Rancho Buena Vista

~ Level 1 – Site Assessment ~

~ Level 2 – Water Patterning Design ~

Level 1 – Site Assessment

Location: Huasna Valley, CA

Project Scope: 7th Generation Design was invited by the Barefoot family to perform a Level 1 Site Assessment and design the passive water harvesting systems for their ~45 acre multi-family property located in Huasna Valley just inland of Arroyo Grande. The client’s goals included developing a holistic water harvesting plan that worked with required access routes to three proposed home sites.

The Land: The ~45 acre property constitutes the majority of a primary valley opening to the northwest. The landform is defined by approximately 36 acres of steep oak woodland, 6.5 acres of open meadow bottom land, and 3.6 acres of mature oak woodland located in the flatter areas. The property has ~560′ of road frontage and over 1000′ feet of seasonal drainage that runs through it before reaching Tar Spring Creek. The entire Huasna Valley has a long history of cattle and sheep ranching, and cattle still have access to the property. Soil fertility and water retention capacity are low. The site is influenced primarily by marine air for most of the year. The valley is home to deer, turkey, and wild pigs.

Rancho Buena Vista’s functional water catchment area.

Existing Conditions & Infrastructure

The property had no existing structures on it. Vehicle access tracks run through the meadows, and cross the seasonal drainage via a large culvert (largely occluded at the time of this survey). A steep road cut was installed heading straight up the ridge on the north side of the upper meadow just prior to sale of the property (requires urgent remediation).

FIRST: Existing vehicle access two-tracks. SECOND: Recommended decommissioning of steep road cut installed prior to sale of the property to prevent extreme erosion damage.

Work Performed

  • Site survey and aerial mapping of the lower meadows.
  • Passive water harvesting system design integrated with chosen home sites and proposed access routes. Earthworks installation would harvest an additional 1.84 – 6.15 million gallons of water annually and make that water available in the soil profile for growing productive, environment-enhancing trees.
  • Creation of full-site basemaps and multiple focus area call outs to guide home placement, orientation and planning for future water harvesting and growing systems.
Middle of the Upper Meadow, swales patterning water out of the existing drainage and spreading it across contour, before filling the existing pond with proposed remodeled spillway.

Design Maps

Passive Water Harvesting Earthworks Design