ESCONDIDO — In a few years, a vacant lot along North Iris Lane will be home to a new 102-unit condominium development.
The North Iris Condominiums will take over 7.7 acres of five parcels along North Iris Lane at the corner of Robin Hill Lane, a private dirt road that connects several residents in the semi-rural area to Centre City Parkway. The city of Escondido previously annexed the parcels from the county in 2020.
After the Escondido City Council’s approval, the city also changed the zoning of the land to house up to 18 dwelling units per acre. However, the proposed project would only have 14.6 dwelling units per acre.
The condos will include two- to four-bedroom units built in groups of four to six homes across 21 buildings on each site. While most of the project has two stories, some three-story sections are closer to the development’s central areas. The condominiums will be for sale to residents.
There will be 230 parking spaces with dedicated two-car garages and 27 guest parking spaces.
The Planning Commission approved the project and its environmental impact report in December. According to staff, all of the mitigation measures are adequate, the project won’t conflict with adjacent land uses, and the space is suitable for such a project.
Still, some locals who live nearby are concerned about the traffic issues the project could exacerbate.
Audrey Brouwer, who lives along North Iris, requested another traffic study be conducted. Brouwer said the developer’s traffic analysis occurred during the pandemic when more people were at home rather than commuting to work or school.
She also noted that North Iris is a primary cut-through road from the neighborhoods and new developments near Rincon Middle School to Centre City Parkway to the freeways.
“If we add more cars from this development, we’re going to add traffic,” Brouwer said.
Brouwer was also concerned about the safety of senior citizens exiting the back gate of Meadowbrook Village Christian Retirement Community, which sits almost directly across the street from the new development.
Some residents also questioned the condo residents’ future use of Robin Hill Lane and whether or not it would be paved. The developer intends to pave the portion of Robin Hill Lane as far as the property line goes, with plans to have the community’s HOA maintain the road in the future.
Other comments supported the project and past work from the developer, Hallmark Communities, Inc.
Jim Simmons, an Escondido resident and land use consultant who has previously worked with Hallmark, praised the developer for its work.
“They build a really good product, and they do a good job,” Simmons said. “This project meets or exceeds all requirements… As a resident and consultant, this is one of the best projects we’ve seen, and we’d like you to approve it.”
The City Council unanimously approved the North Iris Condominiums.