4S Ranch, California
4S Ranch from Black Mountain summit
|Time zone||Pacific (PST) (UTC-8)|
|• Summer (DST)||PDT (UTC-7)|
4S Ranch is an upscale, master planned community and is an Unincorporated community of San Diego County, California. It is located about 25 miles north of downtown San Diego and 13 miles east of the Pacific Ocean in the North County Inland area of San Diego.
4S Ranch encompasses 2,900 acres and is anticipated to have 4,700 homes clustered around a traditional town center upon buildout. Additionally, it includes multiple schools in the highly acclaimed Poway Unified School District, numerous parks, and 10 miles of walking/hiking/bike trails within 1,600 acres of protected open space. Development began in 1987 that was primarily a business park. Housing development began in the early 2000s and is expected to conclude in the late 2010s to early 2020s.
To the east of 4S Ranch is the San Diego community of Rancho Bernardo. To the west is the Santa Fe Valley that includes Rancho Santa Fe. Lake Hodges forms the northern border of the community while Black Mountain Ranch and Rancho Peñasquitos are to the south.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Retail
- 4 Transportation
- 5 Community events
- 6 Parks and Recreation
- 7 Schools
- 8 Law Enforcement and Fire Protection
- 9 4S Ranch Community Organizations
- 10 4S Ranch County Library
- 11 References
- 12 External links
The origin of the name 4S Ranch is not specifically known. The first recorded owner of Rancho San Bernardo, as the area in which 4S Ranch is currently located and originally part of 4 separate sitios or square leagues, was acquired by an Englishman named Joseph Snook (who later became a Mexican citizen and changed his name to Jose Francisco Snook) in 1842 and 1845. Many now believe the "S" in 4S Ranch stands for "Snook". The "4" may stand for "4 Snooks", after Snook and his three brothers or the 4 sitios or leagues granted to Snook. Contrary to myth, Snook and his wife never had any children. After his death, Snook's heirs sold the property to James McCoy for $4,020.
The property changed hands several times over the next 100 years. In 1938, the property was sold to the Albert G. Ralphs of the Ralphs family, owners of the southern California grocery chain. In the early 1980s, the Ralphs family agreed to develop the southern portion of their property (what is now the 4S Ranch master planned community by Newland Communities) and retain the northern 1,200 acres (4.9 km2) as a family retreat which had been operated as a working ranch for 50 years. In the 1980s the third generation of the Ralphs family was granted stewardship of 4S Ranch. Albert's grandson and granddaughter Bob Ralphs and Linda Ralphs spearheaded the family's efforts to develop the property since 1979. They received approval in 1984 from the county to develop 634 acres of the property, with the rest set aside for development at least until after 1992. A portion of 4S Ranch was within a Williamson Act Agricultural Preserve until the contract expired at the end of 1992. The development plans began in general for a $100-million first phase of development at 4S Ranch business park component that totaled 180 acres, enough for about 3 million square feet of research and light-industrial space.
4S is known for the Mello-Roos taxes that it charges all homeowners about $200 per month for early homebuyers to $900 per month to homebuyers in later years. These taxes pay the interest and principal on bonds that were used to pay for schools, roads, libraries, parks, water and sewer improvements. Additionally the 4S Ranch HomeOwners Association (HOA) charges each household $100–$300 per month depending on specific location for common area maintenance and maintaining association owned parks. The Mello-Roos and HOA total charge per household amount to $300–$1,200 per month, which makes 4S Ranch one of the most expensive places to live in San Diego County though most that live in 4S Ranch believe that the benefits of living in a community full of parks and good schools makes the cost well worth it. Several other communities built in the 1990s and 2000s including Carmel Valley, Carlsbad, San Elijo Hills, Rancho Santa Fe, Chula Vista, Encinitas, Escondido, Oceanside, San Marcos, Rancho Bernardo, Santaluz and Scripps Ranch have equally or higher Mello-Roos as compared to 4S Ranch.
4S Ranch is one of only five communities in San Diego designed and built according to strict "fire safe" construction standards. These standards resulted in not a single home being lost or even damaged in any of these communities during the October 2007 fires which affected much of Southern California and burned over 2000 homes elsewhere throughout Southern California. The "Shelter in Place" construction concept of these communities was tested and passed through the fires without any damage. Although adjacent to other popular communities (Poway, Rancho Bernardo, Carmel Valley, Rancho Peñasquitos, Rancho Santa Fe) in suburban San Diego, 4S Ranch is the only community among these that has been built to be sufficiently protected from wild fires such that it has been deemed a "Shelter in Place" community.
The land of 4S Ranch pre-development consisted of a variety of landforms ranging from nearly flat-lying mesas and gently rolling hills to rugged, steeply sloping hillside terrain. The 1,600 acres of open space exceeded the mitigation requirement by 1,100 acres and loss of 3.8 acres of wetland habitat is mitigated by creation of 9 acres of high quality wetland habitat.
4S Ranch Village Center opened in 2003 at the corner of Dove Canyon and Camino Del Norte encompassing 31,000 square feet. The center was expanded to 67,000 square feet in 2011. The center is home to the only gas station in 4S Ranch.
LA Fitness opened a 38,000 square foot gym in 4S Ranch in 2006 and had a minor remodel and equipment replacement in 2012.
