In this rural and sparely populated Southern California community you can still find a rare sense of openness, wild natural beauty and quiet. It truly is a road less traveled. De Luz is a geographic anomaly — a place that still offers full-time and second-home residents a rural lifestyle, but with the added benefit of a wonderful near-ocean Mediterranean climate — and quick freeway access to all points in San Diego, Riverside, LA, Orange County, and Hollywood. De Luz is located along the northern San Diego and southern Riverside County borders with easy access to Temecula and Fallbrook for local shopping, services, and entertainment.

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Topography

Rope Bridge at De Luz Creek © 2011 ktc

The topography of the region is characterized by transitional ridges, peaks, and valleys that comprise the southern end of the Santa Ana Mountain range. The community of De Luz, which lies just 12 miles from the Pacific, seems an un-touched place — buffered from the pressing forces of Southern California urbanization by its geography. The wild and largely undeveloped preserves of Camp Pendleton on the west, along with an almost inpenetrable series of mountains and ridge-lines to the north, have sheltered the community from intensive development.

Nearby mountains sweep around the boundaries of De Luz — from the towering and prominent 3,189 foot high Margarita Peak, across to Redonda Mesa, and over to the Santa Rosa Plateau. These mountains end in the south where they form the verdant Santa Margarita River Valley, and serve to feed the only year-round flowing coastal stream in all of San Diego County. It’s glorious.

Properties and Lifestyle

De Luz appeals to those who want privacy, space, and big wide-open vistas. The community occupies a portion of both Riverside and San Diego counties. The southern portion of De Luz, that which is in San Diego’s Santa Margarita River Valley region, is sometimes fondly called “The Canyon” by locals. The northern portion, in Riverside County, is often called the Santa Rosa Plateau area and includes the communities of Tenaja, Santa Rosa West, La Cresta, La Cresta Highlands and Hills West.

Zoning ordinances for the De Luz area (in both counties) typically require a minimum 4 acres or more more per dwelling unit. Many parcels are restricted to even lower densities with many agriculturally zoned parcels often zoned to allow just one dwelling unit per 40 acres. In general, the current zoning plans for De Luz encourage extremely low density residential growth and development.

Buyers looking anywhere in De Luz can find both raw land and already developed and improved properties. Because of the nature of the market, the quality of the land is a key component in determining value — and prices per acre will vary widely depending on views, water resources, utility availability, current usage, size of parcel, access, usability, slopes, etc. In general, expect to pay in the range of $10,000 to $30,000+ per acre for raw land in the De Luz area. Value per acre will trend upwards for smaller parcels, or for improved raw land, working groves, parcels with year-round streams, wells, or outbuildings. On larger parcels (say 30-50 acres), there have been recent sales at under $10,000 per acre for raw land.

For improved parcels with existing structures and homes, buyers might occasionally find smaller, older homes on 1-2 acre parcels, which sell for around $250,000. These deals are not common. More typically you will find comfortable homes on 4 acres in the $350,000 to $450,000 range. Above $600,000 to $900,000 there are opportunities to find truly special homes, many offering an assortment of special features and luxuries. Above $1,000,000 to $2,000,000 buyers will begin to find all manner of custom and unique properties; large estates, major land holdings, or perhaps a magical old-world 100 acre ranch with running streams, wells, historic buildings, seclusion, riding trails, even an air strip. You’ll find estates with equestrian facilities, groves, tennis courts, you name it. In De Luz, you can let your imagination roam.

(For more detailed land use, zoning, and boundary information in the San Diego County portions of De Luz see: San Diego County’s Fallbrook Community Plan Land Use Map.)

Weather

De Luz’s dramatic topography causes many different and varied micro-climates. Sunset Magazine’s “Western Garden Book,” places De Luz into three major climate classifications, which include Zones 18, 19, and 23. It’s a transitional area that mixes the ocean climate influences found in Zone 23 with the inland continental air mass climate characteristics of Zones 18 and 19. You can easily see the dramatic collision of these climate types as you drive into Temecula from San Diego along Interstate 15. At the “pass” between San Diego and Riverside Counties, the interstate drops quickly into the Temecula Valley and the topography and vegetation changes dramatically; warmer daytime highs to the east — and warmer nighttime highs and generally moister, ocean influenced air in the higher elevations to the west.

De Luz offers a year-round growing climate that supports many commercial nurseries, groves, and farms. And the living is easy too. Summertime highs average in the mid 80s. Winters are mild with daytime temperatures in the mid 60s. Many winter days will have daytime highs in the 70s and sometimes the 80s. Most precipitation occurs during the winter months.

There is limited historical weather data for the region, so we use Fallbrook weather data as a proxy. De Luz has many micro-climates, which can reportedly cause temperature variations of as much as 5 degrees or more across the community.

