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The Covenant

RANCHO SANTA FE Covenant was first Rancho San Dieguito, a land grant made in 1845 by Mexican governor Pio Pico to Juan Maria Osuna, colorful settler, caballero, and original mayor of the pueblo of San Diego.  Cattle raising was probably the main activity on Osuna’s lush acreage abundant in fertile pasture land.  The original adobe dwellings still stand preserved and restored, continuously occupied since Osuna built them almost a century and a half ago.

Sold by Osuna heirs in 1906 to the Santa Fe Land Company, a subsidiary of the Santa Fe Railway, the San Dieguito land grant became the site of an unusual experiment.  Eucalyptus seeds obtained from Australia were propagated at the company’s rancho headquarters, Juan Osuna’s original house.  Within three years, about 3,000 eucalyptus seedings had been planted to provide wood for railroad  ties.

The experiment was abandoned when it was found that the eucalyptus wood was unsuitable for the purpose.  The rapidly growing forest, consisting of several varieties of the graceful, aromatic shade tree, was left to develop and increase, no longer threatened by the woodman’s blade.

A new project, sponsored again by the Rancho Santa Fe Land Improvement Company, was initiated in 1922.  Its purpose was the opening of new orchard acreage, to increase freight shipments for the Santa Fe Railway.  Over time, Rancho Santa Fe has become the home of country estates and one of the ten wealthiest communities in the nation.

The RSF Protective Covenant was created in 1928 to preserve the character of the community and rare landscape features, as well as uphold the quality of all future architecture and improvements.  It covers approximately 6,200 acres with approximately 1,460 households just six miles inland from the Pacific Ocean.  Home prices range from $1 million to $22 million.  The Covenant is governed by the Rancho Santa Fe Association which also oversees the RSF Golf Club, a 6800 yard, par 72, 18 hole course, and RSF tennis facility.

Designed by famous San Diego Architect, Lillian Rice, the town centerpiece is the graceful “Inn at Rancho Santa Fe”, situated on a grassy knoll at the western end of the main street.  Restaurants and small shops line the quaint downtown, and 21 miles of horse trails weave throughout the rolling hills.  There is also a Riding Club, Garden Club, and a Community Center.  Beautiful residences are set back from the picturesque roadways which wind around the small village center.  Most lots are at least two acres.  Schools include Rancho Santa Fe Elementary and Middle School, as well as a choice of Torrey Pines High School and San Dieguito Academy.

 Number of Home Sites: 1,700


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