Rancho Santa Fe, 92067, 92091
Community & School Information
As with many communities in Southern California, Rancho Santa Fe's first
residents were Native Americans. For some 10,000 years, the area's rolling
hills, the adjacent San Dieguito River Valley and the nearby coastal lagoons
served as seasonal home to bands of hunter-gatherers. Juan Cabrillo's
discovery of San Diego and Gaspar de Portola's expedition in 1769 opened the
era of Spanish colonization and subsequent Mexican rule.
In 1833, Juan Osuna, the Mexican Alcalde of the Pueblo of San Diego, secured
a provisional grant of land that included portions of Rancho Santa Fe (then
Rancho San Dieguito). The Rancho had previously been administered by the
padres of the Mission San Diego. The Osuna family built several adobe
structures and raised cattle on the land. In 1845, Mexico's last California
governor, Pio Pico, confirmed an 8,825 acre land grant--the Rancho San
Dieguito--in favor of Osuna.
Santa Fe Land Improvement Company Years
In 1906, the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway, through its subsidiary
Santa Fe Land Improvement Company, acquired the majority of the original
Rancho San Dieguito land grant. Through many of its actions, the Company
was to leave an indelible mark on the Rancho. Intent on developing a tree farm
as a source for railroad ties, the company planted millions of eucalyptus
seedlings on the rambling land grant. Frost, drought and the unsuitability of the
wood for ties led to the abandonment of the forestry experiment. However, the
eucalyptus plantings forever changed the character of the area. What was once
a typical Southern California terrace, sage scrub environment was now heavily
wooded, rolling hills. Looking to recoup their losses on the failed timber
venture, the Santa Fe Land Improvement Company began the development of
a planned community of gentlemen's ranches with a thematic unity of
architectural style and an ambiance evocative of the Spanish and Rancho eras.
Towards this end, L.G. Sinnard, a renowned land expert, was hired as manager
of the Santa Fe Land Improvement Company in 1921. Sinnard and his staff
spent the next five years plotting estate subdivisions and laying out and
constructing some fifty miles of winding rural roadways. Also beginning in
1921, all purchasers of Ranch property were required to agree to design
controls in the form of deed restrictions.
In 1922, the Company hired the architectural firm of Requa and Jackson to
design the downtown Civic Center. Led by architect Lilian Rice, the Civic Center
was designed as a mixed use, public/commercial/residential area and
developed architecturally in the Spanish Revival style as interpreted by Rice.
The architectural tone and style of all future development in Rancho Santa Fe
was set by Rice's adaptive creation of a picturesque Spanish village. Rice went
on to design many residences in the Ranch and maintained overall design
review control on behalf of the Land Improvement Company for many years.
The Adoption of the Protective Covenant In 1926, the Santa Fe Land
Improvement Company hired Charles Cheney, a nationally renowned city
planner and the author of the Palos Verdes Protective Covenant. Building on his
previous work, Cheney modified the Palos Verdes document to reflect the larger
estate-sized lots, the Hispanic design motif and the influence of citrus
agriculture and horsekeeping found in Rancho Santa Fe.
In 1928 Ranch property owners, desiring to maintain the 1921 deed restrictions
and the community's developing architectural theme, formally adopted
Cheney's Rancho Santa Fe Protective Covenant. The Covenant formally
restricted and controlled the use, development and maintenance of all land and
improvements within the Ranch in perpetuity. Its adoption marked the
culmination of the process of institutionalizing the planned community concept
which had originally begun in the form of deed restrictions in 1921.
Based on the original deed restrictions which were aimed at achieving the
unifying goals of an articulated master plan, Rancho Santa Fe became one of
the first planned communities in California. Rancho Santa Fe is certainly the
oldest active California planned community which continues to function with
unique broad-reaching powers and authority.
Preserving the History of Rancho Santa Fe
The State of California recognized Rancho Santa Fe's historical significance in
1989 by designating the community as a State Historic Landmark (#982) and
further amending that designation in 2004 with California Cultural Landmark
status. Both of these designations were largely due to Rancho Santa Fe's role
as a model for planned communities as well as its development of an adaptive
thematic design tradition as established in the Village and their strict adherence
to the plan and theme through the ensuing years.
In 1991, the Historic American Building Survey, in a partnership of Federal and
community-generated funding, completed a survey of Village buildings. The
survey documented the architecture, structural characteristics and use history
of many of the Village buildings. The results of the survey have been conveyed
to the Library of Congress.
In addition, a total of nine buildings and homes within the community have
been placed on the National Register of Historic Places. While many of these
are historically significant Village buildings, there are also several estate homes
included on the Register. The Association continues to work in close cooperation
with the Rancho Santa Fe Historical Society to heighten the awareness of the
community's historic heritage and to preserve historic resources.
