchange. The land is within the planned Citro development, and the modifications place neighborhoods in the same district.

Tri Pointe Homes is the parent company of Pardee Homes, and Citro was the Meadowood project in January 2012 when the county board of supervisors approved the 384-acre Meadowood development. The residential component is now expected to consist of 844 single-family and multi-family homes. The three school districts expect Citro’s final phase units to be built and occupied by December 2030.

Part of the Citro land is located in the K-12 Bonsall Unified School District while part of the land is within the boundaries of the Fallbrook Union Elementary School District and the Fallbrook Union High School District. The map also includes 13 acres for an elementary school which will be built by the Bonsall Unified School District. The current plan is for the school district to acquire approximately 11.2 acres southeast of the intersection of Horse Ranch Creek Road at Shire Court, and the school district and Tri Pointe Homes are in negotiations for the acquisition of that land.

The school district boundary lines were drawn when only open space was present around the boundaries. Those boundaries created streets, lots, housing types and cul-de-sacs where students and families living next door to or across the street from each other would have been in different school districts. In April 2022, the three districts commenced a study to address the boundaries, and that study also assessed the feasibility of changing the district boundaries to allow for a more logical divide of the community. The study also considered the fiscal impact of the new boundaries so that the exchange of parcels would be revenue-neutral for each district.

The three districts chose an option in which all public school students living in the Zutano neighborhoods will attend Fallbrook Union Elementary School District or Fallbrook Union High School District schools, and all students living in the Meyer neighborhoods will attend a Bonsall district school. The boundary lines were also adjusted so that students living on the same street within the Citro development will go to the same district.

Approximately 24.62 acres were transferred from the Bonsall Unified School district to the Fallbrook districts, while approximately 17.79 acres were transferred from the Fallbrook district to the Bonsall district. If all 844 homes are built as currently planned, the reorganization will place 495 homes in the Bonsall Unified School District and 349 residences in the Fallbrook Union Elementary School District and Fallbrook Union High School District.

The three districts filed a petition with the San Diego County Office of Education, March 16. The county board of education held public hearings May 9, both in Bonsall and in Fallbrook. The Sept. 13 SDCOE board meeting included a 4-0 vote, with one absent member, to approve the petition.

The county assessor’s office will update property tax information for the new boundaries, while the auditor and controller’s office will handle the transfer of base property tax revenue.

Joe Naiman can be reached by email at [email protected].


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