RANCHO SANTA FE — Ranch residents can expect a new Rancho Santa Fe pharmacy to open to the public. The commercial building on El Tordo and La Granada was approved by the Rancho Santa Fe Association during its August monthly board meeting.
The current pharmacy will remain in operation until their larger footprint of a 4,466-square-foot building opens across the street.
According to RSF Association Building Commissioner Tom Farrar, the new site will be divided equally between the pharmacy and general retail.
The original application date for the project was August 2016.
“It’s moved fairly quickly,” Farrar said.
Farrar also highlighted that a 4,057-square-foot rooftop area will provide 12 parking spots. An elevator and stairs will offer roof access. Additionally, 15 spots will be available at street level.
Approving the project also meant a boundary adjustment to merge two parcels of the proposed site. This will be processed at the Association, Farrar said, as well as recorded with the County before final approval.
Farrar explained that this variance is necessary to accommodate the project size.
Pharmacy project architect Allard Jansen was invited to the meeting by board President Fred Wasserman to say a few words.
“It (the project) completely enhances the intersection,” Jansen said. “The whole project team has looked carefully at the design guidelines.”
Jansen called the proposed pharmacy a successful design.
Owner of the RSF Pharmacy Jason Sabouri said the current pharmacy location is 60 years old. He described the interior as a maze, moving from one room to another.
“There is a need for remodeling, and there are security issues,” said Sabouri, noting the opioid crisis. “One of my pharmacies was broken into two weeks ago up north. It’s a problem.”
Sabouri shared that the RSF Pharmacy has been alerted by the state board that it needs to have a better visual floor plan so that pharmacists can view everything taking place, including medication supervision.
“We don’t have that right now,” he said. “They (the state board) have given us some time to see what we are going to do.”
At first, the plan was to remodel. However, that meant shutting down the business for three to four months.
“And financing this (remodel) was a problem,” said Sabouri, noting that they do not own the building.
The next choice was buying the empty lot and relocating across the street to build a state-of-the-art pharmacy, he said.
“We’ll be the envy of the industry,” Sabouri said.
Wasserman noted the project would add available parking to the community.
“I think this is a great template for future building in the community,” board member Mike Licosati said. “It’s a fabulous addition to the community.”