The Association Board established the Rancho Santa Fe Historical Preservation
Committee in 2004, and the Committee has adopted as its mission statement,
"To preserve, maintain and enhance the architectural and natural heritage of
Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club
The Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club is owned by the Rancho Santa Fe Association,
and is operated by the Club's Board of Governors under a memorandum of
understanding dating to 1987. It is the Association's most substantial
recreational asset. Membership in the Club is available only to members of the
Rancho Santa Fe Association, by virtue of ownership of Covenant property. The
Club currently has over 650 members. A variety of membership types,
including privileges for a limited number of rounds per year, are available and
can be explored with the Association's Member Services staff.
The original course, designed by Max Behr, opened in 1927 and was the
original site of the Bing Crosby Pro-Am tournament. The course underwent an
extensive renovation and replanting in 2002. This world-class course is an
eighteen hole, 7,073 yard par 72 course recently redesigned by David Fleming.
A full service pro shop features bag storage, club repair, merchandise sales and
cart rentals. The 13,000 square foot golf clubhouse was extensively remodeled
in 1995. Its dining room and lounge are available for use by all Rancho Santa
Fe Association members. This facility can also accommodate catered special
event group functions for members on a rental basis. The course and clubhouse
are located on Via de la Cumbre, north of the Village.
The Tennis Club is located just north of downtown Rancho Santa Fe and
adjacent to the Golf Club on Via de la Cumbre. This "Lily Award" winning
clubhouse is nestled in a natural setting that overlooks the courts as well as the
golf course. The 3,100 square foot tennis clubhouse contains the pro shop,
including merchandise sales and racquet repair, and the Club's activity center.
The Tennis Club boasts twelve championship courts including two soft courts.
An enthusiastic group of tennis players keep the courts busy with league play,
socials, weekly mixers, summer camps for juniors, and tournaments. Private
and group lessons are available for adult and junior players of all levels. Their
philosophy is to make learning as fun as possible, and to build confidence in
the player as well as a love for the game. The staff includes two full-time
professionals, two weekend professionals, and four junior professionals.
The Rancho Riding Club was founded in 1946 and occupies eleven acres in the
heart of Rancho Santa Fe.This beautiful, private facility is located on Rambla de
las Flores, south of La Granada.
The Rancho Riding Club offers box stalls, outside corrals, three turnouts, hot
water wash racks, cross ties, 6-horse free flow exerciser and three rings. In
addition, Association members and their guests have access to miles of trails
located throughout the Covenant. Horses are fed hay three times a day, and
staff provides daily stall and ring maintenance. Priority is afforded to
Rancho Riding Club is home to Westwood at Rancho Riding Club, Phillip Cillis
and Marcy Gehrke, Marion Hadden and Caldwell Dressage Instruction and Robin
Bond Western Trainer. The entire family is invited to attend horse shows, social
activities, and instructors are available to give lessons to children and adults on
wonderful schooling horses in a variety of disciplines. This active riding club has
wonderful assets for horse and rider!
Rancho Santa Fe Community Center
The Rancho Santa Fe Community Center is located directly behind the
Association Office. The Community Center focuses on the heart of this
community by providing programs and services to residents of the Ranch.
From after-school and vacation camps for youth and teens to recreational,
social and educational classes for adults, the Center provides all ages of this
community with a place of fun and learning.
Funded by memberships, contributions, program fees and annual fund-raisers,
this non-profit organization relies on the Ranch community to support day-today
The Community Center's vision for the future is to bring Rancho Santa Fe
together in a spirit of collaboration and fun through programs and events that
are widely recognized by the community for their value to all age groups.
The Rancho Santa Fe Garden Club was founded in 1926. Now, as it was upon
its founding, the Club's objectives are to encourage interest in gardening and
landscaping on the Ranch, to promote civic pride through beautification and to
provide a social venue for its members and their guests.
The Garden Club is located in the Village at the corner of La Granada and
Avenida de Acacias. The membership engages in a variety of cultural,
educational and social activities.
The facility includes an auditorium with a capacity of 300 and the clubhouse is
available for use by Club members and may be rented by sponsored individuals
for special events, such as weddings, bar mitzvahs, receptions, etc. The Club
has graciously hosted some of the most important civic events of the
community and public meetings of the Association. Membership in the Club is
restricted to those who own property in or live in the Covenant.
