RSF Association establishes new process for regulatory code updates

A new five-step process for RSF Association regulatory code changes.

At the Nov. 5 RSF Association board meeting, Rancho Santa Fe Association Building Commissioner Maryam Babaki presented a new timeline for all regulatory code updates, a multi-step process that ensures that the membership is engaged and involved in the issues that impact the community.

The changes are a reflection of member comments received on various regulatory code updates made over the last several months that demonstrated many different points of view and understanding of the regulations.

“We recognize that it’s important that we put a process into place that provides for better communication of the intent and the substance of the regulations,” Babaki said. “We also put a process in place to receive and circulate a summary of different viewpoints that are expressed by the members.”

The new process includes steps to inform and gather input and ways for all member input to be shared with the community before a draft is prepared. The draft is then posted for further comments before final approval.

The proposed lighting regulation will start using the new timeline in December. The regulation addresses outdoor lighting, uplighting, the hours of use of lighting and the inclusion of lumens, which is the direct measurement of light output or brightness.

Although the board had already approved a new regulation on the use of wood in August, it will go through the new process starting in January 2021.

The new chapter of the regulatory code states that wood (board and batten or shiplap) will be allowed in the case of new construction up to a maximum of 25% of a main residence. Wood will also be allowed in remodels as long as wood was used as the primary exterior wall surface in the existing main residence and it is limited to no more than 25% of the original residence’s square footage.

Regulations on grading and architectural types will begin the process in February and March of 2021 respectively, aiming toward final approval in the summer.

RSF Association President Mike Gallagher said he appreciated the efforts to make the process more inclusive every step of the way.

“Staggering it out like that will allow us to get the kind of attention to these regulation items that they really deserve,” Gallagher said.

As one of the Association board’s top priorities this year is consistency with Art Jury decisions, Babaki said they are also working to define roles and responsibilities of jury members as well as ways to simplify and expedite the application process for homeowners.

At the meeting, Director Greg Gruzdowich said a voice he would still like to hear is that of Art Jury members, to inform the Association board what they are seeing and what concerns they may have. Gallagher said that the Association board is working to have a more regular report about trends and issues from the Art Jury chair.