By Jack Queen
Rancho Santa Fe Association presidentAt the board meeting last week, the board considered the proposed new “Lilian” building to be constructed next to Union Bank. It was an interesting change since the last time the board considered a proposed development for the site.
The hearing for the previous submittal had to be held at the Garden Club to accommodate all of the members that wanted to speak and it lasted several hours. The current presentation was held in the Association boardroom and the only people present were the property owners, their architect and traffic engineer. This presentation and discussion lasted about 30 minutes. The last presentation came to us with significant concerns from the Art Jury. This one came with a letter of recommendation for approval. The last presentation had numerous requests for variances from our Rules and Regulations. This one didn’t have any requests for variances. The last proposal required hundreds of truckloads of dirt to be removed from the site. The current proposal does not require any dirt removal.
The difference — the current owner is a member of the Covenant who understands the concerns of our community and designed a project that fits very nicely with the community character and within the regulations set for height, parking and building size.
An area of significant concern to the board was the fact that the project will have a negative impact on parking in the Village. Over the years other businesses in the Village have been able to lease spaces in the existing parking lot behind the banks. The current parking lot will remain but many of the spaces will be needed to provide parking for the new building.
The parking on the property meets our regulatory requirements to service the new building allowing the owner the right to develop the new building, but it will not leave any spaces open for general use. The Association will continue to work on ways to provide relief for the heavy parking needs especially between noon and 2:30 p.m. on weekdays.
The project was approved by the Association board and will now go to the County for approval. Actual construction will not begin for at least a year or more.
I would also like to thank and acknowledge our staff and especially Ivan Holler for their efforts in securing funds for the paving of additional roads in our community. The county Board of Supervisors has now set aside funds for the paving of: Mimulus, Lago Lindo, Las Planideras, Rambla de las Flores, Via de Fortuna, and Los Morros. The work should begin in the spring of 2012. We will continue to work to secure funds for additional roads when funds become available.