Covenant votes down senior units

RANCHO SANTA FE — Despite an earnest argument by the developer and approval by the proposed project’s neighbors, the Association voted down the request for a Covenant modification to accommodate 38 units of senior housing units at Del Dios Highway near Paseo Delicias.
Calling the project too dense, the Association agreed with the Art Jury’s decision to reject it.
“This is a community of land owners,” said Director Dick Doughty. “That is one reason Rancho Santa Fe is so unique. Give us all elbowroom. Rancho Santa Fe is for people who want that elbowroom.”
Speaking at the July 21 meeting, Rancho Santa Fe resident Daniel Greene urged the board to deny the request calling it a “Lawrence Welk community.
“There is nothing wrong with preserving the character of Rancho Santa Fe the way it is,” Greene said.
The Art Jury turned it down because it was not consistent with the overall land use pattern of the Covenant, or with the lower density, larger lots that characterize the community.
The Association had granted Quantum Development a six-month extension in January to gather enough signatures from neighbors supporting the project.
But at the time, four of the directors told developers they had problems with the project and although the extra time was granted, it should not be misconstrued as support for the project.
Still Quantum Development moved forward, hoping the board could be convinced that the project was worthwhile.
Developers first brought the plans for the project to the Association in July 2010.
To be geared toward seniors, the units were to be lower maintenance and homeowners could simply “lock and leave” them when they wanted to go away.
With the project’s location on Del Dios Highway, near to Paseo Delicias, which is considered a gateway into the community, the project would have required a Covenant modification. As a part of the process, the developer had to notify owners within 500 feet of the project.
Only Director Jack Dorsee saw value in the project, and was the only one who voted in favor of granting the modification. Queen said the project just didn’t fit Rancho Santa Fe.
“I think it’s a terrific community someplace else,” Queen said.

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