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Looking Back on Temecula’s Past

by Nancy Hughes

So many people living in Temecula today don’t really understand how this area came to be the way it is – with the beautiful open spaces, well planned neighborhoods, great schools and large areas of low density residential lots and homes, and of course the beautiful Wine Country. While the County of Riverside and City of Temecula officials may like to claim credit for the beautiful Master Plan for the area – the truth is that the credit goes to the Kaiser Development Company – which bought the cattle ranch property from the Vail family over 50 years ago! The County and City have certainly done wonderful things to be sure our communities developed beautifully, but Kaiser took the 87,000 + acre property – back in 1964- and designed the largest Master Planned community in the Country. The design they came up with was brilliant – and encompassed the area from La Cresta to Redhawk, and De Luz to Glenoak Hills- then called Rancho California!

When I moved to “Rancho California” in 1983, and started working for Rancon Real Estate – the area was still mostly undeveloped. There was not much to do here – as the kids would always complain! The Promenade Mall was a large dairy, Temecula Parkway was a two lane road and the only commercial entity in it was the Rancho Fruit Market, the freeway was just being completed with the last stretch in Rainbow – and the daily blastings woke us up each day! We would go to Fallbrook for a dinner out, San Diego for shopping, and there was only one small elementary school, and one middle school.

The first tract of homes was just under construction – Starlight Ridge – and no one was sure how it would sell. As we now know – many people were looking for a place to move where they could buy affordable homes in which to raise their families – and the success of Starlight Ridge led many other builders to the area. The Temecula Unified School District did an excellent job of building beautiful campuses to host the growing population, and they had the pick of great teachers who also wanted to live in this beautiful place with affordable housing! It all worked together as Kaiser had planned and the legacy of that plan will continue to insure that our area remains one of the most beautiful- and low density – communities in Southern California! And now you know why it is called Rancho California Road!

Nancy Hughes is with Rancon Real Estate at 27740 Jefferson Avenue, Suite 100, in Temecula.  – (951) 704-4644.

Written by Nancy Hughes

Nancy Hughes is with Rancon Real Estate at 27740 Jefferson Avenue, Suite 100, in Temecula. – (951) 704-4644.

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