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RSF Association OKs funds for repairs to Osuna

RANCHO SANTA FE — Anyone who has ever undergone a remodel project on an older house can identify with the Osuna Committee, which is stripping the plaster off the original adobe as part of a restoration process. 

When the plaster was removed it was revealed that three window headers and two door headers had rotted.

“The rotted condition of the headers is a substantial structural risk that could result in failure of the wall above the windows and doors,” Arnold Keene, field operations manager, told the Association at its Oct. 4 meeting.

“You can literally stick your finger into that rotted wood,” he said.

This latest discovery made it necessary for the Osuna Committee to ask the Association for more money in the amount of $24,720 of Open Space Funds for the structural repairs.

Before giving the OK to the funds, director Ann Boon said, “I have two words for you: ‘money pit.’”

Director Larry Spitcaufsky asked the Association staff to put together a long-range plan for the completion of the adobe.

“I don’t want to give any more money out of the fund without an overall plan,” he said.

“I am comforted by that,” Boon said.

On the subject of Open Space Funds, the Association gave the final approval to updating the name and uses for Open Space Funds. It was decided by the Association at its Oct. 4 meeting that it will now be known as the Covenant Enhancement Policy and Fund to better describe for what the funds are being used.

The fund was originally established to purchase passive open space to protect the Covenant’s rural ambiance, but has since been used to purchase ball parks, parking lots and the Osuna Adobe.

At the meeting resident Mark Holmlund told the Association it should consider using some of the money for fire mitigation, noting that his neighbor has numerous dead and dying eucalyptus trees, which add to the fire danger of his home.

Member John Dodds also had an opinion.

“I don’t think it is the responsibility of the board to buy real estate for the members,” Dodds said.

The fund will have about $4 million after the sale of the single-family home on the Osuna Ranch. After the vote, the money can be used for the purchase of critical parcels for use as open space; for the purchase of parcels, which would allow the removal of existing development; the purchase of buildings, land, easements or development rights to preserve the uniqueness of Rancho Santa Fe; to contribute to partnership acquisition of open space by others such as the county, the Rancho Santa Fe Foundation and the Coastal Conservancy; for recreational needs such as parks, playgrounds and sports fields; and to renovate, enhance or improve Covenant resources or the safety of the community.

In other news, the Association voted to set the Association’s Assessment rate at 14 cents per $100 of property valuation with the allocation of 11.5 cents for general services and 2.5 cents for Open Space.