Rancho Santa Fe Association Covenant Design Review Committee seeks to improve process

The Rancho Santa Fe Association has committed $14,000 to consultant Rick Engineering to work with the Covenant Design Review Committee and RSF Association board to improve the CDRC process and amend the design guidelines to make them more “user friendly.”

At the Association’s Nov. 5 meeting, Building Commissioner Robert Green shared a report updating the board about the CDRC’s progress so far this year.

Year to date in 2015, the CDRC has reviewed 404 projects and they are projecting to reach 460, Green said. There has been a 69 percent approval rate with 56 percent approved at their first time before the CDRC—30 projects were approved after one revision and 17 were approved after two or more revisions.

Sixty-six percent of projects submitted in 2015 are pending and five projects have been denied, or 1 percent of all submittals.

“Most of the projects end up being approved and worked out,” Green said, noting that there is a perception issue in the community that the CDRC is hard to get through.

Over 15 years, there have been 165 mediations and only three appeals to the board with no appeals since 2003.

“We are very proud of the CDRC process that continues to produce successful projects,” CDRC President Candace Humber said at the CDRC’s Nov. 9 meeting.

Last fall, some changes were made to the CDRC process, including opening up meetings to the public, allowing the applicant to be in the room during CDRC deliberations and implementing a new methodology to track projects through the review system from submittal to final decision. Upon submission of a project, a hearing date is guaranteed, typically in 10 to 21 days.

Humber said that they have realized significant time savings for applicants, saving about five and a half weeks.

“We are constantly looking for ways to improve the process,” Humber said.

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