Lot Split Opinion

By Vahe Guzelimian

June 7, 2020

Background: Vahé Guzelimian spoke about this lot split during the February Board meeting. The Bibles asked questions about their lot split at the May Board meeting. Guzelimian continues to give his thoughts here. As always, the RSF Post accepts all reader’s submissions. 

On June 2nd, 2020 the Art Jury approved a lot split down from less than 5 acres to two parcels approximately 2 + acres each. The matter now goes to the Board for Approval/Disapproval. In spite of what the Art Jury says, I believe that several section 60 clauses of the code are being violated as shown in my letter below. In addition, this split will be a signal that any 4-5 acre property split may be approved in the future. This will transform our community into a denser set of properties that destroy the large estate feeling that drew us all here. It will create even more traffic issues and accidents than we have now. And the motivation for these splits is only financial greed.

This is the letter I sent the Art Jury that fell upon deaf ears. Also more neighbors were against this issue than most other Art Jury decisions. If you agree with me, please take some action. Contact the Board and let them know how you feel.

Building Commissioner Maryam Babaki/Art Jury

RSF Association


Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067

RE: APN 266-091-2100 lot split of Bible, 17474 Via de Fortuna, RSF

Ms. Babaki,

I am including the opposition letter I previously submitted to re-emphasize my opposition to the Bible Subdivision. As members of the Art Jury you must support and maintain the rules as laid out in section 60. If you approve the subdivision, you will demonstrate total disregard for the code and also the opposition presented by an unusually large number of residents. You must do your job to protect the character of the Covenant since that is your charter. The fact that the Bible property is 4 acres and has a slope of 10 degrees or less is not sufficient to allow you to approve this subdivision. If you do approve it, the Board will have to strike it down since you are telegraphing that anyone with a 4-acre lot can subdivide if their slope is 10 degrees or less. That would “Solana Beach” the Covenant pretty rapidly.

If you read Section 60 of the Regulatory Code for RSF, it clearly states that the legal issues regarding the size of the resulting lots and other physical requirements are only one of several criteria to be considered before approving a subdivision. 

Since you have received at least 7 letters opposing this subdivision and since 2 neighbors were present at the meeting fervently opposing the subdivision (one neighbor was in tears), I feel you must deny the Bible’s application. This subdivision will result in a precedent that will snowball the number of subdivision applications filed within the 4-5 acre size properties in the Covenant. Once you start down this road, it will be difficult to deny other applicants. Your actions could ruin the aesthetic of the Covenant community forever. 

The phrases in red from the Regulatory Code Section 60 below provide many other criteria than just the physical 2+ acres criterion that some on the committee are relying on:

60.0707 Findings. In addition to the criteria listed in §60.0704 et. seq., the following findings shall be considered by the Art Jury and made by the Board in the approval or conditioned approval of any Subdivision:

60.0707.01 The proposed Subdivision complies with the applicable requirements set forth in §60.0706 et. seq.;

60.0707.02 The proposed Subdivision ensures a uniform and reasonably high standard of artistic result in attractiveness in the exterior and physical appearance of said property as referred to in Article III, Section 1 [Paragraph 46] of the Protective Covenant;

60.0707.03 The proposed Subdivision preserves, continues and maintains the character of the community and rare and unique landscape features and upholds the quality of all future architecture and improvements as referred to in the Protective Covenant Preamble; 

60.0707.04 The proposed Subdivision results in a physically suitable and adequately sized and separated Building Pad (for both residences and accessory uses and structures) on each legally created lot or parcel, as lot and parcel are defined in Article IV, Section 1 [Paragraphs 73 through 76] of the Protective Covenant;

60.0707.05 The proposed Subdivision maintains the comfort, convenience and general welfare of existing and future Rancho Santa Fe residents as referred to in Article I, Section 13 [Paragraph 14] of the Protective Covenant;

60.0707.06 The proposed Subdivision does not create non-conforming lots, make adjacent lots non-conforming or result in contrived or irregularly shaped parcels;

60.0707.07 The proposed Subdivision preserves natural landforms and features to the extent that development remains subordinated to the natural character of the site and the neighborhood;

60.0707.08 The proposed Subdivision is compatible with, and complementary to, the established rural character of the neighborhood and the community and avoids visually invasive suburban development patterns, including, but not limited to, Stacking on hillsides; and,

60.0707.09 The conditions applied to the approval are reasonable and necessary in the aggregate to respond to the specific Subdivision and to the general incremental effect of the Subdivision on the community. 


Vahé Guzel

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