The Rancho Santa Fe Post

Process to Update Voting Rights in Covenant Advances

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During its October meeting, the Rancho Santa Fe Association Board approved a process for the Governing Documents Committee to update and potentially amend Association bylaws and articles of incorporation.

Members of the Governing Documents Committee include John Blakely, Kris Charton, Allen Finkelson, Mike Licosati, Judge David Moon, and committee Chair Fred Wasserman.

Wasserman, RSF Board Director and Chair of the Governing Documents Committee (GDC), explained the committee was formed to update the Association's articles of incorporation to promote equal voting in the Covenant.

“How to make fairness and equality exist in the Covenant in terms of voting is a very complicated and serious matter for residents of our community,” Wasserman said.

There are 790 people who currently have two votes and 500 plus people who have one vote. Some of those 500 plus people, Wasserman explains, are entitled to two votes, but were never reclassified. Also, there are 425 people who were never registered in the system.

"When we are through here, we propose that everyone who owns a piece of property will have two votes," Wasserman said.

Proposed amendment changes include:

  • Owners of a building site will be allowed two votes automatically, rather than having to navigate through a complicated process in order to secure two votes.
  • Owners of condominium units paying Association dues will be allowed one vote. Today, they do not have voting rights.

Similar changes to the articles of incorporation were recommended by the GDC in 2005, but were never submitted to members for a vote.

The committee will also look into more specific technical changes to the bylaws in order to comply with the 2014 Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act, something all homeowner associations are doing.

Once the GDC has submitted all proposed changes to the Board for review, an information packet will be mailed to residents which includes the existing Association bylaws and articles, the proposed changes, and reasons for each change. Packets are set to be mailed out by October 16.

There will be a 45-day review period for community members to voice their comments and concerns via email, fax, or in writing.

A town hall meeting will be held at the Rancho Santa Fe Garden Club on October 22 at 6:30pm. Members of the Governing Documents Committee will be present to address legal and general questions from community members.

Once the 45-day comment period concludes, the GDC will submit its final recommendations to the Board which will be posted on the RSF Association website. When the voting package is approved by the Board, it will be sent out to residents with a 30-day return period.

If changes are adopted, they will be enacted on July 1, 2016.

For further information about the amendment process, please review Fred Wasserman’s Governing Documents Committee presentation below.