Rancho Santa Fe Village merchants won’t use Association parking program, according to survey

The Rancho Santa Fe Association’s effort to improve a lack of village parking has failed to gather support from village merchants.

On May 5, the RSF Association board approved a six-month pilot parking program at the First Church of Christ Scientist on La Flecha with the aim of encouraging business employees to park away from the center of the village and free up more space for visitors. According to Association Planning Director Doug Farrar, they will not move forward with the $10,000 parking lot lease after a survey showed only five of the 41 village businesses said they would consider using the spaces.

Director Heather Slosar said it was “shocking” that the businesses would not consider making a two-block walk that would help encourage retail in the village.

The survey did not have full participation from all 41 businesses in the village core, despite the Association’s repeated attempts for participation. The Association board was provided with a list of those merchants who agreed to park at the lot and those who would not — the list was not made public.

“I see a group that was very vocal about the lack of parking absent from this list,” Director Jerry Yahr noted.

Despite the lot lease idea falling through, some of the Association’s efforts to improve parking are moving forward, such as the 42 new two-hour timed parking spaces in the village. The San Diego County Board of Supervisors will have its first hearing about the additional green curb parking spaces on June 22, followed by a second hearing for approval on July 25.

Farrar said the Association continues to review installing diagonal, angled parking opposite of the Village Green, near Thyme on the Ranch. The County is also looking at making La Gracia in front of The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe a one-way street, allowing for an additional pick-up of diagonal spaces.