RSF Covenant modification vote invalid, not enough votes received

rsf association
The Village Church had proposed a columbarium in its prayer garden. The use is prohibited by the Covenant.
(Karen Billing)

The Rancho Santa Fe Association did not receive enough votes on the proposed Covenant modification that would have allowed the Village Church to install a columbarium, a memorial garden with niches to keep human cremains. The August vote deadline from the summer Association election was extended twice with the latest deadline on Dec. 4. According to RSF Association Manager Christy Whalen, they received just over 900 ballots of the 2,000 that were sent out.

As written, Article 1 of the Rancho Santa Fe Protective Covenant, drafted in 1929, prohibits any properties from being used for a cemetery, columbarium or crematory. To alter any language in the Covenant requires approval from two-thirds of the property owners of record in the Covenant and two-thirds of the vote by acreage.

“If we didn’t receive even 50% of the vote, obviously we didn’t receive two-thirds of members voting one way or another,” Whalen said.

Despite it not being a valid election, Whalen has recommended that the election inspector tally the votes as it could be useful information for the board.