The Coast News Group
Last week, the Olivenhain Municipal Water District unanimously voted to expanded rental opportunities at The Elfin Forest Interpretative Center. Courtesy photo

Amended policy allows more to rent Elfin Forest Interpretative Center

ESCONDIDO — Expect more brides, grooms and even film crews at the 1,000-square-foot Elfin Forest Interpretative Center in the near future. 

Last week, the Olivenhain Municipal Water District (OMWD) board revised the center’s use policy to permit additional special events at the building, located in the Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve.

OMWD Board Director Jerry Varty said the updated policy represents an opportunity to invite the community to enjoy the reserve’s amenities.

“This policy is a nice balance between showcasing the reserve’s outstanding facilities and services and offsetting OMWD’s costs to deliver these services,” Varty said.

The revision came about because of an uptick in demand from groups wanting to rent the interpretative center for weddings, movie productions and other gatherings. Previously, the center’s use policy didn’t specify how to handle the requests, resulting in OMWD turning down some of the proposed events, according to a staff report on the agenda item.

The report also noted that planned development in the area could result in more people wanting to use the interpretative center.

The revised policy, which went into effect right away, calls for a fee schedule ranging from $100 an hour for nonprofits that are OMWD customers to $250 an hour for private parties that aren’t in OMWD’s service area. The minimum rental time is two hours, with a maximum of 50 people at an event. Alcohol is allowed at private parties provided specific conditions are met.

It’s anticipated the board’s action will generate a small revenue stream, according to the agenda’s staff report.

The policy also states that special events on certain trails and overlooks are permitted Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.

Operated by OMWD, the Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve includes 784 acres. OWMD and other agencies broke ground on the interpretive center in 2008.

Those interested in renting the center can call 760-632-4212.