Petition to Stop Densification in RSF Covenant & Immediate Surrounding Areas

By Roberta Clark

July 3, 2018

As residents and members of this beautiful and unique community, you might know Rancho Santa Fe has one of the oldest planned Home Owner Associations (HOA) in the country. The original founders had the foresight to develop HOA rules enabling what is now a century-old tradition of low density, large rural parcels, with a higher density central village; a dark sky policy; a quaint village center; world-class public schools; nearly 50 miles of riding trails; a gorgeous, historical golf course with a new clubhouse and a championship level, serene tennis club – All in close vicinity of the ocean and San Diego; a neighborhood unlike anything else in the country.

Yet, these unique features are under incessant and expanding attacks by developers who see the opportunity to make even more money through massive increases to the density of their properties, at great expense to the Covenant and surrounding neighbors, which would forever destroy the very thing that makes this place so special.

Some developers have made multiple attempts at densification by efforts to rezone, amend the County’s General Plan, de-annexation, and most recently, by “clustering” efforts to build homes on lots as small as 5,000 sq. ft. vs. the 2 acres (86,000+ sq. ft.) per dwelling as required by current entitlements.

The above tactics are designed to get around RSFA / Covenant restrictions the rest of our community has abided by for nearly 100 years. One “neighbor” developer even tried to strong-arm us by filing 2 lengthy and costly lawsuits against all Covenant members, which we are happy to say they lost after nearly 2 years of litigation!

The good news is that we have won every one of these battles to date, but at tremendous cost to individual homeowners or small neighborhoods fighting a case-by-case battle. So far, we have had limited support from most of the RSFA Boards, and in some cases, destructive efforts by a previous RSFA manager, who misrepresented the truth to San Diego County and the RSFA Board, yet this manager was merely reprimanded instead of being fired.

Given the expanding and intense attacks by developers against our community, as reflected by at least 3 major densification efforts within and bordering Covenant boundaries, we believe it is time to enable a more permanent and long-lasting solution, which if implemented, will protect our community for decades to come.

We think each of the proposed projects would be a disaster for our community. More critically, it is pure common sense that if one is approved, then the second, third and beyond will be impossible to stop.

To stop these ever increasing and direct attacks by developers on our cherished way of life, and to protect the rural character of our community, we believe an amendment to Covenant bylaws should be implemented immediately as follows:

Any changes to zoning, General Plan amendments, annexation/de-annexation, or cluster housing efforts within the Covenant boundaries must receive the currently required 2/3 approval of 500’ radius neighbors, and additionally to require the approval of at least 2/3 majority of all Covenant members.

Currently Proposed Neighborhood Densification Projects:

Petition – The petition signers ask the RSFA Association Board and Management to:

1. Call a “Special Meeting” as provided for in our bylaws on or about September 19, 2018 to enable discussion and possible action on our HOA’s density increase process.

2. Expeditiously enable a member vote for a bylaw change requiring 2/3 of Covenant member’s approval for all future rezoning, General Plan Amendment, de-annexation, annexation, or any effort to increase the density above what properties are already entitled to, including “cluster housing” of properties within RSFA boundaries.

3. Proactively join forces with Hacienda Santa Fe, Fairbanks Ranch, The Summit and
Whispering Palms Associations, and to use our Association funds to oppose any of the currently proposed densification/clustering projects.

4. Become proactive early in projects in the greater Rancho Santa Fe area that are not in alignment with the rural character that we want to preserve. Specifically, we request the Association board to immediately and publicly oppose all density increase proposals currently being pursued by developers.

5. Lastly, we want the Association Board to know that we are opposed to the density increases at Quantum site’s (500%), the Mabee site’s (400%), and the Sahm property densification efforts, including any cluster housing developments which would allow more than a single dwelling on less than 2 acres.

Representative signatories:

Greg & Roberta Clark
Bob & Meredith Sobol
Rick & Chrissy Nicholas
John & Barbara Cambon
Gail Frazar
David & Susan Allred
Willy & Alchera Ayyad
Mark & Beth Nelson
Don & Lynn Prudhomme
Saiid & Marie Zarrabain
Russ & Carol Penniman
Scott & Dinah Carl

Click here to read and download the full petition

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