The Rancho Santa Fe Post

CDRC Confidential: Protecting the Protective Covenant

Currently, the Rancho Santa Fe Association (RSFA) is updating its Regulatory Code. In our zeal to improve antiquated regulations, we must be extremely cautious to ensure that our Protective Covenant (PC), which applies to all RSFA property, is never superceded. In addition, special care must be taken to provide a welcoming environment for those who work in our community without allowing commercial or special interests to subordinate the interests of RSF homeowners.

Wise members of our Board refer to the PC as “Our Constitution," because they have seen what a remarkably good document it is as well as the unique benefits it brings. For example, because of the PC the RSFA has the unique right as a HOA to install and own utilities under our County roads, including a new fiber optic system. This is because of the foresight drafted into our PC which will celebrate its 90th birthday next year. The upscale community of Palos Verdes Estates, just two hours to the north of us, shares the same terms in its PC. It actually came first.

Anyone who attended our Town Hall Meeting on the fiber optic project, RSF Connect, appreciates the thoughtfulness with which it is being conducted. Scrutinized exhaustively over two sets of Boards, the RSFA has taken the time to thoroughly examine the project before it was formally presented to our community. Ranch residents expect this caliber of analysis by our Board, as well as state-of- the-art services. RSF Connect meets those expectations and then some. Finally the Ranch will be at the forefront of truly cutting edge technology.

As the Preamble to the PC states: “Rancho Santa Fe is unusually attractive and valuable as a high class place of residence because of the rare quality of...the fine architecture and other improvements established by its property owners;...” During the process of analysis for the Fiber Project, there was debate and frustration that we didn’t reach our conclusions on what was best for RSFA members at the speed of the 1-gigabit solution. So, too, applicants to the CDRC are frustrated during the process of updating our Regulations and Guidelines, as inconsistencies and deviations from half a century ago are not resolved immediately.

To protect our members and their Protective Covenant, the process of updating our Regulations should be as thoughtful as that to acquire new technology. Having made the money in Silicon Valley to build our home here, I appreciate the time and effort that goes into designing and building an elegant product that survives the test of time. The house we owned in Palo Alto was originally built at the same time our PC was signed. Like many in our community who built or bought here, once established, we rarely interact with Association staff, Board or CDRC, but we trust that they are protecting the Protective Covenant.