Rancho Santa Fe School won’t pave Dacus property lot

The Rancho Santa Fe School District board has put the brakes on its parking lot project after seeing the estimated price come in at $325,000. Superintendent David Jaffe said the cost was “shocking” and recommended that the board instead complete a simple-site cleanup of the grading and gravel on the El Fuego parcel, known as the Dacus property.

“My recommendation on this is, because of the cost of the parking lot, to hold off on the concrete of the parking lot and when we look at other major projects in this school in the future, incorporate this into it,” Jaffe said. “That gives us the opportunity to go for some state money as well when we are looking to do major projects that can offset the cost.”

The 51-space lot is currently unpaved and is used for staff and overflow parking. The lot fills at pockets of time but there’s usually 10 to 15 spaces available, Jaffe said.

According to Debra Vaughn-Cleff, of Webb Cleff Architecture and Engineering, a paved parking lot project would have kept to the footprint of the existing grading as well as created a new concrete pedestrian pathway. The project would also have had to address new stringent storm drain regulations.

As an alternative, a simple site clean-up would be about $14,000, according to a local landscape company. Jaffe said with the board’s direction, the district would go out to bid on the site clean-up and select the lowest bid.

The board was in agreement that the cost of the paving was too high and that the simple clean-up was an option that would be a slight improvement.

“I’ve been a big proponent of doing something really nice to that parking lot but this price is too much for me,” said RSF School District Vice President Tyler Seltzer.