What’s at Stake on the Agenda? A Lot

The Rancho Santa Fe Association Board will be meeting on Tuesday, June 11, at 10:00 a.m, at the Ranch Clubhouse, 5827 Via de la Cumbre, to discuss several items on the agenda. The RSF Board of Directors’ election results will be announced at the meeting’s conclusion. 

Proposed Resolution Gives Golf Club Greater Control Over Non-Golf Member Access and Recreational Campus

A new resolution to place the Association’s “recreational campus” firmly in the hands of the Golf Club was posted on Friday, asking the Board of Directors to approve it on Tuesday, just before election results are announced. The timing is questionable since the new rules require the entire Association to spend millions of dollars for a new restaurant and yet limit their access. It looks like non-golf members even lost access to the snack bar and driving range. 

The main changes of Resolution 2024, which replaces the one from 2017, reaffirm Golf Club autonomy with the following:

  • The Golf Club added language that memorializes the fact that they paid for the entire golf course remodel. Is the idea here that if you pay for it, you control it? Could this pave the way to challenge the legality of common amenity and the Association’s bylaws?
  • The Association will be providing the “sole and exclusive funding” of the $6 million Clubhouse renovation. Everyone agrees the restaurant is desperately needing some love. So if the Association pays for the restaurant, does it get to control it like the Golf Club controls the golf course? No. The Golf Club still maintains all the Food & Beverage operations. 
  • The Association membership will pay $500,000 every year toward the operations of the Ranch Clubhouse (restaurant) as well as all maintenance. Is this to cover the millions in F&B losses that have become an annual issue? Are Association members helping fund the Player’s Club “member experience”? 
  • The resolution added language that singles out the Ranch Clubhouse (restaurant) as the one — and only —  common amenity on the recreational campus allowed for use by Association (non-golf) members. The driving range and snack bar were excluded. Non-golf members currently can take their kids and hit a bucket of balls or get a sandwich at the snack bar. Will this no longer be allowed?
  • The new resolution stipulates that events for non-golf members (such as weddings, meetings, special dinners, etc…) “will be considered” but that “Golf Club events receive priority.” So does this mean that if a member wants to host an event – at the restaurant that they just paid for – they get in line after the Golf Club and its members?
  • The resolution also gives the Club General Manager (a staff member) and the Golf Club President (a homeowner) authority to sign contracts. Since the Golf Club is a division of the RSFA and not a separate business entity, any contractual agreement ties the entire Association membership to it. For instance, if the Golf Club President was to sign a contract with a contractor that included illegal grading, the entire membership and their properties could be at risk in case of legal action or penalties. Essentially, when a staff member makes a mistake there’s oversight and recourse. When a homeowner does, what are you going to do, fire them? 

The stunning thing is this is also a raw deal for Golf Club members. Some have paid thousands to join the Golf Club and are paying high monthly fees, yet have trouble getting tee times. Included in those fees, each Golf Club member is paying approximately $2K a year in restaurant losses that no one can account for. Maybe the real problem at the Golf Club is overspending.

What does it all mean for you? Even though the membership at large will pay for the restaurant, pay for the parking lot, and subsidize the million-dollar F&B losses each year, the Golf Club still won’t allow them access to the course for partial play. C’mon man, throw the people a bone. 

Click on the Member Forum to participate in this discussion.

(A redline version which shows the difference was not made available in the supporting documents, so you can see ours here: (Pg 1), (Pg 2), (Pg 3) and (Pg 4).)

FireWatch Mapping: Does It Mitigate Risk or Flag It for Insurers? 

The Association will be renewing a contract with FireWatch Team, LLC, a company that has been contracted by the Association since 2019 to use aerial mapping to gauge flammable vegetation and its proximity to homes. The maps are intended for property owners to identify risks and manage defensible space in the event of a wildfire. Members can opt out from the program, which means they will get their own map, but not be required to share it with any fire authority. 

However, in presentation materials from the RSFA Fire and Emergency Safety Community meeting last September, FireWatch disclosed a partnership with Green Shield Risk Solutions, which is a specialized insurance company that uses FireWatch high-resolution maps and data to calculate financial risk and “develop custom insurance solutions for property owners and communities committed to risk management.” This makes one wonder if our RSF aerial map information has been shared with insurers. After so many Rancho Santa Fe homeowners have lost their home insurance coverage, we should confirm with Association staff that these aerial fire maps, meant to help homeowners make their land more defensible, are not actually flagging it for increased insurance risk. 

Members who would like to provide input prior to Tuesday’s Board meeting should either attend the meeting at the Ranch Clubhouse or email the Board Directors at memberinput@rsfassociation.org. Showing up and voicing your opinion makes a difference.