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4S Ranch, California

4S Ranch
Unincorporated community
4S Ranch from Black Mountain summit
4S Ranch from Black Mountain summit
4S Ranch is located in California
4S Ranch
Location within the state of California
Country United States
State California
County San Diego
Time zone Pacific (PST) (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP codes 92127
Area code(s) 858

4S Ranch is an unincorporated community of San Diego County, California. It is located about 25 miles north of downtown San Diego and 13 miles east of the Pacific Ocean in the North County Inland area of San Diego. To the east of 4S Ranch is the San Diego community of Rancho Bernardo. To the west is the Santa Fe Valley that includes Rancho Santa Fe. Lake Hodges forms the northern border of the community while Black Mountain Ranch that includes Del Sur and Santaluz, and Rancho Peñasquitos to the south. The ZIP Code is 92127 and the community is inside area code 858.

Aerial photo of Del Norte High School
4S Ranch sign
Ralphs in the 4S Commons shopping center
Heritage park in 4S Ranch
Boys and girls club in 4S Ranch


  • History 1
  • Geography 2
  • Retail 3
  • Transportation 4
  • Community events 5
  • Parks and Recreation 6
  • Schools 7
    • High Schools 7.1
    • Middle Schools 7.2
    • Elementary Schools 7.3
    • K-8 Schools 7.4
    • Private Schools 7.5
  • Law Enforcement and Fire Protection 8
  • 4S Ranch Community Organizations 9
    • Youth Sports 9.1
    • Religious Services 9.2
    • Charitable Organizations 9.3
  • 4S Ranch County Library 10
  • References 11
  • External links 12


The origin of the name 4S Ranch is not specifically known. The first recorded owner of Rancho San Bernardo, as the area in which 4S Ranch is currently located and originally part of 4 separate sitios or square leagues, was acquired by an Englishman named Joseph Snook (who later became a Mexican citizen and changed his name to Jose Francisco Snook) in 1842 and 1845.[1] Many now believe the "S" in 4S Ranch stands for "Snook". The "4" may stand for "4 Snooks", after Snook and his three brothers or the 4 sitios or leagues granted to Snook. Contrary to myth, Snook and his wife never had any children. After his death, Snook's heirs sold the property to James McCoy for $4,020.[2]

The property changed hands several times over the next 100 years. In 1938, the property was sold to the Albert G. Ralphs of the Ralphs family, owners of the southern California grocery chain. In the early 1980s, the Ralphs family agreed to develop the southern portion of their property (what is now the 4S Ranch master planned community by Newland Communities) and retain the northern 1,200 acres (4.9 km2) as a family retreat which had been operated as a working ranch for 50 years. In the 1980s the third generation of the Ralphs family was granted stewardship of 4S Ranch. Albert's grandson and granddaughter Bob Ralphs and Linda Ralphs spearheaded the family's efforts to develop the property since 1979. They received approval in 1984 from the county to develop 634 acres of the property, with the rest set aside for development at least until after 1992. A portion of 4S Ranch was within a Williamson Act Agricultural Preserve until the contract expired at the end of 1992. The development plans began in general for a $100-million first phase of development at 4S Ranch business park component that totaled 180 acres, enough for about 3 million square feet of research and light-industrial space.[3]

Development began in 1987 that was primarily a business park. Housing development began in the early 2000s and completed in 2014. Today, 4S Ranch encompasses 2,900 acres and 4,700 homes clustered around a traditional town center.


The land of 4S Ranch pre-development consisted of a variety of landforms ranging from nearly flat-lying mesas and gently rolling hills to rugged, steeply sloping hillside terrain. 1,600 acres of open space exceeded the mitigation requirement by 1,100 acres and loss of 3.8 acres of wetland habitat is mitigated by creation of 9 acres of high quality wetland habitat.[4]


4S Ranch is anchored by a bustling retail area surrounding the intersection of Dove Canyon and Camino del Norte that is composed of three main sections: the 4S Ranch Village Center, 4S Commons Town Center and the 4S Health Center. The 4S Ranch Village Center includes the area's only gas station, veterinary care, restaurants, salons, and a Starbucks.[5] 4S Commons Town Center has two grocery stores, restaurants, shopping and services, such as dry cleaning and shipping. The 4S Health Center is home to a variety of medical specialties including family medicine, oncology, pediatric dentistry, women's health, oral surgery, and facial plastic surgery.[6]


