Rancho Santa Fe, 92067, 92091


Community & School Information


Prehistory to the 1900's

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

the Covenant."

Clubs & Organizations

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.

Tennis Club

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.

Rancho Riding Club

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

Association members.

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 Garden Club

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

fax line is 858-756-990 5. Their email address is rsfhistoricalsoc@sbcglobal.net

and their website is Ranchosantafehistoricalsociety.org.

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

community open space.

The Country Friends

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

or consigned.

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

information call us at 858-756-1192.

Playing Fields

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

Rancho Santa Fe Field.

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

Association office at 858-756-1174.

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.

Art Guild

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

Diego County.

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

visual arts.

Government Services

County of San Diego

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

Covenant, however, is still not serviced by sewer. (760) 942-5147

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


Rancho Santa Fe Library

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

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

Sheriff's Station (760-966-3500).

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


Legislative Access

Rancho Santa Fe Covenant lies within the bounds of the following legislative


State Senate - 38th District

Mark Wyland

2755 Jefferson Street #101 / Carlsbad, CA 92008

County Board of Supervisors - 5th District

Bill Horn

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

Canyon Crest Academy

5951 Village Center Loop Road / San Diego, CA 92130

La Costa Canyon

1 Maverick Way / Carlsbad, CA 92009

San Dieguito Academy

800 Santa Fe Drive / Encinitas, CA 92024

Torrey Pines

3710 Del Mar Heights Road / San Diego, CA 92130