By Phil Trubey
April 5, 2021
Golf Club Rule Changes
Last month, the board posted for comment membership rule changes, and this month, they adopted them.
It had been the policy that you could suspend your membership for one year for every five years of membership you had accumulated. The new policy says you can inactivate your membership for only six months for every ten years of membership you’ve had.
In addition, it used to be that members who cancelled their golf membership and then, potentially years later, came back and re-joined, wouldn’t have to pay the initiation fee (currently $50,000) again. The new policy says the current initiation fee must always be paid when joining, regardless whether or not you used to be a past member.
A cleanup of the general membership rules was also adopted to eliminate specific restrictions against children. Latest rules here.
Vaquero Lounge Change Postponed
The board voted 6-1 to table the proposal to restrict the Vaquero lounge to men only to obtain a definitive legal opinion. Of the 75 comments received, about 2/3 were in support of the change to men only, 1/3 opposed. There was an ad-hoc discussion about some fairly major renovations to ameliorate opposition.
Big Art Jury Process Change
Both the Art Jury and building department are swamped by new applications. To help staff cope with submissions, a new process to accept permit applications is being put in place. For each Art Jury submission deadline (every three weeks), a maximum of 25 new applications will be accepted on a first come first served basis. Applications beyond the first 25 will be rolled over into the next three week window.
This means that homeowners should NOT wait to submit permit applications until the last day of the submission deadline, they should submit as soon as the application is ready.
The limit of 25 submissions does not include simple color and materials applications.
Regulations: Exterior Materials
A revised exterior materials regulation that includes sample pictures has been posted for member comment.
Still missing in action is any mention of cement fiber board (commonly referred to as Hardie Board) as a fire safe and higher performance alternative to natural wood. The fire department is tightening its own restrictions on natural wood as an exterior cladding material and they currently only allow two different manufacturers of fire treated wood as an external building material.
I’ve butted heads with the fire department on this before. I have a typical split rail fence (using round lodge poles), and during a remodel several years ago, the fire department insisted that the six feet of fence that abutted my house had to be fire treated wood from a specific manufacturer. Well that manufacturer simply does not make round lodge poles. So the fire department demanded I put in metal poles and metal horizontal cross pieces for the last six feet of fencing. Which wouldn’t have passed muster with the Art Jury (nor anyone with any aesthetic taste).
My point being that the fire department’s restrictions on specifically what type of wood is allowed is going to result in very limited choices for exterior cladding.
However if natural wood looking cement fiber board were allowed, then the fire department would happy as well as homeowners since there would be a plethora of design choices. Not to mention the huge performance advantages of better weathering as compared to wood.
It has been two years since the board outlawed the use of cement fiber board and nineteen months since they promised they would reconsider the restriction. What’s the hold up?
Not content with an already more restrictive grading regulation, Director Bill Strong penned a seven page highly detailed critique of the proposed regulation arguing for even more restrictions. His comments along with the latest building department comments are all contained in this very lengthy staff report.
RSF has prospered 90 years with a less restrictive grading regulation. Mostly due to backlash against one or two large properties recently being developed, some people wish to foist very aggressive new grading regulations upon all of us. These new restrictions will more heavily affect smaller lots as opposed to large estates, just like the lot coverage changes did (which were also championed by Bill Strong).
I hope the rest of the board is paying attention to what is going on here. Right now, all we have protecting our property rights is a very overworked building commissioner who is walking a tightrope versus an activist board member.
Regulations: Exterior Lighting
Another highly technical regulation is in the working draft stage, Exterior Lighting. This 11 page regulation (which would replace a current 4 1/2 page regulation) goes into such details as beam width, color temperature, and lumen output.
Unlike the grading regulation, the lighting regulation does need to be updated since the old one was written in the era before LED lights and all the restrictions were based on electrical power rather than actual light output (LEDs are much more efficient resulting in much more lighting currently being allowed than was intended).
However, this necessary update is being used as an opportunity to go beyond our current regulation and further restrict us. As our ad-hoc poll showed back in January, there is scant support for more lighting restrictions.
Regardless, the building department is indeed doing yeoman’s work in pulling together a complex regulation.