RANCHO SANTA FE — The June 3 meeting of the Association looked more like a Jimmy Buffet concert than a board meeting. That was because the board members had declared it “Aloha Thursday,” encouraging everyone to wear Hawaiian shirts, which all of the men did as did many members of the staff. The women also dressed appropriately. Kim Higgins wore large Hawaiian seed beads and Deb Plummer donned a pantsuit with a tropical shirt.
The mode of dress set the mood of the meeting, which was light-hearted.
Three of the board members, Bill Beckman, Higgins and Tim Sullivan, have declared they have “senioritis,” with only one more Association meeting left before their terms expire on the board.
Still, they did make some decisions including allowing about $150,000 from the open space fund to be used for upgrades for the Osuna Adobe.
Assistant Planner Nikki Flynn, who gave the presentation at the meeting, said the Osuna Committee wants to move ahead on updating and relocating the electric panel from the wall of the adobe, installing a fire hydrant, a backflow preventer and improving the driveway.
In Flynn’s photo presentation of the current electric panel on the adobe, it is clear it needs to be updated and relocated.
“The electric will be undergrounded and away from the adobe,” she said. It will be laid in a trench and then hidden by another small wall or something similar.
Director Dick Doughty asked if electricity in the adobe was necessary seeing as it was the plan to keep the Osuna Ranch as authentic as possible.
“Yes,” Ivan Holler, covenant planner, said. “We have ad hoc meetings there.”
Doughty asked: “Why not oil lamps?”
Holler said that at other historic buildings in other places, while the lighting looks like oil lamps, they are actually electric.
Flynn said the work should begin as early as July.
“The first phase will be the fire hydrant and backflow with work in July and August,” Flynn said. “The driveway in August or September and the electric panel in October.”
Doughty expressed concern that because there are not firm bids for the project that perhaps the Association should wait until there are some before letting the $150,000.
“Allocating the money might be putting the cart before the horse,” he said.
Holler assured him that there have been preliminary bids, and that he is confident about the price of the improvements.
The Osuna Committee has been working to complete Phase 1 of the project, which included getting a Major Use Permit/Lot Spilt application from the county. The county on April 2 approved the Association’s application, which allows the existing horse keeping operations to continue, as well as the tentative parcel map that will split off 3.6 acres of the property.
For the final part of the approval, the Association must satisfy the conditions approved by the county, including driveway improvements from the main gate at Via Santa Fe and the design and installation of the backflow preventer, waterline and fire hydrant.