Since 2017, Ambient Communities has proudly been a part of the San Elijo Hills community.  We have worked closely with the City and the community. Our developments focus on community enrichment and meeting the residents’ needs through meaningful, useful, relevant projects.

Under current City zoning, the property is designated for several types of commercial and institutional uses. Examples of some of these types of projects that would be allowed include:

  • Restaurant
  • Grocery Store
  • Drug Store
  • Medical / Dental
  • Office Building
  • Preschool (Per a Conditional Use Permit – CUP)

In assessing the community’s needs, it became clear that education was a top priority. We then determined that the elementary-level education needs as well as middle school were being met.  What was lacking was preschool education options. For the 3,464 San Elijo Hills homes, there is only one full day licensed preschool and one part time Preschool for ages 3-5.

Central Montessori approached us to explore potential San Elijo Hills’ options. Many of their current Encinitas students commute daily from San Elijo Hills. Through our due diligence, it was determined that the proposed preschool met the community enrichment criteria, was appropriate for the space available, and was less impactful than other potential uses. In placing the preschool, we addressed the following need as well as related concerns:

  • Pre-School Education
  • Safety
  • Traffic
  • Access

The lot layout, building design, playground, and construction materials incorporate the highest safety standards, access, and traffic considerations. Families that now commute miles to find their preferred preschool education experience will now be able to find it close to home.

If you would like to learn more, receive project updates, share a concern, or provide a comment, please review the Frequently Asked Questions or complete the Form below. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • In the San Elijo Hills Town Center, there is one full day licensed preschool and one part time Preschool for ages 3-5 . As we assessed the community’s needs, we looked for options that would enhance and enrich the community. It became very evident there was a gap in young children’s education experiences. This was also reinforced by the number of potential preschool operations that had studied the area and contacted us to discuss this location. We chose to go with an operator that was local, had smaller enrollment, and provides an exceptional educational experience.
  • The proposed number of students is between 110 to 120.
  • The operation hours will be from 7:30 am to 5:00 pm. A half-day program will also be offered with pick-up between 11:30 am – 12:30pm.
  • Unlike an elementary or middle school, preschools operate differently. There are no bell rings for attendance.  Rather, drop off times span from 7:30 am to 9:30 am, depending on the needs of the parents. Similarly, elementary, and middle schools have a set dismissal time. Preschool pick up times will span from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm. (see projected drop-off schedule). Additionally, these trips are already within the roadway system, either going to the local Preschool or out of the community. A comprehensive traffic study has been prepared and can be viewed HERE.
  • Families living in the community are already traveling to bring their children to pre-schools that are located outside of San Elijo Hills. Having another pre-school option within the community simply reduces the distance that families need to travel, and reduces incoming and outgoing traffic. The Montessori Preschool drop off and pick up times also occur over several hours in the morning and afternoon so as not to conflict with those peak travel times.
  • Yes, this location is safe for children. In addition to this preschool, there are two schools and a regional park adjacent to this location, making it a recognized school-zone. Approximately 2,500 children attend those schools. The preschool property will be fenced, secured, and monitored.
  • There are two outdoor play areas provided, both secure and fenced.
  • There are eleven parking spaces onsite and an additional twenty-three parking spaces along San Elijo Road South. All of these will be available for drop-off and pick-ups. On average drop-offs and/or pick-ups take approximately five minutes.
  • As we reviewed and assessed the needs within the community, we looked at several types of office and or service uses, however, the lack of available preschool education facilities stood out as a community need.
  • You can contact our Project Manager, Duncan Budlinger, at (760) 230-1000. You can also submit a comment or question on the form provided below and someone will get back to you promptly.