Rancho Santa Fe Historical Society
Bringing History Alive - RSF Historical Society Celebrates 20 years! 1984-2004
The Rancho Santa Fe Historical Society is celebrating 20 years of service to our
community. We honor and salute the founding members who had the vision
and foresight to start this important organization. The five original founders
were Pat Cologne, Eleanor Shefte, Sandy Somerville, Marcia Van Liew and
Gwen Whitehead who also served as the first President. "The idea of the need
for Rancho Santa Fe to have a historical Society came to me sometime in the
early 1980Õs. At various times I would ask some of my friends who were
longtime residents if they had any interest in founding such a group. On
October 30, 1984 the articles of incorporation were signed and that was the
beginning of a great adventure!" said Whitehead.
Our 20th year is being commemorated with plaques and proclamations from
Supervisor Bill Horn, Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham, Senators
Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The Rancho Santa Fe Historical Society is known for its dedication to
preserving, documenting, and educating members of the local community, the
many visitors to the area, has even gained nationwide attention for its' World
War II Veterans Oral History Project. The Society has published a book, Rancho
Santa Fe: a California Village which was just printed in its' fifth edition.
Through early and present day photographs the book captures the unique
beauty and architectural qualities of one of California's first planned
communities. It goes on to describe Rancho San Dieguito, the original granted
to Juan Osuna in 1833. The Santa Fe Land Improvement Company developed
the original village, renamed Rancho Santa Fe, creating a protective covenant
in 1928, which continues to function with broad reaching powers and authority.
The RSF Historical Society is housed in La Flecha house, one of famed architect
Lillian Rice's designs. La Flecha House was named Landmark #1 and a plaque
was unveiled celebrating the designation On July 4, 1989. Sandy Somerville
was quoted as saying, "We're very happy to have Rancho Santa Fe Historical
site number one." The house was built in the 1930s and now houses artifacts,
documents, photographs, and furniture all donated to the Society. We provide
educational tours and lectures to students of all ages, offer our archives to
researchers, and provide expertise and advice on the preservation of historic
homes via our Architectural Review Committee. The house was generously
donated by E.L. Bus Reitz and Margarita Reitz.
They sponsor a Saturday walking tour o the first Saturday of every month,
from 10am-noon. Children are welcome! Please RSVP to 858-756-9291. Their
Rancho Santa Fe Foundation
The Rancho Santa Fe Foundation was formed as an independent entity to
receive donations of land and money to preserve the character of the
community. The Foundation provides an opportunity for these donations to be
made in a manner that will result in tax advantages for the donor. Through
these gifts, the Foundation has assembled several parcels which are held as
The Country Friends was founded in 1954 by a group of charitable and publicspirited
Rancho Santa Fe women. The organization began with 167 members
and has grown to over 1000 members and has distributed in excess of 12
million dollars to various human care agencies throughout San Diego County.
The Country Friends consignment shop, located on the corner of El Tordo and
Avenida de Acacia in Rancho Santa Fe, is the largest source of the funds
distributed. The shop is open to the public six days a week from 10 a.m. to 4
p.m. Merchandise is received from estates and individuals and is either donated
There are nine chapters throughout San Diego County which support the two
major fundraising events each year. "The Art of Fashion" Couture Fashion Show
is held every September in the village of Rancho Santa Fe. It is known as the
largest outdoor fashion show in the country. In July, The Country Friends
continues its 40+ year tradition of "Day at the Races". This is held the day
following opening day of racing season at the Del Mar Fairgrounds
Thoroughbred Club. General membership luncheons are held twice a year as
well as membership coffees in each of the nine area chapters. For more
The Rancho Santa Fe Association has two sports fields for use by all Covenant
property owners. The fields are located on Rambla de las Flores near the
Rancho Riding Club. The smaller field is Richardson Park and the larger field is
The fields are reserved in advance for many organized sport practices and
games by Rancho Santa Fe organizations such as Little League, Youth Soccer,
Men's Soccer, etc... The fields are also available to be reserved by Covenant
property owners for family events such as birthday parties and baseball games.
These reservations may be made one month prior to the event by calling the
The Rancho Santa Fe Senior Center
The Rancho Santa Fe Senior Center was founded in March 1988 as a service
organization to assist Senior residents in maintaining their health, welfare, and
safety. Also, to assist families of senior residents with support, counseling and
The Senior Center is located at 16780 La Gracia in the village of Rancho Santa
Fe. The building is an historic Lilian Rice house built in 1924 and is on the State
and National Historic Registry.
There are regular programs and activities at the Senior Center that enhance
the quality of life for residents in the community. Volunteers, "Ranch Hands",
help to provide services for those who need assistance, visitation, and
transportation. The Senior Center is a resource and response program
dedicated to serving seniors.
The Senior Center is open Monday through Friday 9:00am to 5:00pm.
