Rancho Santa Fe fire passes on parking structure


Plans for a joint-use parking garage on Linea del Cielo hit a snag last week with the Rancho Santa Fe Fire Protection District board of directors’ announcement that it will not help fund or use the structure.

The association this month proposed a plan to build a 159-space, joint-use parking garage to service the fire district, R. Roger Rowe School and the Inn, and house the Rancho Santa Fe Patrol. The structure is planned for the inn’s current tennis center property.

In the plan, the fire department would be entitled to 34 parking spaces and contribute $1.6 million toward the $4.2 million cost.

“I’m sorry that they’re not going to participate in the proposal that seemed like a good solution for everybody,” said Association Manager Pete Smith. “We are going to continue to work with the Inn and the school to develop a facility there, although probably smaller in scale.”

The association will have to review the site and alter their plans, but it is still something they want to pursue, Smith said.

Rancho Santa Fe Fire Chief Nick Pavone said their reason for pulling out of the plan stems from the fact that only one alternative was presented to solve the school and fire district’s parking issues.

“We had come to an agreement because there were a lot of potential issues with approval of that project by the Art Jury and the county and the potential increase in cost that we would come up with a plan B,” Pavone said of the garage plan, which was plan A.

Pavone said the school district said they would come back to the fire district with a plan B but the school board decided not to come up with such a plan at a recent meeting. At their July 9 meeting, the board of trustees approved a motion to pledge $600,000 toward the joint-use garage.

“Their failure to provide a plan B means we can no longer participate in a plan A,” Pavone said.

He said the fire district is still looking at other alternatives for their parking needs, which is for about 34 extra spaces.

“We have some options that we’re exploring and hopefully one of those options will come through,” Pavone said.

While Pavone said he couldn’t comment on what land the district is looking at, Smith said the association couldn’t pass up on the Inn at Rancho Santa Fe’s offer to give the Linea del Cielo lot for free.

“The Inn very much sees that lot as helping the community,” Smith said. “Our need for space is still there as well as the school’s.”