Opening in 2006 and at the heart of 4S Ranch is a traditional town center totaling approximately 265,000 square feet with 40-50 tenants, 4S Commons. Easily accessible, and even within walking distance for many, 4S Commons is the kind of place where families can come together, linger over breakfast, or gather for a team lunch after the game. This 53-acre community focal point provides residents with everyday needs, including a supermarket, retail shops and services, day care, restaurants and fast food. 4S Commons is a vibrant place that residents can call their own. The town center is anchored by a 52,000 square foot Ralph's grocery store presumably built in cooperation with the Ralphs family related to the development of 4S Ranch even though the chain is part of Kroger. Other significant tenants include Bed Bath & Beyond, Cost Plus World Market, CVS, The Joint ...the chiropractic place and Jimbo's...Naturally.
880 4S Ranch Express Provides service to Sorrento Valley/UTC During peak commute times via MTS. The premium express service is a commuter service with limited stops by premium coach buses. The route begins at the 4S Commons Town Center, then stops at the Rancho Bernardo transit station and travesl directly to Mira Mesa via Interstate 15. The bus exits I-15 at Mira Mesa Boulevard and go to Sorrento Valley, providing service to employment centers there. The end of the line is the University Town Center transit center. Developer fees from 4S Ranch helped fund this route and brings a long-term transit plan to the I-15 corridor.
Camino del Norte and Rancho Bernardo Road provide the primary access for the community, and lead east to Interstate 15. Other major roads providing access to 4S Ranch are Carmel Valley Road and Camino del Sur, which both lead to the South and West and lead to California State Route 56 and Interstate 5. Cimarron Crest Drive, which parallels 4S Ranch Parkway, is noted for the house numbers in Google Earth being an entire block offset from reality.
Fall Festival Merchant stands and food with rides and games.
Annual Easter Egg Hunt
Thank You Run/Walk 5K Thanksgiving Day
Summer Movie Nights
4S Ranch Fourth of July Carnival and Street Faire Activities include water slides, jumpers, crafts and games for members of the 4S Ranch Homeowners Association and guests; food and snacks available for purchase.
4S Ranch Fourth of July Fireworks Fireworks begin at dusk at Del Norte High School.
4S Ranch Pumpkin Festival
Concert in the Park
Parks and Recreation
There are several county parks including
- 4S Ranch Sports Park
- City Park
- Heritage Park
- 4S Ranch Community Park
- Patriot Park
- Pioneer Park
- 4s Ranch Linear Park
4S Ranch is served by the Poway Unified School District.
Due to potential future overcrowding at Monterey Ridge elementary and Oak Valley Middle schools, the Poway USD changed attendance boundaries for non-4S Ranch students attending these 4S Ranch schools, which also impacts boundaries for Del Norte High as these are feeder schools. The change was controversial due to inadequate explanations by the school board to concerned parents that was eventually placated only for students with older siblings that will allowed to attend either Monterey Ridge, Oak Valley and Del Norte upon request. Additionally, parents leveled criticism by claiming the change was only due to the fact that the non-4S Ranch students were being excluded from attendance due to the non-payment of Mello-Roos taxes that 4S Ranch residents are required to pay.
Law Enforcement and Fire Protection
4S Ranch is served by the San Diego County Sheriff's Department with a substation located at 10282 Rancho Bernardo Road. Fire protection is provided by Rancho Santa Fe Fire District Station No. 2 located at 16930 Four Gee Road Station No. 2.
4S Ranch Community Organizations
|This section requires expansion. (June 2008)|
- 4S Ranch Youth Football & Cheer
- 4S Ranch Little League Baseball
- Boys and Girls Club Basketball
- 4S Ranch Soccer http://www.avengerssoccer.com/default_css.aspx
- 4S Ranch Girls Softball
4S Ranch County Library
4S Ranch county library Opened to the public on April 26, 2007, the 4S Ranch Library is located in 4S Commons Center and serves as a community hub, focused on their large population of children and teens that flood the branch on a daily basis.The 4S Ranch branch is 7,214 square feet and has a fluctuating collection size of around 28,000 items. Despite its relatively small size, 4S Ranch is ninth out of thirty-three San Diego County Library branches in terms of how many items customers check out monthly at their library. Each month, 4S Ranch checks out about 33,000 items to the public, with the majority of these items being children's books and media materials, such as DVDs.
- San Diego Historical Society article about Joseph Snook
- San Diego Union Tribune Article about Joseph Snook and the 4S Ranch name
- LA Times article from 1989 on the 4S Ranch business park development
- POWAY UNIFIED CFD#6 IAA California Tax Data
- Pacific Highland vs. 4S Ranch Mello-Roos comparison
- San Diego Union Tribune, October 25, 2007
- New York Times, October 28, 2007
- Rancho Santa Fe Fire District website
- Shelter-In-Place brochure, Rancho Santa Fe Fire District
- Sab Diego County Board of Supervisors meeting minutes November 4, 1998
- Yahoo Finance press release July 20, 2012
- Regency Center property brochure
- The Full Pint news article August 7, 2012
- MTS route schedule September 4, 2011
- Pomerado News.com article March 25, 2009
- 4S Community Parks
- NC Times story March 10, 2011
- Poway USD feeder school schedule
- 10 News story on concerned parents September 12, 2011
- San Diego County Sheriff Substation
- RSFFPD Station No. 2