Rancho Santa Fe Association board wants finance panel to check out proposed pool-fitness center


By Karen Billing

The Rancho Santa Fe Association’s exploratory pool and fitness center committee is targeting an October community-wide vote to begin a professional planning phase on the facility. The October vote would ask residents whether the Association should pursue the planning phase, at a tentative cost of $350,000.

At its July meeting, the committee settled on a potential site between the Player’s Club of the RSF Golf Club and the RSF Tennis Club. The cost of the center could range from $10 million to $15 million, but committee liaison and Director Heather Slosar reiterated that those are very rough numbers, based on assumptions.

Slosar said the professional planning phase would establish the cost and the financing method, but the preliminary source is a combination of debt, Community Enhancement Fund monies and member enrollment fees.

The next pool and fitness committee meeting will be held at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 19, at the RSF Golf Club. The RSF Association board will hear a project proposal at its Sept. 11 retreat, and a series of six open forums are proposed for the week of Sept. 15.

Board members said they would like to see a finance committee vetting of the proposal after the Aug. 19 meeting, before it goes to the open forums.

“In keeping with everything that transpired last year, the board shouldn’t be in the position of taking anything out to ballot until the finance committee says, ‘We bless this project,’” said RSF Association Director Jerry Yahr.

Slosar’s timeline is for the RSF Association board to vote on the ballot language at its Oct. 2 meeting. As RSF Association President Ann Boon noted, that is a very specific timeline.

“If we get to Sept. 11 and we have real concerns about finances, there is nothing to say we can’t push back the schedule,” Boon said. “I don’t think anyone wants to rush into anything. We want to be sure we and the finance committee have vetted it.”

Yahr also said that it might be beneficial to have one of the open forums when the ballots are out so that any member questions or concerns can be addressed during the 30-day voting period.