By the Tapestry Development Team
Nearly 25 years after first being set into the plans at the founding of the City of Hesperia, a master-planned community is finally going to be a reality. The former Rancho Las Flores Specific Plan is now the Tapestry master-planned community. The project is being developed by Terra Verde Group, which has a successful history of building master-planned communities in Southern California and throughout the United States.
Even though the property is already entitled for over 15,000 homes and is part of the City’s General Plan, the project will face additional review due to updates in its plans. In the next few months, Tapestry will go before the Hesperia Planning Commission and City Council for approval of a new Environmental Impact Report (EIR), Specific Plan, and Phase I Tentative Tract Map. The project team has already held several public meetings and informational sessions and expects to do more in the lead-up to approval.
The Tapestry master-planned community is located at the heart of what Hesperia Mayor Eric Schmidt and others dub the “Mojave River Basin”. The project lies north of the 138 and 173 Highways, east of Arrowhead Lake Rd, south of Ranchero Road, and extends west to the Hesperia city limits, about 2 miles short of Summit Valley Rd. When it is built out, in the next few decades, the Tapestry community will feature 19,311 homes located on 9,365.5 acres, 4,000 acres (42%) of which will be preserved for open space and conservation.
Tapestry will be a very high quality community that will enhance the quality of life in Hesperia. It is our hope that as this project moves forward, Hesperia residents will come to see it as an asset to the community as they enjoy the open space and parks that will be an essential part of life in Tapestry.
Designed for Quality Living
Tapestry will provide a premier living experience by promoting upscale architectural design and a special emphasis on quality living. The goal is to appeal to younger families looking to purchase their first homes. Tapestry will be built with active families in mind. Walkability is a major feature of the Tapestry Specific Plan, with 161 miles of trails and paths built throughout the community.
In addition to walkability, parks and open space will be a major component of living in this community. Not only will there be a mix of neighborhood and pocket parks placed throughout each neighborhood, but a major sports park is planned in the 6th phase of development. Utilizing their experience in providing excellent amenities in master-planned communities throughout the United States, the development team plans to include recreational opportunities for all the residents of Tapestry.
At the center of the project will be a premier town center to feature upscale restaurants, retail, grocery stores and other amenities. The Tapestry town center will exist not only as a benefit to Tapestry, but will be built as a destination center for the entire Mojave River Basin.
Respecting and Protecting the Local Environment
One hallmark of life in Hesperia is living in a beautiful natural environment, and Tapestry will be designed to protect that special quality of life. Tapestry preserves the Victor Valley’s unique desert environment in its plans and design guidelines. Hesperia residents will be able to enjoy thousands of acres of new parks, pedestrian and equestrian trails, paths and open spaces. The project team has also worked with the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians to help preserve areas of importance to Native Americans, and also has plans for an interpretive center to honor the history and culture of this wonderful valley.
Tapestry is a state-of-the-art community. It is implementing energy and water saving techniques that could not be done on a smaller project. Water-wise planting techniques and state-of-the-art xeriscaping will be employed throughout the community. In addition to xeriscaping, recycled water will be used for irrigation purposes throughout the project to help reduce water consumption. Every home within Tapestry will be required to provide rooftop solar capability, making it the first community of its kind in the High Desert to achieve the level of sustainability that is so important for future generations.
Enough Water for 20 Years
In 2011, the city approved an Urban Water Management Plan (UWMP) that detailed the city’s water needs, uses, and supply & demand, including its estimated population growth and water needs for the next 25 years. A Water Supply Assessment was prepared in 2014 for the Tapestry project, by the same team who compiled that 2011 UWMP, which demonstrated water availability exists today for nearly 20 years. Tapestry will build all of the water supply and storage systems and give these improvements to the City.
Improving Mobility for Residents
Traffic has been a concern among residents adjacent to the project. Tapestry, in its planning is designed to help alleviate problems that currently exist. Tapestry will include multiple access points, especially to the north, that will help reduce congestion by providing millions of dollars in vital road expansions, new signals and other improvements. The developers have been in talks with both the City of Hesperia and Caltrans to find solutions to congestion on Ranchero Rd and Highway 138, respectively.
All of the costs of developing the Tapestry project area will be carried by the project developer. The City of Hesperia is developing a phasing schedule for this work, which will be specifically articulated in the Tapestry Development Agreement between the city and the project developers.
Benefits of Long Term Land Use Planning
The project will be built in 10 phases, with the first phase of approximately 2,300 homes beginning in 2016. Since Tapestry is a master-planned community, it provides the City of Hesperia with an opportunity to plan long-term and create a community that will sustain itself and serve as a catalyst for solutions to regional issues. Individual development projects cannot address traffic, water supply, wastewater treatment or other such improvements. They pay their development impact fees, but it is some time before enough fees are accumulated to actually construct improvements.
The Specific Plan process allows other public use issues, such as parks, schools and public safety, to be adequately anticipated and addressed. The parks district can identify their future park and recreation needs and identify specific parcels where these improvements can be constructed and can enter into financing plans for these improvements. The same holds true for schools and public safety. The process also allows the city to exert more direct control over design than it can on individual projects.
The Tapestry Specific Plan includes plans for two mixed-use town centers, eight elementary schools, two middle schools, and two high schools. The project also includes multiple public and civic facilities (like a post office, library branch, fire and police station, etc). These vital parts of infrastructure could only be done within the scope of a master-planned community like Tapestry.
Why Now is the Time for Tapestry to Succeed
Why now? Because the market is right for development in the High Desert. Prices in the LA basin and in the areas down the hill have reached levels that put home ownership out of reach for young families. The population continues to grow and the High Desert is the logical place to go to find a high-quality, affordable place to live. We firmly believe that if we can build Tapestry, Hesperia will become a preferred location for the continued job growth that is taking place in Southern California and that Tapestry will be a vibrant community for many years to come.