The Rancho Santa Fe Post

Op-ed: Are You Getting Value for Your Association Dues?

The old way of doing things is depressing our community. We need to think about living that is thoughtful, forward and creatively reflective of the landscape and historical area in which we live. We need to have a central place for families to come together with every generation in mind, offering an array of activities for All Covenant homeowners to enjoy for generations to come.

Your elected board is working hard at providing members value-added amenities for all Covenant homeowners while not increasing dues, They are doing an outstanding job bringing high speed internet and new ideas like The Covenant Club (a Fitness, Pool and Spa facility where members can enjoy a healthy lifestyle). Some of these changes are within their scope of influence and others are not.

Ask yourself: What amenities are Exclusive by virtue of ownership of Covenant property? We are more than just a Golf or Tennis community, we are a Covenant Community, that offers golf and tennis as options. It’s no secret that Golf and Tennis memberships were declining and the pressure to operate in the black, opened the door for non-Covenant memberships.

In 2015 Non-Covenant Memberships are on the rise:

Over 6% Golf members do not live or own real estate the Covenant.

Over 15% Tennis members do not live or own real estate in the Covenant.

Maybe the Pay to Play attitude that once worked, needs to be looked at with fresh eyes and a new attitude. (One that serves and benefits All Association Members). By locating The Covenant Club between the Golf and Tennis clubhouses, it can boost memberships, optimize shared staffing resources and lower operational costs to all members. Another advantage is better utilizing our homeowners’s land, on which the Golf and Tennis building’s reside, by creating a natural space in centralized generational activity use. We don’t need to change the rural nature of the Ranch, but we do need to plan in a way that is thoughtful and beneficial to all homeowners.

Let’s view The Covenant Club similar to the RSF Club Restaurant as a shared community asset. Could charging just a monthly use fee for the Health Club/Pool increase our community worth? Adding value is a good thing, allowing non-covenant memberships is not..… These are the real issues that plague our community.

Lorraine Kent
20 yr resident

*note: Membership numbers are from the Association office for the July 2015 period per the Association Controller's records.