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Space, privacy, and famous neighbors in Rancho Santa Fe

You’re going to be among impressive company

Please direct any catty comments about the gentrification-gray wood to the big cat above.
Please direct any catty comments about the gentrification-gray wood to the big cat above.

San Diego certainly boasts more than its fair share of wealthy enclaves. Horseplayers assemble every summer where the turf meets the surf in Olde Del Mar, the city’s old money power brokers cut deals in mansions overlooking the bluffs in La Jolla. And just getting west of I-5 in Cardiff, Carlsbad, or Encinitas will cost you a few million. All of these locales share one common feature: breathtaking ocean views and fresh sea air blowing in off the Pacific. All save for one, that is.

Ever since Lilian Rice was tasked by master architect Richard Requa with development of the Rancho Santa Fe covenant several miles east of the coast, the neighborhood has been a magnet for the affluent and powerful. With its large homesites spanning several acres, the resulting community affords residents both space and privacy, precious rarities in Southern California. To this day, the neighborhood attracts Hollywood stars (Bill Murray, Arnold Schwarzenegger), famous athletes (Phil Mickelson, Kawhi Leonard, Troy Polamalu), and others with considerable means and fame (Richard Simmons, Bill Gates, Jenny Craig).

Knowing we’re going to be among impressive company, let us now consider what a Zillow listing bills as a “one-of-a-kind Santa Barbara-style custom Spanish Adobe with stunning panoramic views” at 4560 Via Gaviota.

“Elegantly situated on 5.61 private, peaceful acres” and “tucked behind a gated long winding driveway, this 5916-square-foot Weir Brothers estate home is surrounded by lush, mature botanic gardens where microclimates abound to accommodate citrus groves, food forests, kitchen gardens and colorful flower beds.” Looking at the aerial photos that open the visual part of the listing, we’re definitely able to observe what appears to be quite a long driveway, along with some native landscaping interspersed with some grassy lawn area, plus a seating area with fire pit interestingly located adjacent to the front driveway. I suppose no one you’re not expecting is coming up that gated drive, so if that’s where the views are, then why not? What I don’t see is the kitchen garden, let alone citrus grove or food forest. And how “micro” does a microclimate have to be to fit an “abounding” number of them onto a five-acre lot, anyhow? Maybe we’ll get to that later. For now, let’s head inside.

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Sponsored
The very roomy dining room.

Just past the entry, we find a curving grand staircase with a wrought iron chandelier and bannisters to each side. There’s also a random tree branch jutting out of a wall, with what appears to be a stuffed snow leopard perched upon it. Other than a potted plant, our big cat is the only adornment in this otherwise very white, sterile space. Maybe it’s enough.

Off to one side is a sitting area, where adjoining “walls of windows and doors” open to the pool deck, and reclaimed wood lines the ceilings in various shades of white and gray. Some would call this “gentrification gray,” after the tone that’s dominated middle class fix-and-flip housing for the better part of a decade now — even moreso when we get to the eerily-empty seeming dining room with its gray faux-wood flooring — but I kind of like it. (Confession: the first floor of my own house has gray tile styled to look like fake wood. I liked it there as well — at least enough to not spend a week chipping it up and replacing it before I moved in.) From the dining room, we can see that the retractable doors disappear to connect the space with an outdoor ocean-view terrace, and there’s an added shot of the sea off in the distance to remind us that even though we’re inland compared to nearby Solana Beach or Encinitas, it’s not as if we’re in East County.

Next, we’re back inside for a look at the “spacious domed ceiling gourmet kitchen.” The skylight above the central chandelier is a nice touch, as is the center island with bar seating and an extra prep sink. The shot of just a double-wide range with two ovens reminds me how frustrating it is to try and keep more than two pots going at once on my starkly inferior “normal person” stove.

From there, it’s off to the “panoramic view [main] ensuite bedroom upstairs,” with walls and windows covered in drapery that leaves me unable decide whether it reminds me of a circus tent or an old-time theater. at least the fireplace we glimpse in the corner is clad with an interesting choice of stone.

The listing reminds us that there are three more ensuite bedrooms downstairs, part of the “flowing open floor plan” that “lends to privacy and serenity.” We’re not going to look at any of those, however. Instead, we’re going back outside to look at the “private pool with spa, pool bath with sauna, pizza oven and fire pit.” The pool is nice, and it also looks like there’s a room with a massage table and a device that I think is a rowing machine styled in the fashion of a medieval torture device, but I’m going to focus on the pizza oven for a second. I’ve been repeatedly impressed by the presence of pizza ovens, which seem to be an extravagantly unique appliance for a home to possess. I’m guessing I’ve seen them in at least five of the last seven homes we’ve looked at for this column, so perhaps I’m underestimating just how common it is for a rich person to have a cooksite dedicated to a single foodstuff that’s probably best left to pros anyhow.

