RANCHO SANTA FE — The Association voted at its Aug. 5 meeting to proceed with a Covenant Modification for the Osuna Ranch property, modifying the zoning to accommodate a new patrol station, a passive park and the adobe as a museum.
Finding a location for the station has been in the works for some time.
More than five years ago, the Association began the process of locating and securing new facilities for the patrol.
“It has proven to be a very difficult task,” planner Ivan Holler said at the meeting. “The criteria for the site has been for a permanent location, function space, cost effective with adequate parking.”
Holler said that during the past two years, the search has been intense.
“The Association has turned over every stone and explored every suggestion to locate the patrol. After reviewing all options, the 2009/2010 Association board felt that the best overall site to serve the needs of the membership was to evaluate the feasibility of using a portion of the Osuna property for the station,” Holler said.
After evaluating many locations for the new station, the Association agreed that a part of the Osuna Ranch would be ideal, Holler said. “The Association owns it, it is flat and it is large enough for sufficient parking,” he said.
Holler said the station would be constructed with an entrance that would not detract from the adobe, which by the zoning change, would be designated as a museum.
In the new patrol facility, work space will be provided for the CHP and sheriff’s department which the current facility does.
“It has proven to be a very successful program to increase visibility and deter crime in the community,” he said.
After determining the site would be a good one the staff and members of the Osuna Committee began meeting with neighbors to get a feel for how they would feel about having the patrol in that area.
“For the last six months we have met with neighbors out there and their response has been very, very favorable,” Holler said. “They like the idea of having the patrol close by.”
To gain approval for the Covenant Modification, two-thirds of the surrounding property owners within 500 feet must give their written approval.
John Ingalls spoke to the board about the proposed use of the property.
“It seems to be against the preservation (policies) of Rancho Santa Fe to forever change the entrance (of the Osuna Ranch),” Ingalls said.
He asked the board to continue their search for property and explore the possibility of non-covenant property, rather than to “take a step in the wrong direction.”
The Osuna property was purchased by the Association in 2006 as a way of preserving open space. The plan was and still is to restore the adobe and make it available to the community and continue its existing horse keeping operations.
The Osuna Ranch is currently zoned “A,” residential. The new zoning “L” which would match its existing use, Holler said.
The Covenant Modification is only the first step. It still must go through the county process for final approval.