Letters/Opinion: Oct. 25, Nov. 1, Nov. 8, Nov. 29

Editor’s Note: The following letter was sent to Kenton Jones, managing traffic engineer for San Diego County, the RSF Association Board of Directors, and RSF Patrol Chief Matt Wellhouser. It was also sent to this newspaper for publication.

Oct. 25:

  1. Intersection improvement appreciated

I am pleased Rancho Santa Fe’s dysfunctional intersection of Calzada del Bosque and Rambla de las Flores at Linea del Cielo will be improved by making it a four-way stop. Is there going to be any improvement in the alignment of the two side streets, Calzada and Rambla?

Other than a telephone pole, which would have to be relocated slightly, there is minimal infrastructure work needed. The realignment would greatly improve sight lines for drivers approaching the intersection on Rambla de las Flores. Moving the pole would increase safety (drivers have crashed into the poles in that location with the automobile occupants injured at least three times in the last 10 years), traffic flow would be improved and, therefore, wait times decreased because of the more direct, faster, easier and safer way of crossing Linea del Cielo resulting from this improvement.

Thank you for your effort. I am very supportive of this intersection being improved in these ways, and appreciate the consideration of all parties regarding the many benefits, especially the improvement in safety from realigning one side street directly across from the other at the same time.

Janice Joerger

Rancho Santa Fe

Nov. 1:

Assessment change would make it fair for all

Here’s some more information on the Rancho Santa Fe Covenant Residents for Fair Assessments’ lawsuit.

The Association collects about $6 million from members every year. Approximately half of all members pay a total of $1 million while the other half pay $5 million per year. A 500 percent difference.

The way we allocate Association dues (based on a percentage of county tax assessment), is illegal for new homeowner associations (HOAs) under the California Davis-Stirling law that regulates HOAs. When Prop. 13 was passed in the 1970s, the Association should have undertaken the effort to change the way dues are assessed when everyone was paying an equal amount, but they didn’t, and so this inequity problem has gotten worse year by year.

We have approximately 2,000 home sites in RSF. If we simply divide $6 million/2,000 = $3,000 per year per home site. So if everyone paid the same amount, our dues would be about $250 a month.

For comparison, the average San Diego condo pays $330/month on property that is worth on average $385,000.

A nearby gated community homeowner pays $700/month.

I was recently paying about $600/month for an empty parcel in Wildflower Estates in Olivenhain.

The point is that this shouldn’t be a big issue. Lifestyles aren’t going to change if we were to ask everyone to pay $250/month. No one should have to sell their property at that rate.

Such a change, however, would make it fair for all.

Phil Trubey

Nov. 8:

‘Won’t you be my (compassionate) neighbor?’

To say that I was dismayed in reading the article about the litigious actions taken by the group of members calling themselves the Rancho Santa Fe Covenant Residents for Fair Assessment is putting it mildly.

A lawsuit effectively suing yourselves and your fellow Covenant community homeowners does not sound “right neighborly” at all. And who are the 50 complainants? Why was there no name affixed to the “group spokesperson”?

The RSF Association assessment policy is clearly defined and agreed to in writing during the purchase process. What is “unfair” is that we privileged souls get to live here and the rest of the world does not.

We pride ourselves on the fact that our historical community is not like and cannot be compared to any other, such as Emerald Bay which is a much newer master-planned endeavor.

May the members of the RSF Covenants for Fair Assessment identify themselves so we have an open conversation. We should be discussing how to improve our property values by millions of dollars rather than subjecting ourselves to a foolish fight over what has been part of our collective agreement since each of us decided to move to this glorious place.

Janet Lawless Christ

Covenant Resident and Realtor

Nov. 29:

Water rate hike: Vote ‘No’ - Sign Prop. 218 protest form now

As a lifelong resident of Rancho Santa Fe, I support the Rancho Santa Fe Association’s (RSFA) thorough and professional dialogue with Santa Fe Irrigation District (SFID) to entreat the SFID Board of Directors to put in place a rate structure that is equitable for all its customers, regardless of the size of their property.

Publicly available SFID agenda packets reflect that month after month the RSFA made its case to the SFID. Those same SFID agenda packets show that SFID never specifically addressed any of the thoroughly explained points made by the RSFA’s rate consultant. SFID essentially said a polite “Thank you for your input,” and then on to the next subject.

Our California Constitution requires that every property owner in the SFID be given the opportunity to submit a written protest to say they do not agree with the proposed rate structure. The deadline for turning in the written protest forms is Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2018. The Association has provided the forms at the RSFA front counter, or one can download the Protest Form at www.RSFAssociation.org.

It is important to emphasize submitting a written protest form does not suggest SFID doesn’t need additional money for operations. It means there is disagreement with how SFID proposes to obtain additional money from its customers. A “no” vote is a message to the SFID Board of Directors to direct staff to go back to their rate consultants for alternative rate structures.

Water is essential to maintaining and nurturing Rancho Santa Fe’s way of life. We have invested significant financial resources in our scenic landscaped properties. SFID was initially organized in 1922 to provide water for local agriculture. The Ranch began as a high-end “Gentlemen Farmer” development of peaceful citrus groves and hillsides. We must protect and preserve the historic use of our properties.

If the current rate proposal is approved in December, RSF’s water rates will increase at least another 5 - 6 percent compounded each year for years two and three, factoring in yearly wholesaler rate increases. Over the last three years our water rates have increased in the range of 25 percent, upwards of 50 percent, depending on usage. That means by 2021 the water rates will be between 36 percent to 60 percent higher than four years ago.

Rancho Santa Fe Association is asking for rates that are equitable for all customers in the Santa Fe Irrigation District.

Your voice is important. Vote “No”— Sign Prop 218 Protest Form, now!

Holly Manion,

Native

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