Rancho Santa Fe neighborhood playground plan gains momentum

By Karen Billing

The effort to establish a neighborhood playground for Rancho Santa Fe children continues to move forward. Efforts have been made in the past for play structures in the Covenant, but this latest push is the closest the Association has ever come to reaching its goal.

According to RSF Association Manager Pete Smith, the Rancho Santa Fe Association’s trails and recreation committee is working to get the final permission necessary to grant and build a new playground structure at Rancho Santa Fe Field on Rambla de las Flores.

In November, the board granted $25,000 toward purchasing play equipment and directed the trails and recreation committee to find a suitable location. Rancho Santa Fe Field was selected as the preferred alternative.

The committee had been considering a request for the playground to be at Richardson Field, also on Rambla de las Flores. Richardson would have involved a slightly different process for approval, requiring a Covenant modification and a two-thirds vote of approval from surrounding property owners.

The committee decided at a meeting on Tuesday morning not to pursue Richardson as an option.

With RSF Field, the Association is working with the representative of the family that sold the property to the Association to get permission to place the playground at that location due to a deed restriction.

Smith said the committee is also looking at the play equipment that will be used. Slightly different than the plans proposed last year, the committee would like the equipment to cater to a younger age group, ages 2 to 9. The committee is still deciding about the surface material that will be used, aiming for “the safest surface for children,” Smith said.

The exact location of the playground on the property must also be decided.

“We have to make sure we’re not impeding the use of the horse trail and park and that we’re not in the way of organized sports on the field,” Smith said.

Smith said the committee is hopeful all of the remaining issues can be resolved by its next meeting on April 24.

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