August Board Meeting Wrap Up


I’ll keep this short and to the point. The most important thing that happened at the RSFA board meeting is contained in the message I conveyed in my A Day Late And A Dollar Short article. The board is heck bent on passing restrictions on what we can do with our properties, and unless we (meaning you) give them feedback, we may not like the results. 

Wood House Restrictions

The board passed restrictions (director Laurel Lemarie the lone vote against) on how much you can renovate your exterior wood house. They also banned the construction of new completely exterior wooden houses. Click here for the new regulation. I had written about this new proposed regulation, and the board only received two comments against it (click to read).

New Proposed Lighting Regulation

A proposed new lighting regulation has been posted for a 30 day comment period. Oddly, it isn’t complete in that there is a section in dispute between board members and the Art Jury. If you care about landscape lighting, read these two alternatives and give feedback to the board at

Board’s Version:

14.0404.02 Uplighting. Uplighting is generally prohibited. Address markers per 14.0506 may also be uplights if completely shielded from the sky by a wall, pillar, rock, or other solid object.

Art Jury Version:

14.0404.02 Uplighting. Uplighting is generally prohibited. However, limited uplighting to a maximum of 5 lights may be approved by the Art Jury for specimen trees, or under the water in fountains, or in a courtyard, if each of the lights protect the “dark sky” nature of the Covenant by not exceeding 500 lumens per fixture and by being completely shielded from the sky by the illuminated item or a wall. Address markers per 14.0506 may also be uplights if completely shielded from the sky by a wall, pillar, rock, or other solid object.

Basically, the board wants zero uplighting. The rest of the regulation is somewhat technical, but please read it. During the meeting, Director Lemarie made a plea to modify the regulation to either force or recommend to people that they have zero landscape lighting turned on at all times unless they had guests coming over.

Architectural Styles

One of the next things the board is going to attempt to quantify is allowable architectural styles for new and remodeled construction. This has been completely the within the purview of the Art Jury for the last 92 years, but this board thinks it needs provide rigor in what is an artistic and aesthetic area. So they are attempting to craft a regulation that will lock down allowable architectural styles. 

Side comment: Had I not attended the board meeting, I would have never known about this. You would think the Association would publicize something so important to their members in their weekly emails, but no. Or make it easily accessible via the web site. Also no. This information was quite buried. Also, open workshops on this? Apparently not.

Anyways, here is the early draft document to give you an idea of what the board is working on. Please read it and give your thoughts.

More Restrictions

During the board meeting, director Bill Strong stated he wanted to restrict glass as a building material. I believe he meant restrict the size of windows and patio doors. Director Sharon Ruhnau added that many more restrictions will be forthcoming including spill over light from interiors to the exterior. ie. they want to restrict how much light be can seen from your house at night. Maybe the board will allow us to read books by candlelight.

Building commissioner Maryam Babaki made a plea to the board to prioritize these new regulations noting that they hadn’t yet taken the time to finalize new grading regulations, something that is also deemed “urgent”.

Board Election Results

The three nominees who are relatively new to Rancho lost out and the two nominees who have been here for a while and/or have name recognition won. Kinda like every other election in the country.

Rick Sapp has a new three year term to go with his existing four years as a board director. Greg Gruzdowich was the other elected director.

Vote counts:

Sapp: 597
Gruzdowich: 500
Seitz: 405
Butz: 380
Sperlinga: 366

Board now consists of:

Rick Sapp
Mike Gallagher
Sharon Ruhnau
Laurel Lermarie
Bill Strong
Bill Weber
Greg Gruzdowich

Columbarium Vote Extended

The director of elections made the decision to extend the columbarium vote for another sixty days. He stated that only approximately one third of members by land area have voted. To pass, the vote needs two thirds to vote yes, so we are a long way to go. No partial vote count was given. If you’ve thrown out your columbarium vote ballot, please contact the Association to request a new ballot. It would be nice for the community to show some engagement for this vote. Dr. Jack Baca gives his thoughts here, and I wrote about this late last year.

Final Thoughts

The board is spending an inordinate amount of time on new regulations and hardly any time at board meetings working on things that would make our lives easier and nicer living in the ranch.