Open Space, Views, Recreation, Traffic Improvements, Area Schools, Economy
The Ferrini Ranch Plan will expand permanent open space in the Toro area by preserving 70% to 80% of the property as dedicated open space.
Following submission of a proposed plan for development of the Ferrini Ranch property, the County prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) in 2012 to review potential environmental impacts of the proposed land uses. Reduced Impact Alternatives were created as part of the environmental review process. A Recirculated
DEIR is now out for public review and comment until August 18, 2014.
Alternative 5A/B in the
DEIR is considered the environmentally-superior alternative. 5A/B increases the amount of open space (up from 70% to 80%), reduces the number of housing units being proposed from 212 to 185, and reduces the size of the wine-related/visitor-serving facility at River Road from 110,000 to 28,500 square feet.
New preserved open space will supplement the 180+ acres previously dedicated for agricultural and scenic easements by the Kelton family. New open space dedications preserve key scenic corridor views, important wildlife corridors, and continue the tradition of cattle grazing on portions of the property.
Development is allowable on the Ferrini Ranch property. The Ferrini Ranch plan proposes to permanently preserve 70-80% of the property in open space. The majority of homes will be placed within natural land contours and hidden from view along the Highway 68 corridor. Some homes are proposed next to already existing development adjacent to the property. The proposed plan (or the Reduced Impact Alternative 5A/B identified in the DEIR
as environmentally-preferred) is an opportunity to build housing
without significantly changing the visual character in this area of
Highway 68. Views of the property along Hwy 68 will essentially be
the same as you see them today.
The proposed project includes a new bike/pedestrian path that would run the entire length of the Ferrini property, linking Toro Park to River Road on the
east and San Benancio Road on the west. The path would be paved and provide a safe corridor for those wishing to ride or walk along this portion of the Highway 68 scenic corridor.
The Draft EIR suggests widening a section of Highway 68 and including an at-grade signalized intersection located near the center of the western portion of the Ferrini property. There are dedicated right-of-ways for the widening of Highway 68, and both the widening and a new intersection have been planned and anticipated since the Toro Park Estates subdivision was originally constructed in the 1960s. The at-grade intersection is incorporated in Reduced Impact Alternative 3B and is also included in Reduced Impact Alternative 5A/B. A new signalized intersection, if adopted, would eliminate project entry through a section of Toro Regional Park and also eliminate a frontage road paralleling Highway 68. Additionally, a new signalized intersection can assist traffic in and out of Toro Park Estates as well as reduce traffic cutting through those neighborhoods. Widening of a segment of Highway 68 can help maintain traffic flow in this area.
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Assist Washington Union School District
Development of Ferrini Ranch provides substantial
new funds for the local school district. Established in 1868,
Washington Union School District has a long history of academic
excellence and parental involvement but also faces economic
challenges. There are three schools in the district: Toro Park
Elementary, Washington Union Elementary and San Benancio Middle
The northeastern end of Ferrini Ranch lies at the gateway of Monterey County’s wine corridor. The County’s plan provides for future development of artisan and full-scale wineries, tasting rooms, a restaurant and inns along this first segment of the Wine Corridor --- the River Road Segment.
The Ferrini Ranch plan includes a wine-oriented/visitor-serving facility
connecting local wineries with the new Wine Corridor. This can be an important element in ensuring that the Wine Corridor will be successful in attracting tourism and customers.
Boost the Local Economy
The Ferrini Ranch plan promotes local employment by working with local businesses in planning and construction of the project. New residents of Ferrini Ranch will pay property taxes and become additional patrons for local businesses. The proposed wine-related facility offers entry to the County’s planned Wine Corridor intended to provide opportunity for economic diversity within Monterey County.