Advisory votes to be held on Rancho Santa Fe Garden Club sale


By Karen Billing

The Rancho Santa Fe Garden Club will hold an advisory vote this month that will coincide with the Rancho Santa Fe Association’s advisory vote on the sale of the clubhouse. Advisory votes are not binding.

Following the RSF Association’s announcement March 21 that it plans to purchase the clubhouse for about $2.4 million, the Garden Club held a meeting on April 2 to discuss members’ questions about the sale.

According to RSF Association Manager Pete Smith, the club received a very comprehensive explanation of the club’s current financial situation and the difficulty in getting the necessary volunteer manpower to continue to run and operate the clubhouse. At its peak, the RSF Garden Club had 1,500 members and the club now has 250 members.

At its April 4 meeting, the RSF Association board approved the Garden Club’s request to have Association-owned property count toward the two-thirds consent requirement for a Covenant modification to change the zoned use class to public and semi-public use. The RSF Garden Club is currently zoned for a private or semi-private club use only.

The Covenant modification requires two-thirds consent from properties within 500 feet of the club and the Association owns a substantial amount of the property in the consent area. Per the regulatory code, where the Association owns property within the consent area the applicant (the RSF Garden Club) must make the request for the consent to count.

Once the Association has the neighbors’ approval for the proposed re-zoning, a notice about the proposed re-zoning will be sent to the entire Covenant membership, likely at the beginning of May, according to Smith. Covenant members will then have 30 days to file an opposition petition. If a petition is filed then a vote on the re-zoning will be sent out to the entire Association membership.

However, if all goes as planned, the purchase of the RSF Garden Club by the RSF Association should be final around June 30.