Rancho Santa Fe park plans progress

Options on display at association office

The Rancho Santa Fe Association hopes to get the public involved by the end of the summer on planning for the two triangular village parks in front of the Inn at Rancho Santa Fe.

The board currently has three plans for the parks, and the Art Jury is now designing a fourth option. All options are on display at the association office and a public meeting will come in September said Pete Smith, association manager.

Resident Marion Dodson said the park talks are coming at a good time, as she said as many as 80 percent of the trees on the two parklands are either dead or dying from the red gum lerp psyllid insects feasting on them.

“I think the community will be very responsive,” Dodson said.

Alternative one makes the least amount of changes to the parks. The design adds sidewalks at the intersections to make it more pedestrian friendly but there are no pop-outs, which are enhanced sidewalk features at a crosswalk, like the ones created last year in front of the pharmacy.

The plan calls for no additional hardscapes, concrete elements, within the park and no additional parking. More vegetation would be added to make the area look more park-like, associate planner Ivan Holler said.

The second alternative includes a realignment of the intersection of Linea del Cielo and El Tordo to route the majority of traffic eastbound onto El Tordo, adding 13 parking spaces along Avenida de Acacias.

The plan includes new crosswalks and pop-outs at all intersections, an amphitheater in the northern park and a full-scale chessboard in the southern.

The most aggressive plan, alternative three, would close La Gracia, the curved road in front of the inn and reclaim it for parkland; the two parks would join in the middle.

“It would require much more environmental work and a lot of cost and time,” Holler said.

The plan includes crosswalks and pop-outs and would add 9 parking spaces on El Tordo and two off-street parking lots with 28 parking spaces. An amphitheater in the northern park is also included in this alternative.