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Rancho Santa Fe Lead Story

New policy looks to streamline athletic field usage

RANCHO SANTA FE — Who will use the athletic fields in the Rancho Santa Fe Covenant and when will they use them? 

“Boards have struggled with this since the beginning of time,” said Pete Smith, Association manager.

Once again the subject was up for consideration at the April 5 meeting of the Association.

The heavy demand is causing damage and maintenance issues on the fields, including the baseball diamond and field areas of both Richardson Park and the Rancho Santa Fe Sports Field.

A growing community seems to be the culprit.

“With the tremendous growth of covenant youths sports programs in the last 10 years, it was becoming increasingly apparent that a new permit policy was needed to accommodate the various interests including the fields themselves,” said Jerry Yahr, chairman of the Trails and Recreation Committee.

The current policy has not been working.

“The current method of issuing field use permits for RSFA facilities has proven to be insufficient in the light of the community demand, playing time, number of sports and the year-around nature of play and maintenance requirements to keep the fields in good playing condition,” Yahr said.

He said the committee has reviewed the current permit policy and has met with all interested parties, including the Little League, Youth Soccer, Men’s Soccer and Youth Lacrosse in order to develop a new policy that would accommodate the needs of each group.

Yahr said the traditional user priorities were maintained in the new policy and new users included in the schedule.

“One of the things the Covenant does is make sure 30 percent of the organization are Covenant members,” Smith said.

Smith said he is in talks with the school to see if the field there could be used as well.

The new schedule will become effective immediately:

Sports Park

— Rancho Riding Club: Parking lot use for horse shows and events

— RSF Men’s Soccer: Sundays, Jan. 1 to Dec. 31. Thursdays March to October.

— RSF Youth Soccer: Mondays to Saturdays Aug. 1 to Jan. 31

— RSF Youth Baseball: Mondays to Saturdays Feb. 1 to June 30

Richardson Park

— RSF Youth Soccer: Mondays to Saturdays Aug. 1 to Jan. 31

— RSF Youth Baseball: Mondays to Saturdays Feb. 1 to June 30

— RSF Youth Lacrosse can reserve a field and a time up to a year in advance.

“Most of the use is for practice,” said Association Director Larry Spitcaufsky.

The committee has scheduled an annual closing of both fiends during the month of July for restoration work.

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