The Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club

Rancho Santa Fe: The Covenant and Its History

Rancho Santa Fe’s roots go deep, and it’s history further back than many might guess. Long before California was a member of the United States, Juan Osuna was named the very first ‘Alcalde’, or mayor, of San Diego. He received a land grant twenty miles north of San Diego, and it was called Rancho San Dieguito.

This area would eventually become the Rancho Santa Fe Covenant.

The transition into residential beauty can be attributed to the efforts of The Santa Fe Land Improvement Company (SFLIC), established by the railroad to reverse a failed farming experiment.  They planned a rural residential community with an emphasis on agriculture.

The Santa Fe Land Improvement renamed their development project ‘Rancho Santa Fe’ in 1921.

Land use consultant, L.G. Sinnard planned a network of winding roads that take advantage of the changing landscapes and views while also discouraging speeding through the rolling topography of the area. Many brilliant minds shaped and molded the sprawling layout we see today.

The land of Rancho Santa Fe being surveyed in its early history.


Founded in the late 1920’s following the completion of the Santa Fe Railroad, Rancho Santa Fe has always had an emphasis on agriculture and the preservation of its unique landscapes.

Today, this community puts the highest importance on its safety and security, employing its own full-time private security patrol along with the services of the California Highway Patrol and the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.

The name “Covenant” stems from how the community was formed by a group of property owners who wanted to preserve the natural landscape features that make the area unique. We can see this attribute still exhibited today with the large plots of land and lush rolling hills and landscapes.

The Covenant is made up of almost 7,000 acres and about 5,000 residents. Near its center is the Village where shops, restaurants, and other businesses can be found. The strong sense of community this area offers can be attributed to this central layout along with its historical touches, something we can thank Lilian Rice for.

Santa Fe architect Lilian Rice became a famous practitioner of the Spanish Colonial Revival style of architecture, a style that can be seen in many historical and private buildings and residences in the Covenant.

Pictured below, Lilian is the second from the right in the row of four women.  She is pictured here with other members of the Santa Fe Land Improvement Company.

Rancho Santa Fe history: The Santa Fe Land Improvement Company


The Roger Rowe School, specifically built for grades K-6th and middle school children, can be found nearby.  It is known for its state of the art facilities ranging from its performing arts center to its classroom labs. Not only do people uphold the area’s natural beauty, but they are also committed to top quality schools and services for its families.

The Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club can be found in the center of the Covenant, and it is only open to Covenant members. It was the original site in the 1930’s for ‘clambakes’ hosted by famous early resident of the Covenant, Bing Crosby.

The Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club


The average lot size here is over two acres. Private hiking and equestrian trail networks run throughout the community. People of all activity levels have an abundance of options in Rancho Santa Fe.

The Protective Covenant, adopted in 1928, is a declaration including basic restrictions that regulate development within Rancho Santa Fe, and this is why the community maintains a high level of pleasing aesthetics. This promise of upholding standards within the community shapes and strengthens Rancho Santa Fe’s values.

As the oldest active planned community in California, the Covenant prides itself on its close proximity to the ocean as well as its world-class medical facilities as some of the features that make it such a great place to live.

Rancho Santa Fe Listing - Luxury Real Estate


A home in Rancho Santa Fe could look a lot like the one shown above with its seven bedrooms, a home movie theater, a beautiful pool, and more.

Rancho Santa Fe - Luxury Real Estate Listing


For more information of this listing you can find it here.

 Its no wonder why residents love living in Rancho Santa Fe; It is a gorgeous community with values dating back to its roots.

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