400 Rancho Santa Fe residents call for community vote on roundabouts vs. signals

A group of 400 Rancho Santa Fe residents has signed a petition asking that the Rancho Santa Fe Association’s decision favoring traffic signals over roundabouts on Paseo Delicias/Del Dios Highway be instead sent to a community-wide vote.

At the June 4 RSF Association board meeting, attended by nearly 100 people, resident Rich Carlson delivered the petition and several other residents addressed the issue during public comment

“Let’s not lose what we have,” said Martin Wilson, who argued that traffic lights could damage Rancho Santa Fe’s rural character and quality of life. “Let’s have a vote — this is important. A vote won’t hurt us, we’ll all be heard and we’ll vote what we feel.”

The Association board voted May 7 to support traffic signals over roundabouts as a solution for the problem intersections of El Camino del Norte, La Valle Plateada/El Montevideo and Via de la Valle. In making their decision, the board members said they felt they had sufficient information and public input, as discussion has been going on in the community for nearly 15 years.

A town hall was held in April with most of the 156 people in attendance expressing support for traffic signals, although some have argued that it was an “inadequate” sampling of community sentiment. A town hall meeting was also held in 2013, with traffic signals being the preference of those in attendance.

Resident Philippe Charat said signing the petition reflected a “vote of no confidence in their board.”

One resident said she felt left out of the decision process. She had not realized that a final vote would be taken at the May 7 meeting or else she and others would have attended.

RSF Association Manager Bill Overton said the Association is conferring on the issue with legal counsel (newly hired attorney Mary Howell from Epsten Grinnell & Howell) to see what they are allowed to do under the Davis-Sterling Act, the California civil code that governs homeowner associations. Overton said he hopes to provide the board with an opinion on the matter by the July 2 meeting.