The Rancho Santa Fe Post

Op-ed: Let the Community Decide on the Rancho Librado Project

I wanted to respond to the recent article that appeared in the RSF Post. I think that we all know that there are two sides to every story and it appears this issue is no exception.

I want to respond to each issue but first I would like to comment on two statements that were made in general:

  1. Our family did host a community meeting to present our project to the community and over 115 people attended.  The opposition claims that nearly 50 opponents attend the meeting. We have no way of knowing the number of people who came in opposition. I can tell you from the comments, the number of people who left contact information and positive emails and phone calls we received after the meeting, if 50 people came in opposition very few of them left in opposition.  Some may not be supporters at this point but the overriding response we received was “your presentation was informative, that is not what I had been told.”
  2. The statement was made that “50 opponents attended and submitted written questions and few of them were used.  During the question and answer period, to our knowledge we answered every question that was submitted but one.  In addition, after we responded to the written questions we took questions from the audience as long as people wanted to ask them.

We are in process of posting every question that was asked on our web site with an answer and will be happy to respond to any additional questions anyone submits.

 

Response to claim #1 The Developer wants to bring “County entitlements in line with the Covenant entitlements.”

 

TRUE STATEMENT

All residents of the Covenant must comply with the rules and regulations of both the County and the Covenant.  The County has their own rules and the Covenant has their own rules.  Most of the time they match but sometimes they do not. When the County restrictions are greater than those of the Covenant it is the Association policy to have members bring their County entitlements in line with the Covenant before they will consider the proposal.   There is a set process with the County to do this.

Conversely, if the Covenant restrictions are greater than the County’s restrictions it is the member’s task to bring the Covenant’s restrictions in line with the County.  There is also a set process established in the Covenant to do this as well and it is called the Covenant modification process.

The Covenant entitlements for the Mabee property are very broad and include commercial uses as well as residential uses.  Over the years the Association has reviewed requests for everything from an 260 unit apartment complex, a private school to a 180 unit condo complex to most recently a 250 bed assisted care facility.  All of which are allowed under the current Covenant zoning.  In addition, the Roger Rowe School looked at moving their entire campus to the site and the Fire Department considering moving their Fairbanks station to the site.  Most recently the Mabee family has been asked by members to consider incorporating the Association proposed Aquatic Club into the plan, which is allowed under the current Covenant regulations. Something we are willing to do if that is what the community wants.

The important point to make on this issue is that the Association’s regulations cannot override the County’s rules and the County’s rules cannot override the Association.  In order for our project or any other project to be built it must ultimately be approved through the Association process – THE ASSOCIATION AND THE COMMUNITY HAVE THE FINAL SAY.

Our position has always been to get the facts on the table and let the community decide.

 

Response to claim#2 addresses the established need (step down/age restricted housing)

 

TRUE STATEMENT

This statement was based on private surveys as well as Association surveys of their membership. Every long range planning committee established by Association over the last 25 years has identified the need for this type of housing as a #1 priority. We have all heard the statement, “you can do everything in RSF but grow old”. 

The real answer to this issue is to ask yourself if you see the need.  Would you like to be able to downsize your residence as you grow older and still live in the Community or do you have a parent or family member that you would like to have live near you but not with you?

 

Response to claim #3, there will be no further densification and Chino Farms won’t sell or develop.

 

THIS IS NOT OUR CLAIM.

Our “claim” on this issue is in response to the statement that approval of our request with the County will open the door to high density developments in the community.

Our claim is that the approval of our request will not give any other property in the community, or the County for that matter, any greater entitlements or rights than they already have.  If any other property owner wishes to process a modification request with the Association or change the County’s General Plan they currently have that right to do so now and it will be weighed on its own merits. Our request will in no way change the process they must follow.  Chino Farms currently has every right to seek a change to their entitlements now if they choose.  Chino Farms has indicated that their family has own and operated the farm for over 50 years and currently intend to keep on farming.  What they want to do with their property is up to them and it is not fair to them to bring them into this debate of issues without their consent.

 

Response to claim #4, this project will improve the entry to the Ranch.

 

TRUE STATEMENT 

It will!  The claim is referring to a long term permanent solution to improving the appearance of the front door to the Covenant and the heart of the valley community.  The proposed project provides the community with an open space statement to the entry of the community that will include over 5 open acres on the corner of Via de la Valle and Calzada de Bosque in addition to 3.5 miles of walking and hiking trails.  The homes will be developed away from the traffic corridors to provide a feel of open space.

The closest structure to the intersection will be over 400 feet away and all landscape features will be watered with well water.

 

Response to claim #5, there will be no significant /material increase in traffic.

 

TRUE STATEMENT

Will there be an increase in traffic?  The answer is yes.  However, there will not be a significant increase over the alternative of 14 estate homes.  The projected net increase will be about 11 cars per hour, keep in mind this is 6 trips coming to the project and 6 trips leaving.  It will not be a material increase as the home will be age restricted and the residents will generally not travel during periods of high traffic.  Additionally, the cars will be dispersing as they leave the project with some going North on Via de la Valle, some South on Via de la Valle as well as some going West on Calzada de Bosque and some going East on Calzada.  We will post the actual traffic study on our website as soon as the County has released it.

 

Response to claim #6, we have positive input from the surrounding communities and got the green light from the RSFA in May of 2014.

 

TRUE STATEMENT

The neighbors that oppose the project point to a petition with over 900 signatures and letters of opposition from surrounding communities.  We could counter with letters of support as well and a list of people in supporters.

But what really counts is what YOU think of the project.

Do you think the positive aspects outweigh any potential negatives?

Decide for yourself, go to our website http://rancholibrado.com and see what our position is and then go to the opposition’s website www.neighborsforsandieguitorivervalley.org . More importantly come to our next community presentation on the project.

 

We strongly encourage you to learn the facts and see both sides and make an informed decision.