CARLSBAD — Luxury home developer Toll Brothers, Inc., acquired over 200 acres of the Robertson Ranch master planned community as part of its $1.6 billion purchase of Shapell Industries, LLC, on Feb. 5.
The nearly 400-acre Robertson Ranch was originally approved by the city in 2006, and re-established in 2012. The community consists of hundreds of single-family and multi-family homes, commercial areas and parks on what was once farmland between Tamarack Avenue, El Camino Real and Cannon Road.
Shapell Industries originally purchased one half of the land, known as the west village portion, several years ago from the land’s original developer Rancho Costera LLC.
As the new owner, Toll Brothers will take over the design and construction of 308 single-family homes on the 201.37-acre lot.
Toll Brothers Senior Project Manager Greg Deacon said that while project plans still have a long way to go, the company estimates beginning the sale of Robertson Ranch Homes in about two years and construction would follow sometime afterwards.
A well-known developer, Toll Brothers has constructed housing projects in 19 different states and has previously built homes in San Diego County.
The company built Rancho Carrillo homes in Carlsbad in 2002 and also constructed some homes in The Crosby in Rancho Santa Fe as well as Encinitas Ranch in Encinitas.
Shapell Industries will remain in charge of constructing the multi-family homes and commercial buildings included in the project.
Because the design of the future homes have not been submitted for approval yet, very little of the plans approved by the city so far have changed, explained city Planner Christer Westman.
Representatives from Toll Brothers came before the Carlsbad Planning Commission on Feb. 5 for approval of their plans to subdivide the land for homes and move a community recreation space one block to the west.
They also presented plans on the wall they intended on constructing along El Camino Real and the outlying homes.
The project’s planner Paul Klukas, explained to the commission the developer’s plans to construct a keystone wall that would be covered with native plants.
Commissioner Hap L’Heureux said he had concerns about the aesthetics of the keystone wall, and pointed out several other local developments that utilized the same wall style that did not successfully grow plant coverage.
But he was assuaged by Klukas’s assurances that the Robertson Ranch wall would be properly planted and irrigated.
A few of the commissioners said they were familiar with Toll Brothers’ previous work in the area and were happy that they would be building in Carlsbad.
“I think it’s a wonderful addition to the neighborhood,” said Commissioner Victoria Scully.
“I”m very excited that the Toll Brothers will be doing the single-family homes,” said L’Heureux.