The Rancho Santa Fe Post

A Year in Review: Rancho Santa Fe During 2015

It has been another eventful and productive year in Rancho Santa Fe. From taking big steps toward bringing fiber-optic Internet to the Ranch, to revitalizing the Village, and concluding the intersections debate, the Rancho Santa Fe Association has been busy. Below is a quick recap of some of the larger projects that dominated the news in 2015.

Fiber to Rancho Santa Fe Homes

The Association hired Magellan Advisors in March 2015 to bring fiber optic Internet to the Ranch. By December, the Association had distributed a detailed “Request for Proposals and Qualifications” and received 11 bids for creating a Broadband partnership with the Association.

At its final meeting of 2015, the board approved moving forward with negotiations for a definitive agreement with one of the bidders that would bring fiber optic Internet to Covenant homes, while also giving the Association a level of control, ownership, and revenue sharing over the network.

Village Says Goodbye to Stumps, Hello to Vibe

The Stump’s Village Market announced its departure and vacated its spot in October 2015, much to the community’s dismay. Following the Stump’s Market departure, the famed Delicias restaurant also closed its doors in November.

While the closing of Stump’s was not the single cause of the Association’s Village revitalization efforts, it was a final catalyst to form the Village Revitalization Task Force. In September, the task force commenced its study on parking problems and the lack of retail space compared to the multitude of commercial space in the Village.

The Village Vibe, a subcommittee of the Revitalization Task Force, formed to gather community input on Village revitalization efforts. Community outreach efforts will continue through the Vibe’s biweekly gatherings in 2016.

Covenant Club Unveils First Detailed Designs

Community meetings on the proposed Covenant Club continued throughout 2015. By the middle of December, the first detailed Covenant Club designs were unveiled after nearly two years of discussion.

The proposed two-story, 12,500 sq. ft. Covenant Club includes a reception area, kids’ club, locker rooms, steam rooms, a cafe, two fitness studios, and one main cardio/strength studio.

A combined resort and lap pool will be located outside as well as cabanas, a splash area for children, 5 family bathrooms, an adult spa, and an outdoor lounge and fireplace.While some members of the community remain unsettled with the location of the Covenant Club, there will be a community-wide vote in March or April 2016.

Water Usage Down, Rates Up

In March, Governor Jerry Brown declared statewide water restrictions and a mandated reduction of 25 percent. In response, the Association hosted a community drought meeting to educate the community on drip irrigation. By the beginning of October, the Santa Fe Irrigation District led the state in reduced water usage, yet these numbers crept back up in November.

Regardless of the water savings, the SFID has imposed higher water rates for Covenant residents. Looking ahead to 2016, Covenant members will address the rate increases with the SFID in January.

A Change in Voting Rights?

During October, the Rancho Santa Fe Association Board approved a process for the Governing Documents Committee to explore updating and potentially amending Association bylaws and the Articles of Incorporation. Proposed amendment changes will be discussed and voted on by the Board in early January, which include automatic registration, giving each property owner two votes by default, and giving condo owners a vote.

No changes will be made without a community-wide vote on the proposed changes.

Round and Around to Roundabouts

After nearly 15 years of discussion, the intersection debate came to an end in 2015. On November 9, the Rancho Santa Fe Association Board sent a letter to the County, stating that the community-wide survey showed that 73 percent of RSF residents support the installation of roundabouts over traffic lights.