Planning approves next step for Sage Ranch
Planning Commission Update
December 9, 2023
[Editor’s note: A portion of the article printed on Nov. 25, 2023, has been redacted. The article is being reprinted below to include a statement from Greenbriar.]
The central topic of discussion at the Nov. 13 meeting of the Tehachapi Planning Commission was the Phase 1 Precise Development Plan of the Sage Ranch planned community, to be located on 138 acres between Valley Blvd. and Pinon St., just west of Tehachapi High School. The project, when complete, could contain up to 995 single and multi-family residential units.
The Tehachapi City Council approved the Sage Ranch Final Master Development Plan on Sept. 7, 2021. The development is planned to be completed in six phases over seven years. The Phase 1 Precise Development Plan was first submitted to the city in November 2022, followed by the second submittal on April 20 and a third on Sept. 19. The final completed copy of the proposed Phase 1 PDP was received by the city on Oct. 18 to be brought before the Planning Commission for review in November.
Phase 1 of the development will include two types of single-family detached homes and two types of multi-family attached homes. Twenty-seven detached single-family homes with an attached garage will be located on 4,200-square-foot lots and are the largest to be constructed during this phase. There will also be 30 smaller single-family homes, called Patio Homes, that will have a shared yard. The multi-family homes include 51 two-story townhouses and 36 attached cottages. The Homeowners Association will be responsible for upkeep of the landscaping
One condition of approval of the Final Master Development Plan was that the northern half of the central park, including most of the amenities, be completed during the development of Phase 1. The park as planned will contain basketball, tennis, padel and pickleball courts; a swimming pool with splash pad, play pad and a 2-lane lap pool. Also included would be a children's play area and a 4,300 square-foot community center. Landscaping, signage and a plaza with a fountain are also included in the Phase 1 plan.
According to Tehachapi Development Services Director Jay Schlosser, the Planning Commission's only job at the November meeting was to review the proposed architecture, layout of the houses and streets and to make recommendations. They were not to take under consideration the legal battle with the Tehachapi Cummings Community Water District over water rights that was filed in 2021, adding that the next hearing for that case is set for March 22, 2024.
Jeff Ciachurski, chief executive officer of the developer Greenbriar Capital Corporation, as well as many of the company's team attended the meeting. City Attorney Tom Schroeter was present at the meeting to answer any legal questions as was CEQA Attorney Ginetta Giovinco who attended virtually.
Ciachurski informed the Commission that Greenbriar will be using local labor and a Bakersfield contractor will be the sole builder of the development from start to finish. The commissioners all felt that the Phase 1 plan basically conformed to the original plan. Commissioner Nixon noted that in the townhomes, one entire side wall had no windows. Ciachurski stated that this was to assure privacy but the Commission agreed that windows should be included. Ciachurski agreed to make the change.
Although Commissioner Nixon stated that, in her opinion, the Sage Ranch project was "too big for Tehachapi," the Commission voted 3-0 to approve the Phase 1 Precise Development Plan for Sage Ranch. In the absence of Commissioners Charles White and Linda Hollingsworth, approval was given by Commissioners Kim Nixon, Daryl Christensen and Steve Hamblin.
On Dec. 7, Greenbriar sent The Loop newspaper a statement, “For clarification there exists no litigation where even a negative outcome in court will shut down the project. The most a judge could do is tell the city to revise its water report, NOT shut down the project, ever.”