In Rancho Santa Fe, there are no street lights, sidewalks or home mail delivery. So why is it one of San Diego’s most enviable places to live? Affluence. Privacy. Minimum two-acre lots. A desirable country lifestyle in the middle of the city, say residents.
Just 25 miles from downtown San Diego and seven miles from beaches, Rancho Santa Fe, a California Historic Landmark, is renowned for its celebrity residents, world-class resorts and beautiful real estate. It’s also known as one of the ten wealthiest communities in the nation.
Residents refer to their exclusive community as "The Ranch", reveling in its low profile and privacy. The country atmosphere has been zealously guarded for 74 years by a strict set of rules, called the Protective Covenant. Most properties are a minimum two acres. All the traditionally styled Spanish, Mediterranean or ranch style homes must meet standards set by a design board that calls itself the Art Jury, even though very few homes are visible from the road.
The most desirable homes are within “The Covenant”, but other Rancho Santa Fe neighborhoods are nearly equally as preferred: Horseman’s Valley, Rancho Cielo, Morgan Run, Fairbanks Ranch and Crosby Estates. Although there are several condominium developments, large estates are predominant, and currently prices start at $1.5 million.
Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, the singer Jewel, and the Sultan of Brunei reportedly own properties here, said Lorine Wright, editor of the Rancho Santa Fe Review. Howard Hughes owned a house here long ago, as did Bing Crosby, who helped finance the golf course.