The Rancho Santa Fe Post

Op-Ed: Finding that Sense of Community

Those who support the Covenant Club Project believe it would provide Rancho Santa Fe with a new sense of community. As it stands now, the Project would divide rather than unite our community because it would:

Be heavily financed by all of us, through the Community Enhancement Fund, for the benefit of less than a third of us. In other words, future members of the Project feel entitled to use money other than their own to build and maintain the Project. Obviously, the Project would be less contentious if it were fully funded by its members.

Adversely change the existing golf/tennis facility. The existing facility is quiet, simple, and beautiful. The Project would jam several swimming pools, a jacuzzi, a fitness facility, a parking structure, noise, and traffic into one small space. While proponents want something “resort like” with flash and pizzaz, such a resort would degrade the understated charm and tranquility of the existing facility. Many have suggested the Project would be more acceptable if it were built somewhere else.

Disrupt the peacefulness of the surrounding neighborhood. The noise and traffic associated with the Project would dramatically change the surrounding neighborhood. “Marco! Polo!” “Swimmers take your mark!” No one wants that in their backyard.

The Project’s committee representatives have said on several occasions that the existing golf/tennis facility is the only feasible location for the Project because it is the only area zoned for recreation. Any other location would require a 68% approval from surrounding neighbors. Supermajority approval makes sense for such significant change in a neighborhood, and it makes sense for the Covenant Club Project. After all, if the Project were to be financed and maintained by all of us for only a few of us and were to be detrimental to the existing golf/tennis facility and the surrounding neighborhood, shouldn’t almost all of us agree that the Project is a good idea? A 51% favorable vote that would allow the construction of the Covenant Club at the existing golf/tennis facility would be divisive and would provide anything but a sense of community. At a minimum, let’s boost the minimum voting requirement to 68%. And, if we really want that sense of community, let’s put real effort into finding an acceptable location and require that the Project be self-funded with significant initiation and ongoing monthly fees for its members.

Janet Danola