Before Harmony Grove Village's first home was sold in 2016, the area for best known for the Egg Ranch and nearby rock quarry.
The Harmony Grove Village project was started by Standard Pacific Homes, then the project was sold to Cal Atlantic Homes and in 2019 Lennar who completed the project in 2020.
From the San Diego Tribune, September 8, 2012:
The chickens have flown the coop in Harmony Grove. And the coops will be gone soon, too.
Two longtime egg ranches in the center of the rural town tucked west of Escondido closed this month to make way for a planned, 742-home development. At Harmony Egg Ranch on Country Club Drive, crews were busy on Thursday tearing down buildings that once housed 360,000 chickens.
At nearby Ward Egg Ranch on Harmony Grove Road, co-owner Bill Wilgenburg said he was recycling many of his chicken coops before developer Standard Pacific Homes takes over, probably later this month.
“We thank (our customers) for their business and support over the years,” said Wilgenburg at his ranch, which has operated since the 1960s. His ranch once housed up to 150,000 chickens. At one point, it sold eggs to Costco, and until recently, to the general public at its on-site store, Wilgenburg said.
Once the ranches are cleared, Standard Pacific plans to build Harmony Grove Village atop 468 acres where the ranches operated and some surrounding areas. Plans for the development, as approved by the San Diego County Board of Supervisors in February 2007, called for: public trails and a private equestrian facility; a fire station; a sewage treatment plant; space for stores designed to serve the neighborhood; town houses and shopkeeper units in the center of the community; and more spacious estates on its edges.
Wilgenburg said his property has been in escrow for several years. That escrow is expected to close later this month, he added. Ed Demler, one of the owners of Harmony Egg Ranch, did not return a call seeking comment.
Danielle Tocco, spokeswoman for Standard Pacific Homes, said she could not provide any information about the company’s expected construction timeline.
Not all customers were aware of the ranch closures this week. “It used to be full of employees. Now it’s dead,” said Federico Salgado of Escondido, who had hoped to pick up eggs at Ward Egg Ranch Thursday, only to find a “closed” sign and drive away.
The closing of the ranches and coming development marks a transition for rural Harmony Grove. At least one resident active in the town’s planning group said she’s optimistic about plans for Harmony Grove Village.
Mid Hoppenrath of the Elfin Forest Harmony Grove Town Council said the village plans represent a compromise between high-density development and a project more fitting with the town, which is dotted with upscale homes and attractive horse ranches.
“On the surface, (the ranch closures) mean no more odors ---- which makes everyone happy,” Hoppenrath said. "(But) we like it rural. We understand there’s a lot of pressure to develop.”
Rev. Chris Meredith of the Harmony Grove Spiritual Association said the ranch closures are a defining point in the town’s move toward growth.
“My days of walking my dogs down the road in the quiet of the countryside are numbered,” said Meredith who said he’s lived in town 25 years. “We don’t mind progress, but we do lament the loss of land and the urbanization of the countryside because we’ve got very little of that left.”
Lennar's community development map