Parks, brush clearing, Osuna property top list
The Rancho Santa Fe Association board of directors put upgrading the parks in front of the Inn at the top of their annual goals and objectives list.
However, the economic downturn may play a larger role in how quickly that and other priorities can be accomplished.
After park upgrades, topping the list for 2008 and 2009 are addressing wildfire hazards on the Arroyo property and working on a long-range plan for the Osuna property.
"The board realizes we can't do everything," General Manager Pete Smith said. "They focus in on priorities the board would like to accomplish."
The 13-item list also includes developing a traffic and parking plan during construction at R. Roger Rowe School, forming utility assessment districts, investigating the possibility for a new civic center, and increasing water conservation and recycling.
Acquiring recreation fields is the final goal, which is a perpetual need in the Ranch, but there are no immediate prospects, Smith said.
The board establishes the annual goals and objectives at their fall retreat, which was in September. After discussing a wide range of issues with the staff and hearing committee reports, the board votes on their top priorities.
Everything on the list must have a tangible benefit for the community, as well as a positive cost-benefit ratio, Director Bill Beckman said.
"It should add to quality of life for the association members in the near-term and/or long-term," Beckman said.
Some items take several years to accomplish, but move up or down on the list. This is often due to the fact these projects are in motion.
For example, the Del Dios roundabouts, which topped the list last year, dropped to number 12 this year because the project is moving forward, Smith said.
The association plans to submit comments about addressing pedestrian and equestrian concerns in the environmental impact report, which is out for public comment until Dec. 1, Smith added.
Forming utility districts was third on the list last year, but is now 12th because the association made significant progress in the past year to gain the authority to establish assessment districts to underground utilities.
A formal application is currently under review at the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO).
Not on the list
One thing that did not make the list was the economy, said Pete Smith.
"I don't know how it will impact us, but it definitely will," Smith said.
While Smith said the association is financially sound, some members are not paying their fees.
"We are getting delinquencies," Smith said. "That's something we never had in the past."
Smith said the association may have to develop a plan to work with members on meeting their obligations.
The economic crisis also means scaling back on certain projects. Partnering with the riding club on future improvements has been scratched from the list for now, Smith said.
As the planning committee begins to brainstorm about improving the parks, which will likely be a multi-year process with lots of member input, they may include lower-cost options in light of the economic times.