Covenant’s Zumaque gate to get an upgrade

The gate at the end of the Covenant's Zumaque Street.
(Karen Billing)

At its Feb. 3 meeting, the Rancho Santa Fe Association board approved a $31,000 expenditure to upgrade the Covenant’s gate across Zumaque Street and bring it up to current standards of efficiency and safety.

The Zumaque gate connects the Covenant’s Zumaque road to the 4-S Ranch area on Camino Del Sur, providing a desirable short-cut for commuters.

Back in the 1980s, the Association gave easement rights to the residents on the other side of Lusardi Creek on Artesian Road to use Zumaque. After the community saw a big increase in cars using the route, the Association filed a lawsuit to restrict traffic from cutting through the Covenant and the gate was built as a result of the lawsuit.

About 40 easement holders have access to the gate and the Rancho Santa Fe Patrol monitors the ingress and egress. Interim RSF Patrol Chief Mike Scaramella said when they see too much traffic on one code, that code is deleted.

“The gate has been outdated for several years now, I would say 15 to 20 years,” said Danny Lines, Association infrastructure manager.

Lines said the gate has been operated by an AT&T copper line that fails quite a bit. The Association will bring in a fiber feed from the Rancho Santa Fe Connect network to operate the gate and instead of codes for residents they will use key fobs, assigned to each car.

The Association will also put cameras on both sides of the gate to monitor who is going in and out.

“The new technology, especially the fobs as an alternative instead of the codes, should make a big difference,” RSF Association Director Greg Gruzdowich said. “It was a system, because of the old technology, that was ripe for abuse and this should solve a lot of the problem.”