Rt. 880 4S Ranch Express, debuted on March 30, 2009, provided service to Sorrento Valley/UTC During peak commute times via MTS.[7][8] The premium express service is a commuter service with limited stops by premium coach buses with service to Sorrento Valley and University Town Center transit center.[9] In 2014, Rt. 880 and all bus service to the 4s Ranch area has been cancelled. Service to Sorrento Valley has been replaced by Rt. 270 out of the Rancho Bernardo transit center.[10] The station is a 30-minute walk or a 15-minute bike ride however these options aren't popular with the locals of the car centric community. Camino del Norte and Rancho Bernardo Road provide the primary access for the community, and lead east to Interstate 15. Other major roads providing access to 4S Ranch are Carmel Valley Road and Camino del Sur, which both lead to the South and West and lead to California State Route 56 and Interstate 5. Cimarron Crest Drive, which parallels 4S Ranch Parkway, is noted for the house numbers in Google Earth being an entire block offset from reality.

Community events

  • Fall Festival includes merchants with food, rides and games
  • Annual Easter Egg Hunt
  • Thank You Run/Walk 5K/10K Thanksgiving Day
  • Summer Movie Nights
  • 4S Ranch Fourth of July Carnival and Street Faire Activities
  • 4S Ranch Fourth of July Fireworks Fireworks at Del Norte High School
  • 4S Ranch Pumpkin Festival
  • Concerts in the Park

Parks and Recreation

There are several county parks[11] including

  • 4S Ranch Sports Park
  • Heritage Park
  • 4S Ranch Community Park
  • Patriot Park
  • Liberty Park
  • Homestead Park


4S Ranch is served by numerous schools within the highly acclaimed Poway Unified School District that opened beginning in 2004 when Stone Ranch Elementary opened and culminated with the opening of Design 39 Campus in August 2014.

High Schools

Middle Schools

  • Oak Valley Middle School

Elementary Schools

  • Stone Ranch Elementary School
  • Monterey Ridge Elementary School
  • Del Sur Elementary School

K-8 Schools

  • Design 39 Campus

Private Schools

  • Marantha Christian Schools

Law Enforcement and Fire Protection

4S Ranch is served by the San Diego County Sheriff's Department with a substation located at 10282 Rancho Bernardo Road.[12] Fire protection is provided by Rancho Santa Fe Fire District Station No. 2 located at 16930 Four Gee Road Station No. 2.[13]

Fire protection within the community played a part in the October 2007 fires and the Bernardo Fire in May 2014 in which no homes within the community were lost.

4S Ranch Community Organizations

Youth Sports

  • 4S Ranch Youth Football & Cheer
  • 4S Ranch Little League Baseball
  • Boys & Girls Club 4S Ranch Basketball, Volleyball, Community Pool, Camps
  • 4S Ranch Soccer
  • Arsenal FC San Diego
  • 4S Ranch Girls Softball

Religious Services

  • GC2 Church
  • Maranatha Chapel
  • The City Church

Charitable Organizations

  • 4S Ranch~Del Sur Community Foundation

The 4S Ranch~Del Sur Community Foundation, a proud affiliate of The San Diego Foundation, is committed to the financial support of organizations, projects and programs dedicated to improving the lives of those who live, work and play in 4S Ranch~Del Sur.

4S Ranch County Library

4S Ranch county library Opened to the public on April 26, 2007, the 4S Ranch Library is located in 4S Commons Center and serves as a community hub, focused on their large population of children and teens that flood the branch on a daily basis.The 4S Ranch branch is 7,214 square feet and has a fluctuating collection size of around 28,000 items.


  1. ^ San Diego Historical Society article about Joseph Snook
  2. ^ San Diego Union Tribune Article about Joseph Snook and the 4S Ranch name
  3. ^ LA Times article from 1989 on the 4S Ranch business park development
  4. ^ Sab Diego County Board of Supervisors meeting minutes November 4, 1998
  5. ^ Pomerado News
  6. ^ Lusardi Construction Company project description
  7. ^ "New Express Route 880 Will Take 4S Ranch Residents to Work in Comfort".  
  8. ^ MTS route schedule September 4, 2011
  9. ^ Pomerado article March 25, 2009
  10. ^ "August 31, 2014 Service Changes". Metropolitan Transit System. Retrieved June 28, 2015. 
  11. ^ 4S Community Parks
  12. ^ San Diego County Sheriff Substation
  13. ^ RSFFPD Station No. 2

External links

  • San Diego North Chamber of Commerce's community profile of 4S Ranch
  • 4S Ranch's Website
  • 4S Ranch TownHUB Mobile App - Apple Store
  • 4S Ranch TownHUB Mobile App - Google Play
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