RSFA Member Input August 2021

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Following are letters RSF Association members sent to the Association board in advance of the August 2021 board meeting through the memberinput@rsfassociation.org email address. I encourage all members to use that email address to also send in their thoughts on topics that are important to them.

Ralph Savage: Golf Course access

I’ve owned property on La Glorieta (a house and adjacent lot) for 20 years now. For years I was able to golf at the RSF course a couple of times a year when in town. The 6 and 12 pack golf access package seemed ideal for non-residents like myself.

(Most private clubs have some type of similar arrangement for non-residents.)

Without any published justification this policy was changed and approved by the Association in conjunction with the Golf Club. To what purpose???

It seems a little crazy that I now need to have the Pro at my MN golf club call to get me on to a club in which I am part owner of the land. Either that or I can book a room at The Inn to get access. Does this make sense?

Laurel Lemarié: Golf Course Trees

It’s deja vu all over again: Trees in Ranch May Go on Chopping Block, April 2001

This article (linked here) by Logan Jenkins at SDUT in 2001 was distributed nationwide by the Tribune papers. Maybe some of you were here for this battle over the golf course eucalyptus – I remember it.

Enjoy!

Phil Trubey: Sponsored Pickleball Memberships

I would like the Association board to consider allowing the Tennis/Pickleball Club to accept sponsored Pickleball memberships.

The golf club and tennis club each have sponsored memberships. Osuna’s revenue comes from horse boarding and 80% of horses boarded at Osuna are not owned by Covenant members. As such, disallowing sponsored pickleball membership is discriminatory on its face.

The group of players that play pickleball at the club have a strong mutual bond, and all regular players know each other. While there are 54 pickleball members, there are many more that play at our club. Some of the others are tennis club members, and some are non Covenant members who play as guests.

Every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, the club pro hosts an open play session that typical draws over 30 people per session. Yet the pickleball courts are not near capacity. The dedicated pickleball courts are rarely full other times, and getting court times is easy. The club could easily handle probably double the amount of current members with current facilities. Indeed the club needs more players so that other programs can be offered including team play, competitions and ladders. The pickleball club currently doesn’t have enough players for these activities.

Enabling sponsored memberships would significantly boost tennis club revenues as the guest fees that guests pay is less than what they would pay as members.

Vetting sponsored members could be done any number of ways – Martin Hecht, the club pro knows all the guests that would like to become members and would be a good judge of how well they fit in. Or you could have a rule than five or ten covenant members would have to sponsor a member.

My understanding is that the tennis club has been asking for sponsored pickleball memberships for over 18 months, yet zero official board action has occurred. It has not once been brought up for discussion. If you polled pickleball members you would find overwhelming support for sponsored pickleball memberships. This deserves a hearing at the board level.

Laurel Lemarié: SB9 could devastate RSF

Now the state wants to change zoning for all homeowners, LA Times article link.

Here is the full text of the bill if you want the details:

This bill also exempts projects from CEQA or Coastal Development Permit Application review.

This bill, if passed, would destroy RSF.

Holly Manion: Oppose Goodson Project for Fire & Safety Reasons

I and everyone I have spoken to are extremely concerned about the disastrous Goodson 283 unit apartment project proposed behind the Rhodes School in the Harvest Ranch Market area within a stone’s throw of the Covenant. The proposed project is slated to have 472 parking spaces. Due to the fact the proposed project provides for some low-income housing, an updated traffic study was not required.

The proposed project has a slew of problems that directly impact the Covenant, including the fact that the building wall will be an ugly eyesore due to the scope and mass of the project; dark sky violations; a dramatic increase of traffic throughout the Covenant, with our roads already being overwhelmed; and the disastrous potential for loss of life should there be a fire.

Last month in a RSFA meeting, we were warned by a fire prevention officer that Rancho Santa Fe is on HIGH FIRE Alert from now on. If there were a fire to the east of Rancho Santa Fe or Rancho Santa Fe, the Harvest Ranch Market exit would become a death trap from all the congestion. It is terribly congested now! It will be far worse if this massive project is allowed to be built.

The City of Encinitas recently had a study done on the evacuation and fire propagation of this area. This study did not include the traffic and evacuation needs of Rancho Santa Fe. If there were a fire at I-15 today, Olivenhain would have less than four hours to evacuate. This is not enough time to safely evacuate Olivenhain, let alone adding the Ranch evacuation needs to this equation.

I am asking the RSFA board to:

  1. Submit another letter dated 2021 to the City of Encinitas strongly opposing this development relating to evacuation and fire safety concerns,
  2. Send a strong well-informed representative from the RSFA Board to the Encinitas Planning Commission hearing on July 15th to oppose the proposed project.
  3. Make arrangements with the RSF fire chief to be present at the Encinitas Planning Commission meeting to speak out on this project.
  4. Send a notice to all RSFA members requesting that they appear at the Encinitas Planning Commission meeting to speak against this proposed project.

For further information contact:

Holly Manion: August 5th Verbal Member Input

Regarding the Goodson apartment Project near Harvest Ranch Market I would like to thank Christy Whalen for writing an excellent letter read at the Encinitas Planning Commission meeting on July 20th by Laurel Lemarié in opposition to the Goodson apartment project of 283 units to be built near Harvest Ranch Market.

The Zoom hearing ran from 6 PM until after 10 PM. 47 speakers registered to speak; their time was cut to two minutes from three because so many wanted to speak. The Encinitas Planning Commission only had three board members attend instead of five; one had resigned and one recused himself for having financial dealings with the applicant. One Commissioner’s Internet connection was unstable and she dropped off many times, putting them in quorum risk. She did not hear all public comment.

In order for the Commission to render a qualified vote, it must be unanimous, ie, the quorum of 3 had to vote unanimously either for or against the project or the vote fails. Afraid to risk a vote that was not unanimous, the Commission deferred the vote to August 19, 6 PM, which will be Hearing #3. The significant thing about this hearing is that if the project goes to 5 hearings and there is not a qualified, quorum vote up or down, the project will be approved by default.

I lived through the horrific ’07 Witch Creek fires when all of RSF needed to evacuate. It was a mess. There were traffic jams getting out of the Ranch heading to the coast. Horses in many parts were killed because they couldn’t evacuate in time. It was frightening. The increased congestion and traffic from the 283 Goodson units could easily cause a “death trap” for us trying to evacuate during a fire.

Although the project will significantly increase traffic, state law does not require an EIR since low income housing is provided. The Average Daily Trips are calculated to be about 2800 per day on Encinitas Blvd. and Rancho Santa Fe Road, many of which will cross the bridge to enter Rancho Santa Fe.

It is very important to OPPOSE this once more. I am asking that RSFA Board write an additional letter in opposition to the project based on the most important “fire evacuation” and “safety concerns” due to the increase in traffic if these apartments are approved. The letter must be submitted to Encinitas City Council no later than August 11th.

In addition a director of the RSFA board should have a personal consultation with Supervisor Desmond or his land use staff prior to August 11th, as this is a major safety concern for all of Rancho Santa Fe. We should ask Mr. Desmond to write the City of Encinitas a letter in opposition on Rancho Santa Fe’s behalf. I will be available accompany any board member to see Supervisor Desmond.

Holly Manion
Lifetime RSFA resident