On October 1, the Rancho Santa Fe Association held its monthly board meeting to discuss and update the community on several projects, all of which hold far-reaching implications for the future of the Ranch.
The issues drawing the most interest from residents were the progress on fiber-optic Internet, the proposed Covenant Club, the Golf Club’s progress on the Water Project, and updates to the Association bylaws.
The Board also voted unanimously to start reviewing the Association’s bylaws to improve voting rights. This discussion comes after many residents expressed concern over the complicated voter registration process. No change can be made with respect to voting rights without a community-wide vote under the current rules.
Progress on Fiber; Delays on Cell Phone Coverage
Following the dissemination of a “request for proposals and qualifications” by the Board last week to potential third-party developers of a community-wide fiber-optic network, the RSF Board has already received seven letters of interest from bidders.
President Ann Boon attributed this progress to their fiber consultant, Magellan Advisors, saying, “[t]his project is speeding along compared to others because we’ve had the most capable consultant in the fiber-to-home industry guiding us.”
Magellan also has been hired to assist the Board in reviewing the proposals. Completed proposals are due from the bidders before November 3.
The Board would like to have a fiber network contract approved by the end of December, but remains hesitant to make any specific promise, Boon said.
However, the process of improving cell coverage in the Ranch isn’t running as smoothly. Both Boon and Overton said they would like to move quicker on solving the cell-phone coverage issue.
“The board tried to hire a consultant … who could negotiate with providers and property owners to add antennas in order to improve and expand our cell coverage,” Boon explained.
This consultant’s contract would provide revenue sharing with the Association, but the finance committee has asked the Board to examine other consultant and financing options, she reported.
Covenant Club Controversy
Even though a proposed Covenant Club is still early in the planning phase, some members of the golf and tennis clubs have voiced their concerns publicly. One group calling itself the RSF Homeowners Group created a website and mailing list to track the project’s progress closely. Boon urged the new groups to wait until all facts and numbers are in before deciding on the project.
“Input from all groups has been incorporated from the first days in which this project was discussed. The community voted to spend money for the design and planning phase and financial models cannot be built until that phase has been completed,” she explained.
The Board is looking into a variety of funding mechanisms and it will all be up for debate.
“Bottom line is, no more money will be spent and no dirt will be moved unless the community votes for it,” Boon concluded.
Golf Club’s Water Project Moves Forward
The Board approved additional funding for the Golf Club’s Water Project. Last year, the RSF Board voted to match the Golf Club’s $30,000 commitment to research and developing alternative sources of water. This year, the Golf Club asked the Association if they would do so again.
It is a significant step to get us to the point where we can make a decision on which alternative water-route to adopt, Golf Club Manager Al Castro said.
A Coming Vote on Voting Rights?
The Board voted to approve a process for the recently created ‘Governing Documents Committee’ to continue its research into updating the Association’s bylaws related to voting.
Fred Wasserman, RSF Board member and chair of the Governing Documents Committee (GDC), explained the committee was formed to update the Association’s bylaws to promote equal voting in the Covenant.
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.
Overton concluded that the GDC is “trying to take our historic voting process and make it more equitable for everyone.”
All amendments to the Association’s bylaws and articles of incorporation will be up for community debate. The Board cannot approve changes to the Association’s Bylaws related to voting without a community-wide vote under the current rules.