Rancho Santa Fe Association board approves bylaw changes

By Karen Billing

Staff Writer

The Rancho Santa Fe Association board approved a few changes to its bylaws at its Dec. 2 meeting and the changes were sent out to Covenant members for review. The last time the board updated its bylaws was 2006 and of the six proposed bylaw changes, the majority were due to a change in California law that regulates homeowners associations or simply to clean up wording.

One change, suggested by board vice president Deb Plummer, proposed that a member vote be required for the Association to sell, mortgage or purchase properties over $2 million. Currently, the bylaws provide that members are notified for all property transactions and have 30 days to file a petition of opposition.

Plummer’s request for the bylaw change was spurred by the Association’s purchase of the Osuna Ranch property in 2006 for $12 million, taking out a $5 million loan. When she received notification of the sale, which she said she was against at the time, she looked at it as if it was a done deal.

She said if the Association is going to spend that much money, the members have a right to have a say about it.

“I saw it as a continued tax, acquiring something really not approved by the members and that just didn’t sit well with me,” Plummer said.

Board member Anne Feighner wondered about how logical Plummer’s proposal would be—as an example she cited the board’s recent action to extend the lease of the Riding Club. Per the changes, the lease extension would have required a Covenant-wide vote at a cost of $6,000. Sending out a notification about property dealings, as the Association does now, costs about $1,200.

As board members expressed concern, Plummer withdrew her proposed bylaw change. Director Jack Queen said the finance committee could maybe analyze the issue.

2011 Association election schedule set

Elections will be held in May 2011 for two seats on the Rancho Santa Fe Association board. The terms of current board president Tom Lang and vice president Deb Plummer will conclude next year. A nominating committee was selected at the board’s Dec. 2 meeting and it will have until March 11 to submit its nominations. The Association’s Annual Meeting will be held on May 12 for residents to meet the candidates and the ballots will be sent that day. Registered voters will have until June 13 to return their ballots—election inspectors will tally the votes on June 14.

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