Notable Residents

Rita Coolidge — Multiple Grammy Award-winning American vocalist, Rita Coolidge now resides in a glorious, hidden away corner of the region.

Schools

Search For Homes Using The Fallbrook School District Boundary Map
Search for Homes Using The Murrieta and Temecula School District Map Boundaries

(De Luz residents in San Diego County attend Fallbrook schools. De Luz residents in Riverside County attend Temecula or Murrieta public schools. Contact the local school district to verify residency and enrollment requirements.)

FALLBROOK PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Fallbrook Union Elementary Schools
Contact For Additional Information

Fallbrook Street School
(Grades K-6)
405 W. Fallbrook Street
Fallbrook, CA 92028
760-731-4000

Iowa Street School
(Grades K-8)
321 N. Iowa Street
Fallbrook, CA 92028
760-731-5440

Maie Ellis Elementary
(Grades K-3)
400 W. Elder Street
Fallbrook, CA 92028
760-731-4300

La Paloma Elementary School
(Grades K-6)
300 Heald Lane
Fallbrook, CA 92028
760-731-4220

Live Oak Elementary School
(Grades K-6)
1978 Reche Road
Fallbrook, CA 92028
760-731-4430



Mary Fay Pendleton School
(Grades K-7)
110 Marine Drive
Camp Pendleton, CA 92058
760-731-4050

San Onofre Elementary School
(Grades K-8)
200 Pate Road
San Clemente, CA 92672
760-731-4360

William H. Frazier Elementary School
(Grades K-6)
1835 Gum Tree Lane
Fallbrook, CA 92028
760-723-6770

Potter Junior High School
(Grades 7-8)
1743 Reche Road
Fallbrook, CA 92028
760-731-4150

Fallbrook Union High Schools
Contact For Additional Information

Fallbrook High School
(Grades 9-12)
2400 S. Stage Coach Lane
Fallbrook, CA 92028
760-723-6405



Ivy High School
(Ages 16-18)
1056 Winterhaven Road
Fallbrook, CA 92028
760-723-6395

Oasis High School
2208 S. Stage Coach Lane
Fallbrook, CA 92028
760-723-1886

FALLBROOK PRIVATE SCHOOLS

Fallbrook Montessori School
(PK-6)
127 W. Elder Street
Fallbrook, CA 92028
760-728-4754

St. Peter’s Catholic School
(PK-8)
450 S. Stage Coach Lane
Fallbrook, CA 92028
760-728-6961

Zion Lutheran School
(PK-8)
1405 E. Fallbrook Street
Fallbrook, CA 92028
760-723-3500

St. Stephen Lutheran School
(K-8)
1636 E. Mission Rd.
Fallbrook, CA 92028
760-728-6814

MURRIETA PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Contact Murrietta Valley Unified School District

Proximity To Shopping And Services

Shopping is convenient in Fallbrook or Temecula.

Essential Services:

Fallbrook Hospital – (760) 728-1191
Tri-City Medical Center – (760) 724-8411
Palomar Medical Center - (760) 739-3000
Fire – North County Fire Protection District – Fallbrook Office (760) 723-2005 (in emergency call 911)
Police – San Diego County Sheriff – Fallbrook Substation (760) 451-3100 (in emergency call 911)

Basic Services:

FOR OTHER NEIGHBORHOOD SERVICES CONSULT THIS MAP:

Nearby medical, dental, emergency, grocery, post office, etc.

Attractions and Tours:

scenic roads
avocado orchards
llama farms
horse ranches
old farm houses
estates
Santa Rosa Preserve
The Santa Rosa Plateau is unique. According to Keith Haworth, a horticulturalist and author of a authoritative online guide to the area’s wildflowers says that the area is special because of the variety of “plant communities all in one place (i.e.: oak woodland, grassland, sage and chaparral, riparian, and vernal pools).  There are over 600 species of plants which is approximately one tenth the total number of varieties in California.”
Santa Rosa Plateau Wildflower Guide

More Resources:

De Luz News
De Luz News Blog
Tom Chester’s Field Guide Santa Rosa Preserve
North County Times article on the Moreno and Machado Adobes
Welburn Gourd Farm
A Bee Organic
De Luz Volunteer Fire Department
Avacado Express (Fresh De Luz grown avocados shipped to your doorstep)
Friends of the Santa Margarita River
De Luz Community Services District (Riverside County Parcels Only)
Santa Margarita Ecological Reserve (San Diego State University Field Station Program)

Sometimes mispelled: Deluz, Daluz, Deluz, Daloos, Dalos, Daluz, DaLooze, De Looze, Day Lose, Dalose, Da Lose, De Lose, Delouse, Da Luz.