The Rancho Santa Fe Art Guild was formed in August of 1996 as a result of the
interest in and local talent displayed at several Art Shows sponsored by the
Rancho Santa Fe Garden Club. A number of local artists saw a need to organize
in order to support local visual artists, those interested in collecting and
patrons of the visual arts. The Art Guild received initial support from both the
Rancho Santa Fe Foundation and the Rancho Santa Fe Association. They met
for a time in the boardroom at the Association office and hung their art on the
walls of the Association office.
Later, the Rancho Santa Fe Art Guild, a nonprofit organization, opened The
Rancho Santa Fe Gallery as a joint venture with Union Bank and The Rancho
Santa Fe Foundation, who donated space and initial monies. In appreciation,
Guild members volunteer their time for worthwhile community projects.
Members have provided instruction at the Rancho Santa Fe Library and the
Senior Center, as well as donating works of art to many local fundraisers. The
Guild organizes an annual Street/Art Fair open to artists from throughout San
The Gallery is located at 6004 Paseo Delicias (rear of Union Bank building) in
the Village of Rancho Santa Fe. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday
from 11:00 AM to 4:30 PM. The Gallery can be reached at (858) 759-3545.
Artists donate a percentage of every sale to outreach programs benefiting the
Due to its location in an unincorporated area, Rancho Santa Fe's local governmental
authority is the County of San Diego. The Covenant is located in the
fifth district of the County Board of Supervisors. Important services which are
provided to the community by the County include law enforcement by the
County Sheriff's Department and road maintenance by the Department of
Public Works. The County also conducts building inspections, subdivision
reviews, environmental assessments and other general planning functions
which are in some cases parallel to, but always separate from, the Association's
own processing of these matters.
Rancho Santa Fe Community Services District
The Rancho Santa Fe Community Services District (CSD) is a separate, locallycontrolled,
governmental entity established to provide a specific set of local
services to an area slightly larger than the Covenant. The maintenance of
County right-of-ways is one such service that is conducted in contractual
cooperation with the Rancho Santa Fe Association. The CSD also provides
sewer service through subarea sewer improvement districts. Much of the
San Dieguito Community Planning Group
The Community Planning Group is an advisory body established by the County
of San Diego to advise it on planning and land use matters related to the San
Dieguito planning area which includes Rancho Santa Fe. The group represents
the entire contiguous unincorporated area surrounded by the cities of Solana
Beach, San Diego, Escondido, Vista, San Marcos, Carlsbad, and Encinitas. The
group makes its advisory recommendations on such matters as the County
General Plan, Community Plan, zoning, highway and circulation plans, and
specific development proposals.
Santa Fe Irrigation District/Olivenhain Municipal Water District
Rancho Santa Fe's water service is provided by the Santa Fe Irrigation District
and the Olivenhain Municipal Water District. The Irrigation District serves most
of the Covenant. It relies on a combination of surface runoff and water
imported from Lake Hodges, three miles east of Rancho Santa Fe, as well as
water imported through the Metropolitan Water District. Within the Covenant,
the San Dieguito Reservoir provides storage for peak demand periods.
Rancho Santa Fe School District
The Rancho Santa Fe School District is the elementary and middle school
provider for the community. It operates programs and facilities for kindergarten
through eighth grade. The Covenant makes up about half of the District's
service area, and 70% of the current student population. Beginning the ninth
grade, students are served by the San Dieguito Union High School District,
where they attend Torrey Pines High School, The Academy, La Costa Canyon
High School or Canyon Crest.
United States Postal Service
Rancho Santa Fe lies within Zip Code area 92067, which extends eastward from
the Covenant nearly to the city limits of Escondido. There are three Post Offices
for the 92067 Zip Code. The post office for the Covenant area is located within
the Rancho Santa Fe Village. It offers the full range of postal services, except
home delivery. Since the Postal Service does not provide home delivery in the
Covenant area, residents establish postal boxes at the office. Thus, the Post
Office has become one of the key components of Rancho Santa Fe community
The Ranch Library is a unique example of community and County cooperation;
an example of what the best of both efforts can produce to the benefit of all.
The Library Guild provides more than half the total number of books in the
library, maintains the Milliken Puppet Theater in the Martha Glasgow Children's
Wing, and has two computer workstations in the Children's Library dedicated
solely for children's use. These computers offer free Internet access, a choice
of on-line encyclopedias, word processors, drawing programs and educational
This unique library also offers after-school programs including "Grandparents
and Books"÷a program that has seniors read books aloud to preschoolers.
