Rancho Guejito News, Guejito Ranch Conservation and Development, Guejito History, Biology, Plans and More
Brought to you as a public service of Open_Spaces_ GIS and Realty_Services specializing in Environmental Real Estate. This site is not affiliated or endorsed by owners of Rancho Guejito or anybody else. It is only my record of events and observations.
Guejito.Info Story Links
The widow of the Philadelphia millionaire who owned Rancho Guejito in Valley Center for 30 years until his death in 2004, died earlier this month at the age of 94. Nancy Coates’ death will not impact the ownership which is controlled by the Rancho Guejito Corp. headed by the couple’s daughter, Theodate Coates of New York City. See also Major benefactor of the Valley Center History Museum Dies
Deal Reached in SDG&E Lawsuit over 2007 Fires.
The lawsuit brought against SDG&E for 10s of millions in damages to the rancho related to the 2007 fires sparked by downed power lines was settled for an unknown amount. SDG&E settled without admission of liability and no details were released. Also see Tentative Deal
Pilot and plane reunited 57 years later.
The Navy pilot who crashed a FJ-4B Fury fighter/bomber on the Guejito in 1957 visited the remains of the plane after ranch hands discovered the crash site.
Guejito Ranch Announces Aerial Drone Surveillance.
This is just a strange story, but now I have a drone too!
State Water Board Issues Wetland Clean Up Order
The State Water Board called for implementation of an "Erosion and Sediment Control Plan for the Rancho Guejito Farm Road" by the end of May and submission by the developer of a restoration and mitigation plan by June 28. This order addresses damages caused to State Waters by grading and filling wetlands in 5 tributaries to Guejito Creek. Government agencies involved in clean up now include San Diego County, Department of Fish and Game, The Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, the Army Corp of Engineers, and The Water Quality Control Board. Affected endangered species include the Arroyo Toad. View the clean up order here. The article also discusses over $27,000 in contributions made by the Guejito to local politicians.
Additional code violations found on Ranch while road grading problem remains stagnent
Code enforcement officers from San Diego County inspecting Rancho Guejito have issued new code violations for work unrelated to road construction violations issue nd last March. These new problems include construction of a concrete crossing over a creek without a permit. This violates watercourse ordinances and could bring in federal agencies whose jurisdiction includes all wetland impacts. Officials also discovered un permitted grading for agricultural development including grading of hillsides and access roads. The Guejito was given 30 days to submit permits for the grading and was ordered to restore the wetland crossing. Rancho representative Hank Rupp contends the Rancho is exempt from having to follow County Code in these situations. Rupp's reasoning for this was unexplained. View the second round Violation Notices here.
County won't drop restoration demands at Rancho Guejito
Guejito representatives have still failed to admit to construction of a second access road to the ranch. The County has rejected their offer to restrict the road to agricultural uses. That offer seemed meaningless since the entire ranch is in agricultural use and all current uses would be agricultural in nature anyway. The County continues to explicitly demand "full restoration" of the road. In common language I would expect "full restoration" to mean, full restoration of the illegally graded area to the condition it was prior to grading. At this time there has been no further input from other agencies whose approval would have been required had wetland impacts considered and the road developed with standard permits and approvals.
New Questions of Additional Grading Violations
Grading and Earth Moving without permit may extend beyond reported violations. Evidence of additional grading and road construction on Rancho Guejito has been received from Mitch Perdue. Mitch worked on the Guejito as Rangeland Manager. He identifies a new wetland crossing of Guejito Creek well away from the new south access road. Additionally it appears 2 areas are being cleared and graded for roads. Hank Rupp has often talked about expanding orchards and these photos might show grading for that. After Guejito management attempted to hoodwink the public by concealing a new access road it seems fair to ask if these new projects have required permits? Contact Me
Guejito Places Restraining Order on Former Employee
. Rangeland manager and former employee Mitch Perdue who claims to be owed $300,000 by the ranch was issued a permanent restraining order by the Court. Mitch has become a vocal critic of Rancho Guejito practices since this dispute arose and has been a source for first hand information about violations occurring on the Ranch.
Guejito Grading Violation Documents Made Available
I have received copies of letters and documents sent to Rancho Guejito regarding determination of grading and environmental violations. These pages may be viewed by following the headline link.
Investigator for Guejito Attorneys Delivers Intimidating Letter to this Website.
An private investigator recently hand delivered a letter from attorneys representing the Guejito. The letter claimed I was infringing upon Guejito trademarks and was passing myself off as a representative of the ranch. I do not represent the ranch in any manner and added a disclaimer to this site. At least one other letter went out attempting to restrain commentary on the Guejito Ranch. These letters appear to be intended to stifle public discussion of activities on the ranch. The letter sent to me is scanned into record here.
Rangeland Manager Submits Cattle Mortality Report
State certified rangeland manager Mitch Perdue who worked the Guejito Ranch documented numerous deaths of cattle in this report. He attributes the deaths to malnutrition and photographic evidence supports his argument. The Guejito has been divided into multiple ranges in order to efficiently graze the ranch's herd. Multiple sections allow for more precise control of the range but also require closer oversight to avoid damage. It may have been that pregnant cattle were held in one of these smaller sections through calving. The forage was exhausted and the new calves increased demand for grazing but were not relocated to better pasture in time to avoid these deaths. State officials investigated but did not find the Guejito blameworthy of more than poor management.. Mitch's photos also show what appears to be quick range burial of the corpses. Full report available here.
Guejito Representative states need for road connecting Rancho Guejito to Highway 78.
On Feb., 2 2010 Rikki Schroeder made presentation to the Pala-Pauma Planning Group. She discussed options for development on the ranch. She stated that development would occur and that it was only a matter of time and an acceptable plan being adopted before it would happen. She said the Guejito had plenty of time and made no comment indicating development size except that the 10,000 home number reported was not suggested by the owner. I questioned her specifically about creating an access to Highway 78 in San Pasqual. She said that route would be created to access development. That connection was created by the illegal grading now under discussion. Minutes from that meeting can be viewed here with the access question highlighted.
What is Rancho Guejito?
The Guejito Ranch looms ahead as either the biggest development or conservation site remaining in San Diego County. The Guejito Ranch contains Rancho Guejito y Canada de Paloma, the last remaining intact Mexican land grant in California which dates back to 1845. Those were the days of the Dons, Ranchos, and Californios. At about 22,000 acres including the original Mexican land grant of around 13,000 acres and the historic Vineyard Ranch of 4500 acres, whatever happens on the Guejito is sure to have an impact on the future character of the County and on the people who live here. It is nearly as large as the nearby City of Escondido and could contain not just another planned development but an new community or might it be San Diego's premier natural preserve and a State Park as it very nearly was in 1974? The Guejito is located east of Escondido in the heart of North County back country.
It's unspoiled and entirely undeveloped nature with large tracts of scarce habitats, wide open grasslands, and oak covered hillsides make it the envy of conservation advocates. It virtually contains the entire 17,800 acre watershed of Guejito Creek. At last report there is not a paved road, a utility line, easement or underground pipeline, nor is there a permanent resident on it's uninterrupted 22,000 acres. It does appear that the ranch is a throw back to the days of yore but it is not entirely by chance that development has not occurred there previously. Although the Guejito is just outside Escondido it is out of the way of the routes of commerce. has a limited water supply, and is isolated by the rugged terrain that surrounds it.