The Coast News Group
Rancho Santa Fe

Residents pay new fire protection tax

RANCHO SANTA FE — The state is sending out advance notices of the new annual fee for fire protection, which is considered double taxation by most residents of Rancho Santa Fe who already pay 6 percent of their property taxes for protection to the Rancho Santa Fe Fire Protection District. 

“The fee is $150 for each habitable structure on a property,” Ivan Holler, Association planning director, told the board at its Nov. 1 meeting.

This is a sore subject for many Rancho Santa Fe residents who are not only in the Rancho Santa Fe Fire District but also in a state responsibility area for which the new annual fee will be used.

“The board of supervisors are in the process of opposing this fee and there will likely be litigation on this,” he said.

In fact, recently the Jarvis Taxpayer Association filed a lawsuit on the subject and the board of supervisors may join that effort.

Residents of cities are not charged this fee, only those in unincorporated areas.

During wildfires, the Rancho Santa Fe Fire Department partners with Cal Fire.

The Association is still glowing from the successful Rancho Days and members were still talking about it at the Nov. 1 meeting.

“I’m one meeting late, but I want to tell you how wonderful the Osuna event was. It was a glorious event,” said Jack Queen, former Association president.

Queen has been a champion for the restoration of the adobe.

Director Anne Feighner is on the Osuna Committee and told the board they are about to partner with the school district to make the adobe a part of its fourth grade California History curriculum.

While the plans are still in the works, Feighner said she hopes that some of the upper classmen at the school can work at the adobe as volunteers for the younger students.

“We are excited to go ahead with that,” Feighner said. “We may be even starting a history club.

Holler gave the board an update about roadway resurfacing in the Covenant.

“On Nov. 9 through Nov. 16, Via de la Valle will have some traffic control,” he said.

“Projects on Lago Lindo and Via de la Cumbre are upcoming,” he said.

The Association gave the nod to purchasing two trucks for the maintenance department. One of the, is a stake bed truck, at a cost of $38,555 with a dump feature for the truck bed. This truck was a budgeted item at a cost of $33,000. The remaining funds will come from free reserves. It will replace the 1991 Toyota pickup that is in very poor condition and repairs to it would not be cost effective, said Arnold Keene, field operations manager.

The second truck, also a pickup and budgeted for $29,000, will be purchased for $31,660. This truck will replace a 1989 Toyota 4X4 pickup with high mileage in very poor condition, Keene said. It will be a Toyota Tacoma which will serve the off-road needs of the staff.

It took 18 months, but at long last the playground equipment for toddlers is under construction at the sports fields.

Some joked that it would be easier to place a toxic waste dump in the Covenant than this playground for toddlers. It took a year and a half because it could not be decided where to place it because neighborhoods kept rejecting it.

“I feel fortunate it took only 18 months,” said Heather Slosar, who brought the proposal to the board. “Others have tried to do this and it never happened.”