The following is an excerpt from the original RSF Review article:
Based on a quick poll of those in attendance at the Oct. 17 meeting, [RSF Board Director] Heather Slosar said about 70 percent said they would vote in favor of the facility, while 10 percent said “no” and 20 percent were unsure.
Some concerns expressed by those in opposition were the initial costs and the continuing costs to operate the facility, the location and the need.
One member said she doesn’t believe that the lack of the pool and fitness center is truly driving Covenant values down and that she doesn’t see a need to be like communities such as The Bridges and Santaluz.
“It seems like everyone is doing the same thing. What makes the Covenant different?” said the member. “There’s a vibe at Santaluz and The Bridges, a certain chaos. When I come back I enjoy the quietness here; this is the lifestyle we’re looking for.”
Other members pointed out that the community needs to keep up with modern times.
“I don’t want the Covenant to be a bunch of ramps for old people and I’m an old person,” said one member.
Another member, who moved to Rancho Santa Fe just three months ago, said that a pool and fitness center wouldn’t turn the Ranch into The Bridges but would go far in creating a sense of community that he feels is lacking.
Rick Coyne and Bob Borsch from ClubMark, the company that conducted last year’s member survey on the golf club and has been working with the pool and fitness committee, helped to lead the community meeting.
Coyne referenced an independent study by First American Title that found that over the last 10 years, property values have increased in The Bridges by 12.9 percent while decreasing in the Covenant by 16.7 percent. The presentation also included insight from Jason Barry of Barry Estates.
“There can be little doubt that Covenant values would increase materially if modern amenities were added, notably a community health club and pool, as well as robust wireless and internet infrastucture,” Barry said. “The lack of these amenities has hurt Covenant values relative to the many surrounding, and even statewide, high-end communities recently.”
Committee member Mike Licosati said that the addition of the pool and health club could increase property values by 5 percent, which translates to $200 million in increased valuation to Covenant members.