New permanent restroom coming to Richardson Field

The porta potty at Rancho Santa Fe’s Richardson Field will be gone for good as the Rancho Santa Fe Association board has approved the construction of a permanent restroom facility.

At the Nov. 2 RSF Association board meeting, the board approved an amount not to exceed $100,000 for the new restroom inside the snack bar on the fields on Rambla De Las Flores.

RSF resident Rory Kendall got the project rolling over a year ago, issuing a complaint to the trails and recreation committee. Kendall noted that the ever-present porta potty facility that had been there for years seemed to be out of compliance with Covenant regulations and, at the very least, was not up to standards for Rancho Santa Fe.

According to Field Manager Arnold Keene, the effort to replace the porta potty began to gain some steam with more Covenant members requesting a permanent, more aesthetically-pleasing solution.

Sharon Ruhnau and Daniel Bunn of the Association’s trails and recreation committee helped lead a study of a variety of options for the site and found the least challenging one to be building one uni-sex restroom in the existing snack bar building at the fields.

The project will include the installation of a pump sewer system and making about a 200-foot connection to the sewer line on Los Morros, on the other side of the creek. Keene said once approved, he would like to get started on the project as soon as possible.

Richardson is home to RSF Little League’s meticulously maintained baseball diamonds and is also used by youth and men’s soccer leagues, flag football, rugby and lacrosse. In order for sports leagues to use the fields they must have a minimum number of Covenant residents in the program. Permits are only issued to Covenant members. If the program does not meet the 30 percent Covenant threshold, it is a different permit that is required — the programs that meet the Covenant requirement get priority for field use, as per trails and recreation policy.

There is no cost associated with the permits currently, however RSF Association President Fred Wasserman said they might consider having a fee to help cover the $60,000 yearly cost to maintain Richardson Field and Rancho Santa Fe Field, including water.

In deciding whether to approve the expenditure, Wasserman weighed whether the Association could absorb the cost of taking on the project, considering the limited dollars they have to spend and the overall amount of projects they want to address in the community.

During public comment earlier in the meeting, former board director Mike Licosati reiterated his concerns that since his resignation, the board has “zero voice” representing the third of the community that have children in the home. He said that the older generation represented on the board is not willing to sacrifice for the long-term good of the younger generation.

“This would provide something for 30 percent of the community that is not represented so I would look at this proposal favorably,” Ruhnau said of the restroom project.

Board director Rick Sapp took time to respond to Licosati’s comments, objecting to the sense that the board is “heavily biased” and that they don’t sympathize with or provide for younger members.

“As directors, we are obligated to represent the entire community,” Sapp said. “It’s not accurate to state that any of us personally ignore or don’t consider younger people.”

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