Golf Club Abandons Wind Wall Project

By Phil Trubey

July 8, 2021

Those of you who have eaten at the golf club snack bar from 10:00 am onwards know that our fairly constant off shore breeze usually makes it uncomfortable to sit at most of the tables for any length of time.

Typical windy day at the snack bar

So back in December the golf club got RSFA board approval to fund the cost of a glass wind wall for the perennially windy snack bar sitting area. The design concept picture looked like this.

Example of a wind wall from the RSF staff report.

The next step was to gain Art Jury approval, whereupon it got unequivocally denied.

As many residents may already know, recent Art Juries have never approved unadorned glass wind walls. You can have a wind wall, but it must be integrated into a structure, and ideally a structure that is part of your main house (for instance to surround a courtyard), and isn’t visible from the street and has architectural elements that break up the stark glass wall, etc.

So the snack bar project designer worked with the Art Jury to come up with something that the Art Jury would approve and they designed a much bigger, complex structure than what you see in the example picture above. It had a roof trellis to match the current entrance architecture of the golf club and architectural columns to break up a large expanse of glass.

Golf club entrance showing trellis and column architecture

It also boosted the estimated price from $40K to $100K.

At this point, both the 3×3 restaurant committee and the golf board took a look at the new design and both did not like the direction the project was going, and thus the project has been shelved and/or abandoned.

And that’s unfortunate. If the restaurant remodel proceeds, a comfortable snack bar seating area might get a lot of use. The snack bar has a grill and can fire up a BBQ. Their street tacos from the BBQ are really, really good. And their paninis are as good as it gets.

The Price You Pay To Live In RSF

The Art Jury has reasons to deny unadorned glass wind walls. If they allowed them, you would probably see a lot of them as your drive around given how constant our off shore breezes are. And as I said, they will allow them, but constrain how they are built to blend in with the surrounding architecture – exactly what the Art Jury is supposed to do.

And the more than doubling of the cost? That’s the price homeowners pay to live here. You can’t uphold architectural standards without it costing money.

In talking with some golf board members involved with this, they were slightly appalled at how costs ballooned after the Art Jury process. But that is what happens us homeowners all the time when we want to build our own projects. The Association isn’t and shouldn’t be exempt from this same process.

Tennis Club Shed

Interestingly, the tennis club ran into the exact same problem a few years ago. They used to have a very old rotting rat infested wooden storage shed in the middle of the tennis courts. So they designed a new storage shed and submitted it to the Art Jury. Among the problems with the original design is that it had a single plane shed roof rather than a two plane peaked roof. After this and other Art Jury requested changes, the shed cost tens of thousands of dollars more than planned.

The tennis club went hat in hand to the Association asking to be bailed out, but the Association usually has a strict policy to make the recreation activities (Golf, Tennis, Osuna) pay for themselves through dues. I believe the Association gave a token amount to the tennis club, but the tennis club had to mostly eat the extra cost themselves.

RSF tennis club shed as built after the Art Jury process.
While this different nearby tennis/pickleball club is functional, they don’t have the same architectural standards, allowing green overhead shade cloth and aluminum sided storage sheds.

It Always Comes Down To Money

It isn’t only land prices that make it expensive to live in RSF. The Art Jury imposes architectural standards and these cost money. And that’s exactly the way it is supposed to work. So the Golf, Tennis and Osuna boards should not be surprised that their capital projects will cost more than an equivalent golf course, tennis club or riding stables located in Encinitas or Rancho Bernardo.

And that directly implies that our dues must be commensurately higher.

The golf club, the best run of our recreation clubs as far as finances go, gets it. They recently imposed a big dues increase. Osuna, the worst run recreation activity as far as finances go, doesn’t get it. They have by far the lowest rates of comparable stables in the area, and the facilities look like crap because of it.

The 92067 Rancho Santa Fe zip code has the 13th highest average federal income tax AGI. I know we can afford higher dues.


I’ll leave you with the humorous cartoon below. The path to getting a project done in a complex environment like the RSF Association is slow and arduous but it is worth doing. At this point, all Association members who might want to eat at the snack bar must put up with constant off shore winds. We can do better and it worth seeing this particular project through to completion. I hope the golf board and/or the 3×3 committee reconsiders.

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