Tentative step forward for assisted living facility

A massive assisted Living Facility project slated for the 3.97-acre St. John Garabed Armenian Church site along El Camino Real was conditionally approved in June 2023 by the Carmel Valley Community Planning Board – acting in its advisory capacity to the City of San Diego.

The proposed El Camino Assisted Living facility overlooking the San Dieguito River Valley as proposed, would entail a three-story, 40-ft.-high, 104,363 sq. ft. building with 104 rooms (122 assisted living beds and 20 memory-care beds), related amenities, and include some 57 parking spaces. The approval came with the conditions that traffic calming measures to address entry/exit traffic safety issues be installed; that the 40 ft. building height along the south boundary be reduced; and that the project return to the planning board with conclusive results of these conditional changes. The draft states that “with approval of [the various discretionary permits] … the impact of the project is considered to be “less than significant.”

The site, at the El Camino Real/San Dieguito Drive juncture, is located within two jurisdictions – the City of San Diego and the San Dieguito River Valley Park’s Focused Planning Area – that limit building heights to 30 feet.

The River Park Joint Powers Agency Board, for its part, submitted comments that listed “deficiencies in the SEIR [Supplemental Environmental Impact Report] that fall short in providing the necessary information regarding impact to the Park” and urged that these be addressed and corrected before a final decision on the project is made.

The City says all of the “very detailed” input from the planning board and the many draft SEIR comments have been forwarded to the applicant to address the issues raised. Their response will be reviewed by City staff before the project is forwarded to the City Planning Commission for public comment and review. It is anticipated the review process would be completed by the end of 2023 before it goes to the San Diego City Council for a final decision.