By Phil Trubey
December 11, 2020
This is part two of the review of the December 2020 RSFA Board meeting. Part one is located here.
Snack Bar Wind Wall
The golf club snack bar is likely getting a glass wind screen wall. Click here to read the staff report along with drawings and example pictures. The idea is to build a low stucco wall and install a clear borderless glass wall on top to block the prevailing winds from entering into the snack bar seating area.
Even in the summer, the prevailing wind currently makes it uncomfortable to sit almost anywhere in the snack bar. This will be a welcome addition. The Board voted 7-0 to fund $18K which is one half of the cost of the project, the other half will be paid for by the golf club. In discussions, director Gruzdowich said that the Board should consider paying for 100% of the cost since the snack bar is an amenity available to all members. The response was that this cost sharing idea between the Association and the Golf Club was still new to everyone and to see how it works going forward with this mechanism.
The tennis club wanted to ask the Board to fund the relocation of pickleball courts and restripe. See the staff report here. While this was on the agenda, it was pulled from Board consideration. It seems that that a more comprehensive discussion is required to take place to determine funding sources. The report makes mention of the negative impact that California law AB5 (the “no contractors” law) has already had on the club’s finances. The club does not have enough reserves for these changes and thus wanted to ask the Association to, well, bail them out.
Historically, the Association has run the Tennis Club and Golf Club as separate entities, each with their own membership and dues structure, and has required each club to be self sufficient financially. In my opinion, the result is that the tennis club is just eeking by with a lot of deferred maintenance (walkways are cracked, tiles are falling part – the playing surfaces are still good though). The golf club has faired better, but even there we see deferred maintenance (cart path to the far driving range has fallen apart, the bunkers needed work years ago). In my opinion, the Association isn’t investing enough money into these important member amenities. In my opinion, dues, both club dues and member assessments should be increased to fund these and other projects. Remember that we enjoy by far the lowest HOA dues (average $270/month/member) of any nearby HOA.
The board voted to publish a new set of regulations for Osuna. Click here to read it along with a staff letter after the regulation itself.
Priorities. This new regulation has a big price tag associated with it. The staff letter states “To implement this policy, the Rancho Santa Fe Association will need to install fencing along the Ranch’s Western perimeter”. It will, will it? So tennis/pickleball members don’t get their courts configured properly, yet Osuna, which mostly serves non-Covenant members, gets a new fence that will cost, what, $50K? There is no cost in the letter, but the western border is huge. Osuna is one horse ranch among dozens in Rancho, but we only have one tennis club, one golf club.
To cap it off, the impetus for these new rules, regulations, and fencing is essentially a neighbor dispute between some Osuna boarders (including one current Board member) and a member whose property borders Osuna on the southern side. Long story short, they can’t get along, so the answer is to build a fence at our expense. While the letter above doesn’t mention it, the fence they want to build would block access from the southern property into Osuna as well.
How do I know? Because the Association already tried to build a small fence for the sole purpose of blocking access from the southern property. They had placed fence posts up when it was pointed out that they had neglected to get Art Jury approval. Association staff even had the gall to tell me that Art Jury approval wasn’t needed for a 20′ long 5′ high fence (if anyone on the Association staff is reading this, the section is 31.03 of the Regulatory Code. And no, the Association is not exempt from its own rules).
If I sound pissed off, it’s because I am. I don’t like being lied to. I don’t like Board members throwing their weight around. I don’t like the Association wasting their money on something that serves very few actual members while recreational amenities that many more members use go wanting. And none of this is actually needed. Osuna has existed for decades without such fencing. All that is needed is some adults in the room to knock some sense into some neighbors.