Association says crews aren't removing vegetation
Several Dacus property neighbors claim the Rancho Santa Fe Association is "clear-cutting" environmentally protected wetlands. They plan to address the homeowner's association board at the Thursday, May 7, meeting, which begins at 9 a.m. at the association office.
"As homeowners, we are rightfully expected to abide by the law and take care of environmentally sensitive wetlands on our property, and the HOA must respect those same rules," said neighbor Rich Marr in a release.
Association Manager Pete Smith said crews did not remove any vegetation from the Dacus property, currently leased to the school district pending a vote on its sale.
Smith said crews are landscaping in front of a fence to provide a screen during construction at R. Roger Rowe School.
"Crews were putting in an irrigation line to irrigate those plants," Smith said. "They weren't removing any vegetation."
Neighbor Robin Swanson said residents grew concerned Monday morning when they saw workers with shovels near the environmentally sensitive area. Swanson said the workers appeared to be cutting down vegetation.
Smith said the water meter that the crew is connecting lines to is in the area that neighbors believe is environmentally sensitive.
Swanson said some neighbors believe there have been other instances of misuse of the site.
In the press release, Mrs. Victor Mature, who owns property adjacent to the Dacus site, states that she contacted the association with complaints about trucks crossing her private property, crews cutting significant vegetation on her property and unlawfully installing riding trails on her property.
Smith said a recent survey of the land showed that an 8-year-old trail did actually come onto Mature's property.
"Once we discovered that portion of trail is on Mature property, we closed the trail," Smith said.
Smith said crews did drive trucks on Mature's property to install the irrigation line. He said following the incident they were informed not to use that access point again.
Members of the Covenant have until May 11 to vote on the sale of the Dacus property to the Rancho Santa Fe School District. The vote was forced due to concern that the sale did not include restrictions on street access to the property from Mimosa.