Board to sell Dacus property to school

RANCHO SANTA FE — The Association’s board of directors agreed Feb. 19 to sell the Dacus property to the Rancho Santa Fe School District. The property is vital to the school as it begins construction of its new campus this spring. The sale will pend for six months giving the Association time to notify the membership and to obtain an updated appraisal of the property.
The Dacus property was purchased by the Association in 1997 as part of the its Open Space Plan. In October 2000, the school approached the Association about purchasing the Dacus property in conjunction with its plans to build a new campus. The school plans to use the Dacus property for a construction staging area, allowing the entire school and playing fields to remain open during construction. Complications came about earlier this year when the Fire Department also took steps to acquire the property, which it needs for additional parking. The three parties have been working together to find a solution that will meet the needs of all involved.
On behalf of the school, Superintendent Lindy Delaney and President of the School Board, Carlie Headapohl, attended the Association meeting. Director Steve Shillington raised concerns that the 1.28-acre property was being appraised as a residential property, yet was zoned as a commercial property. While he didn’t want to deny the school the opportunity to purchase the property, Shillington said, “I think the members of the community should be recognized for their generosity. They may be selling this property for less than what it is worth.”
The appraiser for the property was chosen by the Association, the school and the Fire Department. “We do appreciate the team approach,” Delaney said. “And we are grateful.”
“We’ve worked with the Art Jury and the Association,” Headapohl added. “And I believe we have a better design for it. The school will be an asset to the community.”
In other Association news, the board of directors renewed a contract with the California Highway Patrol for paid overtime enforcement. Since October 2004, the Association has contracted with the CHP, which provides officers the chance to volunteer for overtime duty for an average of 20 overtime hours per week. Prior to September 2008, the officers worked a four-hour overtime shift, but this was changed to an eight-hour shift due to changes at the CHP. Officers now work on their day off, which benefits the officers and the patrol hours. There is less time spent commuting to and from their Oceanside headquarters and officers are not coming off a long shift when exhaustion sets in.
The new contract begins April 1 and extends through December 31, 2011.
Associate Planner Liz Avalon also presented the board with a report on Del Dios traffic volumes. The Association has loop counters located on Del Dios Highway at the intersection of El Camino Del Norte that count through traffic in both directions as well as westbound vehicles turning right onto El Camino Del Norte. Their charts show that traffic dropped significantly in 2008. “There have been steady declines since 2004,” Avalon said. “This is primarily due to high gas prices in 2008 and the loss of traffic that resulted in the opening of SR 56 in 2004.”
“I do believe this is temporary,” Avalon said. “It will return. It’s time to push for improvements such as increasing the lanes on 56 and doing the roundabouts.”
The next Association board meeting is scheduled for March 5.

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