The Rancho Santa Fe Post

Op-Ed: Studies & Realtors Agree, Health Club Will Increase Home Values For Everyone

Last week, a Covenant member authored a letter to the editor titled “Comparisons” opposing the construction of a community Health Club. Among other things, he suggests that those interested in the community Health Club foot the $350,000 bill for the proposed study as a matter of equity.

This suggestion, a worthy one, should be considered in light of the reality of our Association dues.

The reality is that many folks who have lived in Rancho Santa Fe for a long time, including the author of the letter, pay far less in Association dues than others because our dues are tied to Proposition 13. Perhaps the author would be willing to share exactly how much he pays in dues per year?

Nobody is suggesting that we change the dues structure. But we should understand it.

Many avid supporters of the proposal for the Association to purchase the Garden Club for $3.5 million were long-time residents. These residents, who pay far less than the average in Association dues, are part of a vocal group of long-time residents who receive heavily subsidized services, yet also want to dictate Associational expenditures to their private benefit.

Yesterday, some of these folks wanted the community to subsidize the Garden Club by having the Association purchase their building. The Garden Club membership includes a long list of great people, but would the community, as a whole, have truly benefited from the building purchase?

Today, the author of last week’s letter to the editor opposes spending 10% of the amount the Garden Club building would have cost on a study to build a community Health Club.

And how might the entire community benefit from building a community Health Club? According to preliminary studies, the value of all our homes will collectively increase more than the amount we spend on the project.

Finally, some points to address the author’s otherwise valid concerns:

  1. The Association has not yet decided how to fund the actual Health Club costs. Evaluating various funding models will be part of the study.
  2. The current vote is only on whether to move forward with a feasibility study, which technically doesn’t even need to go to community vote. This vote is being offered to the community as a matter of transparency and inclusiveness, not necessity.
  3. Many of those expressing vocal opposition supported both the Osuna and Garden Club purchases when less than 50% of folks were registered to vote and there is, to this day, no quantifiable benefit from those properties to the community.

Our property values are important, and there is unanimity among local Realtors that a Health Club would increase the value of our homes.

Let’s all support progress.

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