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Letter to the editor: Covenant Club with a shoehorn

In 2014, the RSF Association members approved $350,000 from the Community Enhancement Fund, to evaluate the feasibility of building a Health Club. Of 1,475 votes cast, it passed by 49 votes. No estimated initiation fees or dues were stated at that time.

After nine months of community response, with many objections to both size, and location of the pools and Health Club, the steering committee is considering a 15,000-sq.-ft. building and three pools, named The Covenant Club. This proposal would “shoehorn” the Covenant Club and pools between the Golf Club, Tennis Club and horse trails. The iconic Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club is ranked 34th among 866 golf courses in California by the USGA. The golf course is Rancho Santa Fe’s Central Park, offering a tranquil setting for golf, walking, jogging, or horseback riding. The understated character of the area would be changed forever.

The projected cost of the Covenant Club is $10,900,000, based on using $4,500,000 from Community Enhancement Funds, and the balance from membership sales and financing. Membership sales are based on 250 Golf Club members, 50 Tennis members, and 250 Health Club members joining for an estimated initiation fee of $1,500, and $180 monthly dues. This seems overly optimistic at best.

Why the shoehorn??? The Association owns the Osuna Ranch, 24.5 acres, purchased for $12,000,000. The property includes the historic Adobe, and a 50-horse facility and only 38 percent of the horse facility boarders are Covenant residents.

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A committee called Amigos de Osuna has a Vision Statement: “It is our vision to preserve and enhance this valuable Covenant asset in a manner respectful to its historic past, while creating a vibrant community resource for current and future generations.”

This is a well-thought objective. In viewing their Conceptual Master Plan for the Osuna Ranch and Adobe, there is ample space to set aside 2 acres for a Covenant Club, pools, little league baseball fields, picnic area, and snack bar that would serve the broader value to our community. See more about this at: www.rsfassociation.org/osunaadobe, see PDF file.

When the question of utilizing the Osuna property for the fitness center is asked, the response from the Health Club Steering Committee has been that it is not zoned properly, and abutters would object. What about abutters to the Golf Club? Isn’t it worth the effort to investigate rezoning the Osuna property?

There is discussion that the Association board is looking at subdividing the Osuna Ranch property and maintaining the Adobe (a registered national historic building). Even with a subdivision there could be space set aside for a Covenant Club.

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Robert Mulholland,

Rancho Santa Fe


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