A restroom for RSF Sports Field among Association plans for improvements

RSf Sports field
The RSF Association is starting the beginning phases for a permanent restroom for the RSF Sports Field.
(Karen Billing)

The Rancho Santa Fe Association board will get the ball rolling on a permanent restroom at the Rancho Santa Fe Sports Field on Rambla de las Flores. The fields, home to baseball, lacrosse and soccer action, as well as the playground, have been served for years by a porta potty hidden behind the trees near the backstop.

The restroom is one of a handful of improvement projects prioritized by the Association’s infrastructure committee.

According to Association Planning and Development Director Maryam Babaki, they have a budget of $200,000 to begin the staggered financing of infrastructure projects this year. To start the design and permitting process for the bathroom is $80,000, the total estimated cost is $280,000. Other priority projects for this coming year include a golf course drainage study, a $100,000 master plan to revitalize the downtown village and an expansion of the “Historic Rancho Santa Fe” street sign toppers beyond village streets.

“Infrastructure projects are done in such a way that they are really done over time,” Babaki said. The village sign toppers installed last summer took about three years, the bathroom at Richardson Field about five.

At the board’s June meeting, the majority wanted to hold off on making any decisions until their August strategic planning session, where they will be joined by two new board directors. Directors were most reluctant about spending funds on a village revitalization study, which could include concepts like a roundabout in front of The Inn and sidewalk replacement. Director Rick Sapp reminded the board that the Association already has studies done in 2005 and 2010 on the shelf and he was unsure another one would be useful, particularly given that there are three village projects in development, including the Gateway building, the new pharmacy and the proposed cafe and rooftop space for the Francisco building.

While the board was prepared to wait on going ahead with any of the projects, Director Phil Trubey pushed the board to move forward that day on the Rancho Santa Fe Field bathroom.

“Why wait?” he asked. “We are in violation of the Covenant by operating a porta potty on our own land for decades.”

With his urging, the board agreed to get the bathroom project started. Director Lorraine Kent also requested that the board see the full list of 50 projects from the infrastructure committee as they consider funding commitments in the coming year.

While the bathroom will likely be a multi-year project, Babaki doesn’t anticipate they will run into the same FEMA floodplain issues they did with the Richardson restroom which caused lengthy delays.