Progress made on RSF Association Regulatory Code update

The Rancho Santa Fe Association is aiming to have a completed first draft of its update to the Regulatory Code in the next several weeks. The document, which hasn’t been updated since 2007, guides the Covenant Design Review Committee in its review of projects, to “ensure a uniform and reasonably high standard of artistic result and attractiveness in the physical appearance of property and its improvements” and protect and preserve the rural character and ambiance of the community.

According to Building Commissioner Tom Farrar, the draft document will be distributed to staff, the Covenant Design Review Committee (CDRC) and the Association board as well as the membership for a 30-day review period, as per the Davis-Stirling Act requirement.

Since August, Rick Engineering has been working with Association staff on amending the document, which deals with everything from landscaping to boundary adjustments and animal keeping to lighting.

“We have looked at every word and made lots of suggestions,” said Russ Hunt of Rick Engineering at the CDRC’s Nov. 27 meeting.

Farrar said the update will ensure the code conforms with Association board and CDRC policies and objectives and will work to correct errors, omissions and weaknesses to make it more fair, consistent and enforceable.

“Ease of use is critical,” Farrar said.

Hunt has suggested a re-organization of the document, with a consistent format followed for each chapter and many very technical adjustments for clarity. In many cases, the document still refers to the Art Jury and, in some parts, has inaccurate citations back to the Protective Covenant.

The re-organization of chapters will make things easier to find, Hall said — instead of having topics like permitting spread throughout the document, it will all be in one place.

“We’re trying to be internally consistent and bring this up to date so it’s a little more user-friendly,” Hall said.

The CDRC will shoot to have a discussion on the draft update potentially by its Jan. 22, 2018 meeting.

Farrar said one of the challenges the Association faces is how they will distribute a document so large for public review — it could cost as much as $30,000 in mailing. He said they are exploring ways for it to be reviewed electronically or for there to be an opt-in/opt-out opportunity for those who would like the hard copy mailed.

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