Rancho Santa Fe Stories

Yo-yo price on Rancho Santa Fe estate

A property so special that it gets its own name

Beds: 7 Baths: 10 Current Owners: Hugh III and Joy Bancroft List Price: $10,800,000 Marketing materials describe the Rancho Santa Fe estate at 6605 La Valle Plateada using the name Il Incanto, Italian for “the ...

Warning: annual tax bill of $86,679

But, hey, it has a bocce court

Beds: 6 Baths: 11 Current Owner: Edward J Wald List Price: $8,750,000 “Set behind gates on a long and private drive in Rancho Del Lago, one of Rancho Santa Fe’s most coveted addresses,” boasts listing ...

A house that biotech built

Asian-inspired beauty

Beds: 5 Baths: 6 Current Owner: Howard Birndorf List Price: $8,900,000 The estate home situated at 5979 Rancho Digueno in the southern hills of Rancho Santa Fe is described in listing materials as an “Asian ...

Too close to Rancho Santa Fe

What kind of business can you run on Artesian Road?

Depending on who is telling the story, Darryl L. Hronek is either building storage for the business on his property or being harassed by a vindictive neighbor who is using the county's code enforcement unit ...

Over 15,000 square feet of living space

This Rancho Santa Fe estate has been sitting for a while

Beds: 8 Baths: 14 Current Owner: Thomas Powell List Price: $15,999,000 The 9.3-acre estate at 18181 Vis Roswitha, situated in Rancho Santa Fe, has spent years looking for its ideal buyer. That buyer would have ...

Encinitas before yuppies, the proposal to divide Fairbanks Ranch

Oceanside's secret French village and the University City bridge fight

The Most ideal of Provinces Rancho Santa Fe proposed an alternative plan, which called for preserving Del Dios as a two-lane road and, instead, extending and expanding San Dieguito Road (Route 728) such that it ...

Relaxed livability for the discerning buyer

$9.2 million gets you in the door

Classic elegance sprawls out in Rancho Santa Fe

Rancho Santa Fe’s devilish covenant with John Moores

Enclave for the super-rich embroiled in battle over McMansions and high-speed internet

As California prepares to vote in next week’s presidential primary, one of America's richest residential enclaves is embroiled in a big-money political fight that some fear may finally mark the death of its genteel, semi-rural ...

Phil Mickelson faces gambling-related charges

Did pro golfer profit from inside information?

Top pro golfer Phil Mickelson was charged with insider trading today (May 19) in a Securities and Exchange Commission complaint that will be tried in federal court in the Southern District of New York. The ...

Four all-usable acres

Prepare to be stunned in Rancho Del Lago

Current Owners: Gregorio & Vanessa Reyes Beds: 7 Baths: 11 List Price: $8,995,000 The “magnificient” Summerhill Estate is a 15,000-square-foot estate “sited on four all-usable acres atop a private knoll” in the “high end luxury ...

Still intimate under 12,000 square feet of roof in Roxbury Terrace

East Coast flair + West Coast ambience

Current Owner: Sunwest Builders Development Beds: 7 Baths: 11 List Price: $9,800,000 This week, a visit to “the newest home at Rancho Santa Fe’s intimate gated enclave of Roxbury Estates.” The residence at 14771 Roxbury ...

Sequester yourself in the Secret Ranch

This one is worth the $23 million asking price

Current Owner: El Secreto LLC (William & Kathryn Scripps) Bedrooms: 8 Baths: 13 Price: $23,000,000 Welcome to “The Secret Ranch,” a 12-acre estate with more than 12,400 square feet of living space under roof located ...

Fee for a dead man

Gerald Parsky's group pays Villalobos estate

Rancho Santa Fe's Gerald Parsky heads a Los Angeles private equity fund, Aurora Capital Group, which got more than $400 million in investment commitments from the giant California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS). Aurora had ...

That Democrat-Republican split may help

Ray Lucia taking SEC's decision to DC appeals court

National radio personality Ray Lucia Sr. is taking his banishment from the securities industry to the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals, according to the publication Investment News. On September 3, the board of ...

La Osita, the teddy bear of Rancho Santa Fe

This is what L.A. car dealership money will buy

Beds: 6 Baths: 7 Current Owner: Coberly Family Asking Price: $10,495,000 This week we visit “La Osita,” a property billed as having “one of the most magnificent hilltop ocean view locations in all of Rancho ...

SEC kicks Ray Lucia's "Buckets of Money" ploy

Business talk-radio personality banned from investment industry

San Diego radio host Ray Lucia Sr. has lost his appeal of the action by the Securities and Exchange Commission to ban him from the investment business. The appeal was heard August 6 by the ...

Divorce of a billionaire (cont'd)

Charles Brandes goes back to court, contests $450K per month for ex-wife

In a decision that was issued August 31, the Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, has sent the well-publicized divorce of Charles and Linda Brandes, who separated in 2004, back to the trial court. In ...

