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By Mike Allen

Photo, left: Parc One artist's rendering

September 19, 2015 (Santee)--Two long-planned residential projects in Santee moved ahead this summer, with the Parc One apartment complex nearing its opening and the larger, more controversial Castlerock development looking to obtain final permits to begin construction, possibly later this year.

Castlerock, a project that’s been in the works for about 12 years, should go before the Local Area Formation Commission in October, said developer Pardee Homes.

Jimmy Ayala, division president of Pardee San Diego, said because the 415 single family project has already been approved by both the cities of San Diego and Santee, he’s optimistic about obtaining LAFCO approvals next month.

“You never can tell with these things, but we hope everything goes smoothly,” Ayala said.

Assuming approval is granted, and the project gets necessary permits from three other federal and state agencies, grading could begin by the end of the year, Ayala said.

Castlerock’s previous plan was for 283 single family houses, and 147 condominiums. The project was redesigned following a legal settlement with environmental groups, including Preserve Wild Santee, last year. Castlerock now calls for 415 home sites including some that are detached condos that have their own driveway and two car garage, Ayala said.

Ayala said grading at the 204-acre site north of Mast Boulevard and West Hills High School is targeted for late this year or early next year and and would take 12 to 18 months to complete. Ayala declined to provide the price range for the new houses.

Castlerock was approved by the city of San Diego, where the parcel currently sits, in 2012, but was proposed for annexation to Santee because government services including police, fire and water would be provided by Santee.

Together with Preserve Santee, two other environmental groups filed suit against Castlerock in 2013, challenging the project’s compliance to state environmental laws. The suit alleged the project would harm sensitive lands and wildlife in and around Sycamore Canyon. A settlement reached calls for further protections to Quail Canyon Creek and expanding the area tabbed for open space.

Pardee agreed to install a traffic signal on Mast Blvd. next to West Hills High School that will begin operating Sept. 21. The signal was installed ahead of schedule following a car accident that killed a student, 17-year old Ryan Willlweber in April.

The Parc One apartments west of Town Center are nearly finished, and models will be ready to view by the second week of October, said Gabriel Rivera, business manager for Park One.

“We are currently slated to open doors to our first move-ins on Oct.15 for building one,” Rivera said. The next two buildings are scheduled to receive tenants on Nov. 1 and Dec. 1, he said.

The 172-unit project offers one-bedrooms starting at $1,575, two bedrooms at $2,020, and three-bedrooms starting at $2,185.

The developers are a joint venture of JMR Properties Inc. and Interguls, Rivera said.

Another proposed condominium project in Santee’s western end at the site of the former Pinnacle Peak restaurant is scheduled to go before the City Council Oct. 28, said acting senior planner John O’Donnell.

The 113 condos require changing the zoning at the site from general commercial to high density residential. The developer is Davisson Enterprises.

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Apartment prices

Holy smokes! How could any individual or family afford those apartment prices? This is Santee, not La Jolla or downtown San Diego.