Ranch entrance getting colorful makeover

RANCHO SANTA FE — Colorful landscaping for the La Bajada entrance to Rancho Santa Fe is in the offing thanks to the efforts of CONE, the Committee on the Natural Environment. 

The Association got its first look at the plan at its Nov. 15 meeting where Arnold Keene, associate planner, gave a presentation about what to expect soon when entering from the Encinitas side, which offers three areas that could be spruced up.

“We were looking at it and it could be enhanced,” Keene told the Association.

He said CONE has been working on ways to minimize the Association’s reliance on potable water for landscaping needs and has come up with a way to beautify the particular entrance.

“The committee is incorporating drought-tolerant planting materials to minimize water use, but still maintain the color components that are typical of our roadside landscaping,” he said. “The planting theme is modeled after the planting materials recently incorporated in the renovation of the Village Parks and the median strip on Paseo Delicias in front of Delicias Restaurant.”

The new plants will also be colorful, but drought resistant and might include flowering trees, oaks and native shrubs, he said.

The colorful flowers there now are planted yearly at the intersection by the Association, which last year included a spectacular sunflower.

Funds to complete the project were included in the 2012/2013 operating budget for Parks and Recreation.

The board gave its go-ahead for the landscaping.

Former Association board member Bill Slosar, an expert in the field, addressed the Association about the round-abouts slated for three intersections in Rancho Santa Fe.

He said round-abouts are used in 80 countries and then handed out a 40-page printout of facts about these traffic circles, a sort of primer for each of the board members.

“I’m not for or against this, it is your decision,” he said.

Slosar has worked around the world consulting about traffic circles and once was offered a job in beautiful Lucerne, Switzerland.

“I thought I would rather live in Rancho Santa Fe,” he said.

Board President Roxana Foxx said when construction nears, Slosar would be a good one to contact for his expertise.

Ivan Holler, planning director, gave an update on the construction at the Osuna adobe.

“We are working on doors and windows,” he said. “Construction is on schedule.”

When the plaster was removed from the original adobe as part of the restoration process, it was found that the wooden headers and jambs on doors and windows were rotted which prompted the Osuna Committee to ask the Association for an additional $24,720 of Open Space Funds for the structural repairs.

“How are we doing on the budget on that?” asked Director Larry Spitcaufsky.

“I believe we are on budget,” Holler said,

The Osuna Committee is still moving ahead with plans to partner with the school district to incorporate the adobe in their California History classes to teach students how people lived back in the middle 1800s.

The committee also plans some additional outreach.

“We will be going out into the community with presentations to get people to understand the historical significance of the land and hopefully fall in love with it as many of us have,” said Anne Feighner, vice president of the Association.

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