An irreplaceable French Chateau

Rancho Santa Fe estate comes with two caves

Beds: 7 Baths: 10 Current Owner: James Kidrick Asking Price: $11,880,000 This week, an “irreplaceable French Chateau offering every amenity you could imagine.” The 2002-built Rancho Santa Fe estate located at 6397 Clubhouse Drive, within ...

The onetime estate of Pete Rozelle

Beds: 5 Baths: 9 Current Owner: Duyane and Michelle Weinger Asking Price: $14,995,000 This week we visit the onetime estate of Pete Rozelle, credited by the property’s listing agent as being “the Commissioner known for ...

Golfers left, nature right

Golfers provide the surreality on the Santa Fe Valley Trail.

A hike along a river and golf course for an overview of the San Dieguito River.

Desert rats got a thing for Rancho Santa Fe

Gas station one of the few in county that sells 100-octane racing fuel

The highest priced regular gas in San Diego County on June17 was found at the 76 station in Coronado, at $4.59 a gallon — wait, one station in Rancho Santa Fe posts a much higher ...

Asking $15,900,000 (we did renovations)

A virtually hidden horse pasture, lagoon, and vineyard

Beds: 6 Baths: 8 Current Owners: James & Melanie Burkhart List Price: $15,900,000 The tony enclave of Rancho Santa Fe is well established as one of San Diego’s priciest neighborhoods. Homes in the area sold ...

Eh, keep the brass knuckles

Parents of Jack Henry Doshay ask for their computers back

An attorney for Glenn and Karen Doshay is asking a judge to order return of certain items that were seized by deputies while investigating their son as a suspect in a kidnapping case. The property ...

Rancho Santa Fe lawyer suspended from practice

Donald William McVay left hanging last year and in 2013, 2012, 2011, 2008, and 2006

The State Bar of California has suspended Donald William McVay of Rancho Santa Fe Law Group from the practice of law. McVay accepted a client when he was not eligible to practice law, collected an ...

House poor, data rich

Numbers indicate San Diegans pay more for shelter than all metro areas

In the fourth quarter of last year, the median home price in San Diego hit $430,000 — 59 percent higher than the 2009 bottom but still below the $500,000 peak of 2005. Kelly Cunningham, economist ...

Big-idea Todd

Rancho Santa Fe attorney admits forgery, put up clients' cases as collateral

Todd Macaluso, a Rancho Santa Fe attorney, pleaded guilty today (April 14) to forging signatures of clients and notaries as part of a scheme to put personal-injury clients' cases up as collateral to investors without ...

Hey, Doshay, they got your DNA

Alleged would-be kidnapper's father is not cooperating, says prosecutor

Jack Henry Doshay, 22, is accused of kidnapping a child at a Solana Beach elementary school two weeks ago. “The sheriff’s crime lab was able to confirm that the defendant’s DNA was in fact on ...

Mainly Mozart starts its engine

Two chamber concerts and a big ol' symphony this weekend.

Mainly Mozart is giving two Spotlight Series concerts this weekend in two enticing locations. The music is a transcription of Bach's Goldberg Variations for string trio. The concert is at the Scripps Research Institute on ...

Wake the f*** up. We’re in a drought.

Rancho Santa Fe residents among biggest water users

A new study on water consumption in the San Diego region has conservationists renewing a call for mandatory restrictions on residential water use, including ramping up enforcement efforts and considering implementation of currently temporary measures ...

Might need a ridable vacuum cleaner for this one

Current Owner: B. Edward Ewing Beds: 12 Baths: 13 List Price: $36,500,000 “No event is too large for this grand residence built to impress,” promise listing materials for Casa del Sol, a six-building “master-planned compound ...

Developer vs. developer, continued

La Jolla real estate guy reputedly writing book to expose Lennar Corp.

Nicolas Marsch, onetime La Jolla socialite and wealthy real estate developer, is apparently writing a book about his nemesis, Florida-based big builder Lennar Corp. Up until recently, Marsch had a website touting his purported book, ...

Moores kin dead in Rancho Santa Fe Atom crash

Collision in reputedly fastest street-legal car ends life of mogul's nephew

The nephew of Texas-bred mega-millionaire John Moores has died after a crashing his rare British-made Ariel Atom into an SUV on a curvy Rancho Santa Fe road on Christmas Eve. Barry Alexander Moores, 21, the ...

Championship living

Your personal link has a view of the Fairbanks Ranch links.

An elegant solution for those who enjoy entertaining formally.

Liquid assets

Thirsty Rancho Santa Fe joins in County's water conservation efforts

Guest editorial by The Bridges at Rancho Santa Fe groundskeeper-in-chief, Arturo Mendes. Recently, a story in these pages took note of a New York Times article that took note of water use in the community ...

Dolphin water fountains and balustrade walls in Rancho Santa Fe

“One of Fairbanks Ranch’s finest creations”

Current Owner: Exploron Corp. Bedrooms: 10 Baths: 14 Price: $11,500,000 Come home to “one of Fairbanks Ranch’s finest creations,” boasts the opening in marketing material for the estate at 16715 Camino Sierra Del Sur, a ...