Other programs include a summer reading program for children of all ages, a
video tape library and "gently used" books for sale in the "Book Cellar" which is
maintained and operated by dedicated volunteer members of the Guild. These
volunteers make it possible to keep the Book Cellar open six days a week.
Rancho Santa Fe Patrol is located at 17056 El Fuego. Our dispatch is at the fire
station just up the street. The Patrol Chief and his officers are employees of the
Rancho Santa Fe Association.
Rancho Santa Fe Patrol is an armed, private security force with a mission of
service to the members of the Rancho Santa Fe Association. They supplement
the efforts of local law enforcement agencies as well as provide specialized
services to the membership. The Patrol's ubiquitous presence provides a visible
deterrent to disturbance and crime within the community.
The Patrol also offers vacation and security check services to Association
members. Residents can request the Patrol to conduct a check of their home
while they are away on vacation. Please call the Association office at 858-756-
1174. Also you can download a form HERE and fax it to the Patrol office at
858-759-8590. Please use this for vacation checks only, security related checks
due to suspicious or criminal activity should be called in to the Patrol dispatch
at 858-756-4372. Reminder: please submit it as soon as possible before you
leave. Complete all fields and always include emergency information.
The Patrol consists of nine professional officers including a Chief. These professionals
maintain an on-going training program similar to other law enforcement
entities. Almost all of the Patrol's officers have had lengthy previous active duty
with various police, sheriff and highway patrol departments. They fill shifts to
provide 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week service and handle a wide variety of
calls, ranging from residential alarm activations to vehicle accidents. They also
maintain a Village "beat" that provides a security presence in the commercial
district. The Patrol encourages Association members to report crimes and
suspicious activities to them or directly to the Sheriff. This information is
shared with local law enforcement agencies to provide background for criminal
investigations. The Patrol works in close cooperation and coordination with the
Sheriff's Department and the California Highway Patrol to insure the
membership the highest level of response and protection.
Rancho Santa Fe Fire Protection District
The Fire Protection District is the community's first response emergency
provider, responding not only to fires but to medical emergencies with its
trained paramedic staff. The District also provides emergency dispatch services
for themselves, the Rancho Santa Fe Patrol, and other emergency service
providers. The District conducts fire safety inspections, provides resident fire
safety information services and is the local authority for building permit review
pursuant to applicable fire codes. The District participates in mutual aid
agreements which provide for additional backup response from neighboring
cities and districts for major emergency events. View and download a 10-page
Evacuation and Emergency Preparedness brochure HERE.
County of San Diego Sheriff's Department
The Sheriff's mission in the community includes all forms of law enforcement
other than routine vehicle code matters. The Sheriff maintains an office in the
Historical Society's La Flecha House on the corner of La Flecha and Via de
Santa Fe in the Village. This office is manned on an irregular basis as the
Deputies assigned to this area are often busy patrolling and responding to calls.
The phone number of the Sheriff's Rancho Santa Fe office is 756-2975. The
Deputies that staff the Rancho Santa Fe office are assigned by the Encinitas
California Highway Patrol
Enforcement of the California Vehicle Code within Rancho Santa Fe is primarily
the responsibility of the California Highway Patrol. Many of the Covenant roads
have been rated for radar speed enforcement, which the Highway Patrol
implements. The Highway Patrol district office is located in Oceanside (760-
757-1675). They also maintain irregular office hours at the Rancho Santa Fe
Patrol's office. Like the Sheriff's Department, the Highway Patrol Officers
assigned to the Rancho Santa Fe "beat" coordinate closely with the RSF Patrol
to identify and act on Vehicle Code violations as well as implementing
deterrence strategies on Covenant roadways. In addition, the Highway Patrol
has instituted a Senior Volunteer Program (SVP) in Rancho Santa Fe which has
increased the Highway Patrol's presence and response activities in the
Paramedic Community Service Area
Rancho Santa Fe is within a County Service Area (CSA) for paramedic support.
Emergency service in equipped paramedic vehicles is provided from a staging
center at the Scripps Hospital in Encinitas and, as a backup, from Solana
Rancho Santa Fe Covenant lies within the bounds of the following legislative
State Senate - 38th District
2755 Jefferson Street #101 / Carlsbad, CA 92008
County Board of Supervisors - 5th District
County Administration Center
1600 Pacific Highway / San Diego, CA 92101
R. Roger Rowe Elementary & Middle School
5927 La Granada / Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067
San Dieguito Union High School District
684 Requeza St. / Encinitas, California 92024
5951 Village Center Loop Road / San Diego, CA 92130
1 Maverick Way / Carlsbad, CA 92009
800 Santa Fe Drive / Encinitas, CA 92024
3710 Del Mar Heights Road / San Diego, CA 92130