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Carmel Valley Issues & Actions:
Rancho Cañada Project

The Rancho Cañada project proposes 281-mixed-use residential units (182 single family homes, 64 townhomes and 35 condos) with140 deed-restricted for Affordable and Workforce housing; 2.5 acres of parks; 39 acres of permanent open space; construction of a levee; movement/placement of 200,000 cubic yards of fill; and extension of Rio Road into the proposed project.·     


Quick Facts

  • The project applicant is Carmel Rio Road LLC.

  • The project would create 281 mixed use houses.

  • Monterey County is the lead agency.

  • The project is governed by the policies of the 1982 Monterey County General Plan and the Ranch Canada Valley Specific Plan.

Project Status

  • The project application was deemed complete in 2006.

  • The project will be recirculating a revised Draft Environmental Impact Report in the future.

  • The Notice of Preparation (590K PDF file) was released in August 2006.

  • The Draft Environmental Impact Report (1.6M PDF file) was released in January 2008.

Project Location Map

The project is located south of Carmel Valley Road.


Full size map (451K PDF file)

Credit: Rancho Cañada Village Specific Plan, DEIR (January 2008)

The project is located adjacent to the Carmel Valley School.


Full size map (434K PDF)

Credit: Rancho Cañada Village Specific Plan, DEIR (January 2008)

Resources At Risk

  • Located in a Floodplain
    The approximately 300-unit subdivision would be built in the floodway and/or flood plain of the Carmel River and it entails the use of 200,000 cubic years of fill in and around the Carmel River floodway.

  • Increased Greenhouse Gas Emissions
    Though laws are in place that require the reduction of emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, the project would make it even more difficult for the County to meet a 1990 target and should be found to have a significant impact on global warming.

  • Water Use is Uncertain
    The DEIR indicates the applicant’s water rights have been confirmed and the project would use less water than current demand.  While the project itself may not require the same amount of water as existing uses, the “saved” water would remain available to be used by Rancho Canada at its discretion.

LandWatch Involvement

Project History

  • Rancho Cañada Fundraising Complete, Acquisition Next
    The Trust for Public Land reached its $11 million fundraising goal to acquire the Rancho Cañada project.  Most of the site will transfer to the Monterey Regional Park District. (03.10.17)

  • Association Relays Flood Plans Are Non-Existant
    The Carmel Valley Association has written a fact-based article on why the concerns about the potential flooding near Rancho Cañada are unfounded because the County actually needs to finish its flood management efforts or show the project with and without the flood protections in place. (02.03.17)

  • Residents Plan to Hold Association Liable if Area Floods{Page 1 & 11A)
    The Carmel Valley Association filed a lawsuit over the proposed Rancho Cañada project.  Now, the attorney for the neighbors has put the Association on notice that if this lawsuit delays flood protection they will sue them. (01.27.17)

  • Carmel Valley Association Sues on Rancho Cañada
    After the Board of Supervisors approved the Rancho Cañada project with a 4-0 vote, the Carmel Valley Association filed a lawsuit against the County and developer contesting the 130 unit project. (01.16.17)

  • Lawsuit Filed on Rancho Cañada Project (pages 1 & 18)
    Citing a violation in County zoning and planning law, the developer and County face a new lawsuit on the Rancho Cañada project.  Carmel Valley Association hired an attorney and outlined its concerns for a now dangerous precedent on all future project approvals. (01.20.17)

  • Gavel Handed to Potter on Rancho Cañada Project (Pages 1 & 27)
    Chair Parker had to leave and handed the gavel to outgoing Supervisor Potter while accusations flew from both sides about the project. It was unanimously approved by the Supervisors in attendance.  The Carmel Valley Association experienced a “flawed process.” (12.16.16)

  • Hours of Testimony, Project Approved
    After two hours of public testimony, Supervisors voted in favor of the Rancho Cañada project—only after reducing the affordable housing component from 50% to 20%. (12.15.16)

  • Supervisors Approve Rancho Cañada Project
    In a 4-0 vote, the Board of Supervisors passed the Rancho Cañada project.  It was considered the final “hurrah” of Supervisors Armenta and Potter. Part of the decision was to remove the requirement for a 50% affordable housing requirement, this move disappointed many. (12.13.16)

  • Decision on Rancho Cañada to Come Tuesday
    If approved the Rancho Cañada project would carve up 40 acres of an existing golf course to make room for 130 lots.  This would require a change in the Carmel Valley Master Plan. (12.11.16)

  • Supervisors to Consider Subdivision (Page 9)
    The Rancho Cañada project goes before the Board of Supervisors on December 13th.  They’ll consider 130 unbuilt lots, including 25 for affordable housing on the Carmel Valley property. (12.09.16)

  • Rancho Cañada Heads to Supervisors
    In what some are calling a rushed process, the Board of Supervisors will consider the Rancho Cañada project before two Supervisors leave office.  The project has been in the works for 12 years and narrowly passed the Planning Commission. (12.08.16)

  • Comments on Project Outline Concerns (page 18)
    Residents comment on the Rancho Cañada project where 130 lots are proposed for construction.  Local groups believe environmental laws have not been satisfied.  (11.11.16)

  • Committee Agrees Ranch Cañada Needs Affordable Units
    )The County’s Housing Advisory Committee agrees with staff that the 130 lot Rancho Cañada project must include 26 very low-income, low-income and moderate-income affordable to meet the County’s affordable housing requirements. After the Planning Commission’s review of the project it goes before the Board of Supervisors. (11.10.16)

  • Kick Off of Ranch Cañada Project Review
    Planners for the County consider the next three months the public review period for the Ranch Cañada project. It is expected to go before the County Planning Commission on October 26th.  Key issues seem to be density and on-site affordable housing. (09.14.16)

  • New Plan Includes Affordable Units (page 9A)
    Comments are due on the Rancho Canada Village Recirculated Environmental Impact Report on July 22.  This proposal 130 unbuilt lots — and dedicate 25 of those lots to affordable housing. (06.10.16)

  • Rancho Cañada Afforable Housing Debated
    The original project included 281 units (with half of them affordable).  Now, the proposal is for 130 units (with 25 affordable). The Monterey County General Plan requires this site be 50% affordable housing.  The Land Use Advisory Committee declined to provide a recommendation to the Board of Supervisors on this project due to the conflicting affordable housing unit requirements. (02.03.16)

  • Rancho Cañada Approach Changes
    It appears the developer may be trying to sell lots instead of homes based on this recent article (page 8). A local watchdog group will be reviewing this new proposal. (01.29.16)

  • Rancho Cañada Project Scaled Down
    After a seven year hiatus the developer for the Rancho Cañada project has offered a scaled back version of the project.  This new alternative includes: 130 lot subdivision on 81 acres.  This new project cuts the project down considerably from its original 281 unit proposal. (10.08.15)

  • New Environmental Doc to be Released on Rancho Cañada
    A new environmental impact report will be released on the proposed Rancho Cañada project in the coming months.  The developer relays that they have listened to the community and significantly scaled back the project.  (10.08.15)


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