Gulp! Rancho Santa Fe is how thirsty?

Article says residents use five times the average of coastal area

The New York Times today (November 30) has a long story on the huge water usage of Rancho Santa Fe, San Diego County's most upscale community. According to state data, the tony town's residents used ...

Appeal to "illegal tax" every year

Hope lives to overturn Cal Fire's semi-rural "Fire Prevention Fee"

This month, property owners in the county’s semi-rural areas are receiving their annual $150 bill for the state’s “Fire Prevention Fee.” Since the per-parcel fee was enacted in 2011, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayer Association has ...

Manchester golf-course deal collapses

Publisher, Mickelson had planned to buy Fairbanks

According to the publication Golf Digest, the plan by U-T publisher Douglas Manchester and pro golfer Phil Mickelson to buy Fairbanks Ranch Country Club has collapsed. The facility, which includes tennis courts and a clubhouse, ...

Six sprawling acres in Rancho Santa Fe

Current Owners: Richard & Christine Nicholas Bedrooms: 8 Baths: 14 Price: $17,900,000 Casa de las Palmas, a sprawling, six-acre estate at 16270 Via de la Valle is located “within the most exclusive Covenant area of ...

Homosexual detester says what?

College board candidate "would make many people feel uncomfortable.”

“Satan is attacking our family by perverting the concept of marriage, which God created to be between one man and one woman only.” This is not a rant from a fundamentalist church in Alabama; it ...

Aw, you'll never get caught

Rancho Santa Fe "liar loan" promoter gets 30 months

Donald Totten, who sold "liar loans" and other mortgage swindles from his home in Rancho Santa Fe, today (October 24) was sentenced to 30 months in prison. During the years of the mortgage craze that ...

For-profit college financier Clifford drops out

Rancho Santa Fe education mogul blames federal government

Dr. Michael Clifford of Rancho Santa Fe, the oft-quoted and celebrated financier of for-profit universities, has dropped out of the business. On his website, he lashes out at the "unfair and hostile attacks on financial ...

Escape from Texas

Southland Collie Rescue acquires 4 of 110 dogs rescued from terrible conditions

This past summer, in Tomball, TX, bankruptcy fillings for an optometrist, Dr. Elaine Kmiec, indicated she had a large number of collies on her acreage. She claimed to have only 35. Attorneys for Houston Collie ...

Brown tide rising

TALKING FUNNY BECAUSE I'M HOLDING MY NOSE, RANCHO SANTA FE — At about 2:30 this morning, a ruptured sewer main sent a great mass of human waste spilling into the streets of this super-wealthy enclave. ...

No Winnebagos here

Surreptitious storage facility opens for classic wheels

Let’s say you’re concerned that car thieves might steal your 2014 Lamborghini Veneno Roadster that you paid $4.5 million for…or you just want to hide your purchase of a $75,000 classic Chevy from your spouse… ...

For God’s sake, man, save the puppies

Fires require evacuation of Helen Woodward Animal Center

When fire evacuations were ordered in the Fairbanks Ranch and Rancho Santa Fe areas the afternoon of May 13, the staff at the Helen Woodward Animal Center sprung into action. The center’s evacuation plan called ...

The “Grand Chateau at Rancho Santa Fe” is no misnomer

Current Owner: John Isaac Listing Price: $15,800,000 Beds: 8 Baths: 10 The “Grand Chateau at Rancho Santa Fe” is a 20,000-square-foot estate in a well-known enclave for the ultra-wealthy, home to many of San Diego’s ...

French country estate on Clubhouse Drive

Ruminate on how to make the mortgage payment in the Zen/meditation garden.

Current Owners: John & Kathleen Urquhart Listing Price: $16,950,000 Beds: 6 Baths: 8 In order to be allowed on the grounds to look at many of the homes featured in Unreal Estate, you’ve got to ...

“HUSTUSA” protests President Obama in Rancho Santa Fe

Said he wanted to avoid getting shot by liberals

With tea bags hanging from his hat, a man who calls himself “HUSTUSA” stood on the corner of Avenida de Acacias and La Granada in Rancho Santa Fe on the afternoon of November 9. The ...

Thieves, scoundrels, and the RSF breakfast bunch

Up in tony Rancho Santa Fe, the county’s preserve of genteel wealth and privilege — along with a few occasional swindlers, suicide cults, and spies — takes the public interest seriously. A campaign committee called ...

Five million dollars in art and jewelry taken from Rancho Santa Fe home

Detective wants public to watch for unique items stolen from estate

A wealthy estate in Rancho Santa Fe had more than $5 million worth of art and jewelry stolen, seven weeks ago, according to a San Diego County Sheriff’s detective. “We have been and we continue ...

Villa Italco in Rancho Belvedere

A lazy river runs through it

Current owner: Dario DeLuca Listing price: $15,995,000 Beds: 6 Baths: 11 House size: 12,000 sq ft While many buyers of new, estate-quality homes like to participate in the custom construction of their palaces, some just ...

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