The county’s Zoning Administrator approved a Minor Use Permit to convert a single-family home in the 2100 block of Gum Tree Lane into a preschool.
The Jan. 18 decision of Conor McGee, who was the Zoning Administrator that day, allows a preschool with up to 50 children although typical operations will involve approximately 30 children up to 6 years old along with five employees. The permit also limits the school portion of the 20.26-acre parcel to the 3.7 acres which have been graded and include the single-family residence.
The property has A70 Limited Agriculture zoning and the SR-1 (Semi‑Rural - one unit per 1, 2, or 4 gross acres) land use designation. In December 2008, the county’s Planning Commission approved the 101-unit Shady Grove development directly west of the parcel. The parcel itself has a mix of agricultural uses and has also been used to store mature trees in boxes for landscaping.
Glenn Smith was 3 years old when his family moved to Gum Tree Lane in 1951. He left Fallbrook after graduating from Fallbrook High School in 1966 but returned to his childhood home in 2008. When the adjacent 20.26-acre parcel was offered for sale, Smith purchased that property with the intent of maintaining as much of the neighborhood’s rural character as possible.
The home which will be converted into a preschool is 3,085 square feet. The building will include restrooms, two nap rooms, two 708 square foot classrooms, and a 244 square foot office. The school site will also include a fenced play area, a garden area, and a 25-space parking lot.
The preschool would typically operate from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Mondays and from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays. Opportunities for parent afternoon and evening meetings would be offered twice a month with afternoon gatherings anticipated to be from 2 p.m. through 4 p.m. and evening gatherings expected to be between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. The staff members would consist of four full-time teachers and one administrator.
At the permitted maximum of 50 students, the preschool would generate an average daily traffic volume of 93 trips. The threshold for a significant cumulative traffic impact is 110 average daily trips. The school would not include a bell or amplified speakers which would generate noise.
An on-site wastewater treatment system, which has been designed and approved by the county’s Department of Environmental Health and Quality, will be used and a gate along the driveway will be accessible to the North County Fire Protection District.
Although the project was exempted from widening Gum Tree Lane to a minimum of 32 feet of right-of-way from the centerline, the conditions include an irrevocable offer of dedication for that distance along with slope and drainage easements. An unobstructed sight distance of at least 400 feet in both directions on Gum Tree Lane must be maintained.
The May 2022 meeting of the Fallbrook Community Planning Group included an 11‑0 vote with four members absent to recommend approval of the Minor Use Permit.