Rancho Santa Fe Association board reviews Covenant Club design

The Rancho Santa Fe Association board played to a packed house at its first meeting of the year on Jan. 7, with some of the overflow crowd at the Association office sitting on the floor in the aisles. Many people were there to hear the latest update from the Covenant Club’s design sub-committee — chair Jerry Yahr gave a very detailed presentation about the club’s design schematic that they are in the process of refining.

“This community is so fortunate to have you with your expertise leading this project,” RSF Association President Ann Boon said of Yahr. “This is my first look (at the design plan) and I think it’s pretty thrilling.”

Yahr was given applause by the audience but he said credit is also due to the subcommittee who has given a lot of time and energy on the project. In December, the subcommittee approved the initial design schematic for a 12,200-square-foot club with a 27-5 to 300-stall parking lot, situated in between the Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club’s players’ club and the Rancho Santa Fe Tennis Club.

Yahr said the goal is to have the design finalized in the next two months so cost estimates can be completed. A 3-D model is being prepared and a comprehensive package will be done by spring so the Covenant voters can make an “intelligent decision.” Yahr said the plan is to have at least one town hall meeting once all of the information is together to present facts before the vote.

The 12,200-square-foot size in the current design is a reduction from the originally proposed 16,000-18,000-square-foot facility as Yahr said the design subcommittee felt all of its goals and objectives could be achieved with a smaller program.

The parking lot will be reconfigured, providing an enhanced central entrance and re-locating two existing tennis courts. Yahr said the idea is for two new courts to be constructed before the existing two are removed so there will be 12 tennis courts at all times at the club.

The equestrian trail near Via de la Cumbre will be realigned and will feature an enhanced and slip-resistant paving.

The club is entered on the first story under a loggia and, from the entry, people can look down across the pool and through to the scenic fairway.

The entrance leads into the reception area, kids’ club and men’s and women’s locker rooms (each with its own steam room). An elevator and stairways lead down to the second level and people can choose to directly enter the pool area or use a separate pathway to reach the café, two separate fitness studios and the main cardio and strength studio.

The resort pool has four lap lanes and an area for activities such as water aerobics. Cabanas line the edge of the pool patio and the café will feature outdoor covered seating and walk-up ordering from the pool. The café will be linked to both the golf club and tennis club users via pathways and an outdoor courtyard on the side with a potential outdoor fireplace and fountains.

A splash pad for children is located as far away from the other uses as possible and nearby is five family-stall restrooms.

There were some concerns about the kid-uses being located so close to the first tee box. Yahr said the fitness center building between the course and the pool should help trap the noise.

Yahr said the goal in the next few months is to have the final design completed so that the finance piece can be completed. Mike Licosati said the finance subcommittee’s pro forma information on the club costs and financing appears to be fairly accurate and is available on the Association’s website.

Costs for the project are proposed to be funded through a combination of Covenant Enhancement Funds, pre-construction membership sales, financing and also donations and fundraising. Already the Luddy family has committed to cover 10 percent of the project cost.

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