CDRC Confidential: The Letters


When we last left the scene at the RSFA January Board Meeting, our Association Board had committed to write a letter to its Design Review Committee to provide oversight and supervision. At its February Meeting, the Board read not just one, but two thoughtful, well crafted letters to the CDRC! They are posted for Members to read on the RSFA website, after “log in.” This is exciting news: The Board is addressing community concerns about excessive grading, projects with unrestrained mass and scale, and buildings that are inconsistent with Latin-type design.

Once again, I am impressed by the calibre of the volunteers currently serving as our Directors. They have a solid understanding of the issues. They listen as promised during their campaigns, and they are willing to tackle these challenging problems not with lip service, but specific recommendations. To the staff and those of us serving on the Committee, these letters bring clarity to our responsibilities reminding us: “The decisions made by the CDRC are not temporary and leave a lasting mark on our rural community.”

As we enter the Association election season, I hope members will continue to vote for Directors who have the intelligence and integrity of our current Board. That way, we may continue our positive trajectory. We can protect this unique place where natural landforms are to be preserved and the mass and scale of the architecture are “subordinated to natural surroundings” maintaining our subdued rural character (see foreword to our Guidelines. And a shout out to Teddy Roosevelt and John Muir, a couple of my personal favs).


The Board’s bonus of a second letter to the CDRC, said the Board will consider the proper interpretation of Par. 155-159 of the Protective Covenant (PC) at its March meeting. Regular readers recognize the Fab Five as I have been calling the “general requirements” over the last couple years, plus the non-imitation materials Paragraph 155 (no faux/ “NoFo”). Of course, everyone can’t wait for the premiere! Look for this sequel March 7, playing at the RSFGC near you. Now that I know the PC is in good hands, I’m hoping to just sit in the audience eating popcorn like I did at the smash hit “Celebrate Our Forest” on Jan. 27. Saw the film twice.

Casting me in this role of appreciative audience will bring universal joy to the Directors, management, staff, my colleagues and strangers on our streets, who are all sick of my constant haranguing/proselytizing about following the PC. Not wanting to be type cast, I’m certainly ready for a new role too.

New Ensemble Member

The Board’s commitment to enforcing the PC is also evidenced by its recent hiring of an additional staff member specifically for that purpose. At the time of writing, her picture and information are not yet on the Association website. Like women in Hollywood, I’m glad to support hiring more women by having her join as a permanent member of our cast.


Please don’t tell anyone, but confidentially in the spirit of Hollywood copycat movies, I am going to ask if at “Rancho Days” this year, the Association could present a program on Lilian Rice, our principal architect, similar to the “Celebrate Our Forest.” COF was a big budget production supported by the RSF Foundation. My proposal would be a more modest program on our architectural heritage. It would serve as an educational tool to the community including future RSFA volunteers as well as honor my CDRC colleagues and staff for all their hard work enforcing our Covenant this coming year. Maybe they could be on hand to sign autographs for fans?

The statements made in this column are the opinions of the author and not those of the Rancho Santa Fe Association Covenant Design Review Committee.


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