RSFA and Residents: Where’s the Outrage?


Rancho Santa Fe Covenant will be severed by a four-lane road going from east to west unless the RSFA stands up for its rights and upholds its duty to protect the rural and historic setting that has taken over 100 years to create. To widen or straighten any of the following streets — Via de la Valle, Paseo Delicias, Linea del Cielo, La Granada, El Camino Real, El Camino del Norte, La Noria, and Del Dios Highway — would devastate our local community and pastoral environment.

Seven, possibly eight, General Plan Amendments (GPAs) totaling 10,000 units will be rushed through the Board of Supervisors (BOS) this year by combining multiple GPAs into one. By using a rare loophole called “bundling” to approve twice as many GPA projects than the state law allows. The developers might even push to take one of the GPAs straight to the BOS and bypass the normal planning commission process. 

Here is the schedule of upcoming hearings on the following developments:

July 25: 3,936 Units total
Harmony Grove Village South: 453 Units
Valiano: 326 units + ADUs = 380 Units
Otay 250: 3,158 Units

September 26: Total 2,135 Units
Newland Sierra: 2,135 Units

October 31: Total 4,057 Units
Otay Village 14: 1,530
Warner Ranch: 781 Units
Lilac Hills: 1,746 Units

The above is a total of 10,129 units to be approved in the next four months.

The RSFA and Covenant Members should be outraged. It has taken a century to create, protect and defend our beloved community, but in just four months the rural and historic character could be ruined by the vote of just FIVE supervisors. Rancho Santa Fe is the “gem” of San Diego County. If these developments are approved, our roads will become congested thoroughfares with daily grid-locked traffic. The fact is there is no other route to take to get from Escondido to Solana Beach! Rancho Santa Fe will lose its country charm and rural ambiance forever. The road patterns were laid out in the 1920’s and remain intact today. The current roads are part of the “circulation” feature that to this day define our community and are one of the prime elements that awarded Rancho Santa Fe the Cultural Landscape Amendment to the California State Landmark #982. Meanwhile it is interesting to note who is behind these developments. They are funded by companies whose founders don’t even reside in San Diego County.

Harmony Grove Village South: funded by Real Capital Solutions
Lilac Hills Ranch: funded by Merced Capital
Newline Sierra: funded through a joint venture with the largest homebuilder in Japan, North American Sekisui House (NASH)
Valiano funded by Quest Software

These developers do not care about the huge impact their projects will have on the present and future of the area. 100,000 more vehicles to our roads, fire entrapments, air pollution, water shortages, solid waste accumulation, increased sewer lines and treatment needs, and potentially 1 billion in infrastructure expense that will be absorbed by homeowners of this County, not the developers. We do not have the infrastructure and resources for a fraction of these developments.

Besides these seven GPA’s there are more developments that will add to our traffic and impact our quality of life: 1) “Villas of Rancho Santa Fe”: 34 units in Covenant boundaries, 2) “Del Dios Ranch”: A 70-plus-unit project on a non-Covenant portion of the Sahm property, 3) A senior housing project called “Hacienda Del Mar Facility” at the southeast corner of Via de la Valle at El Camino Real next to the Polo Fields.

It is time for our RSFA to fight for the preservation of our future. I suggest a “Protect Rural RSF” Committee be formed and include a member of the RSFA Board. There should be a member of the Board or senior RSFA staff employee appointed to attend all hearings of the San Dieguito Planning Group, San Diego Planning Commission and BOS to voice our concern and position.

These impending developments will ruin Rancho Santa Fe. If we don’t act now, we will never be able to undo the damage that’s about to be done.


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