We wrap up our tour with a few more interior and exterior photos that are fine for conveying just how much maintenance is going into keeping up the opulent appearance of the manor and grounds. But we don’t get to see any of the “bespoke walking trails [that] naturally surround the estate allowing one to enjoy the outdoors on one’s own land and connect with nature,” or the space where one could plant a “vanity vineyard.” Nor do we get an explanation of how a walking trail can be bespoke, or “made for a particular customer or user.” If there’s a walking trail, anyone should be able to walk on it! There is, however, a picture of an old VW bus parked in the terminus of the very large driveway.

The Via Gaviota estate has been owned by a Colorado-based holding company since it last sold for a reported $5 million in 2008. After a decade and a half off market, it was listed in late January with an asking price of $8,750,000 that remains unchanged to date.

  • 4560 Via Gaviota| Rancho Santa Fe, 92067
  • Current Owner: GI-8 LLC | Listing price: $8,750,000 | Beds: 4 | Baths: 6 | House size: 5916
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Please direct any catty comments about the gentrification-gray wood to the big cat above.
Please direct any catty comments about the gentrification-gray wood to the big cat above.

San Diego certainly boasts more than its fair share of wealthy enclaves. Horseplayers assemble every summer where the turf meets the surf in Olde Del Mar, the city’s old money power brokers cut deals in mansions overlooking the bluffs in La Jolla. And just getting west of I-5 in Cardiff, Carlsbad, or Encinitas will cost you a few million. All of these locales share one common feature: breathtaking ocean views and fresh sea air blowing in off the Pacific. All save for one, that is.

Ever since Lilian Rice was tasked by master architect Richard Requa with development of the Rancho Santa Fe covenant several miles east of the coast, the neighborhood has been a magnet for the affluent and powerful. With its large homesites spanning several acres, the resulting community affords residents both space and privacy, precious rarities in Southern California. To this day, the neighborhood attracts Hollywood stars (Bill Murray, Arnold Schwarzenegger), famous athletes (Phil Mickelson, Kawhi Leonard, Troy Polamalu), and others with considerable means and fame (Richard Simmons, Bill Gates, Jenny Craig).

Knowing we’re going to be among impressive company, let us now consider what a Zillow listing bills as a “one-of-a-kind Santa Barbara-style custom Spanish Adobe with stunning panoramic views” at 4560 Via Gaviota.

“Elegantly situated on 5.61 private, peaceful acres” and “tucked behind a gated long winding driveway, this 5916-square-foot Weir Brothers estate home is surrounded by lush, mature botanic gardens where microclimates abound to accommodate citrus groves, food forests, kitchen gardens and colorful flower beds.” Looking at the aerial photos that open the visual part of the listing, we’re definitely able to observe what appears to be quite a long driveway, along with some native landscaping interspersed with some grassy lawn area, plus a seating area with fire pit interestingly located adjacent to the front driveway. I suppose no one you’re not expecting is coming up that gated drive, so if that’s where the views are, then why not? What I don’t see is the kitchen garden, let alone citrus grove or food forest. And how “micro” does a microclimate have to be to fit an “abounding” number of them onto a five-acre lot, anyhow? Maybe we’ll get to that later. For now, let’s head inside.

Sponsored
Sponsored
The very roomy dining room.

Just past the entry, we find a curving grand staircase with a wrought iron chandelier and bannisters to each side. There’s also a random tree branch jutting out of a wall, with what appears to be a stuffed snow leopard perched upon it. Other than a potted plant, our big cat is the only adornment in this otherwise very white, sterile space. Maybe it’s enough.

Off to one side is a sitting area, where adjoining “walls of windows and doors” open to the pool deck, and reclaimed wood lines the ceilings in various shades of white and gray. Some would call this “gentrification gray,” after the tone that’s dominated middle class fix-and-flip housing for the better part of a decade now — even moreso when we get to the eerily-empty seeming dining room with its gray faux-wood flooring — but I kind of like it. (Confession: the first floor of my own house has gray tile styled to look like fake wood. I liked it there as well — at least enough to not spend a week chipping it up and replacing it before I moved in.) From the dining room, we can see that the retractable doors disappear to connect the space with an outdoor ocean-view terrace, and there’s an added shot of the sea off in the distance to remind us that even though we’re inland compared to nearby Solana Beach or Encinitas, it’s not as if we’re in East County.

Next, we’re back inside for a look at the “spacious domed ceiling gourmet kitchen.” The skylight above the central chandelier is a nice touch, as is the center island with bar seating and an extra prep sink. The shot of just a double-wide range with two ovens reminds me how frustrating it is to try and keep more than two pots going at once on my starkly inferior “normal person” stove.

From there, it’s off to the “panoramic view [main] ensuite bedroom upstairs,” with walls and windows covered in drapery that leaves me unable decide whether it reminds me of a circus tent or an old-time theater. at least the fireplace we glimpse in the corner is clad with an interesting choice of stone.

The listing reminds us that there are three more ensuite bedrooms downstairs, part of the “flowing open floor plan” that “lends to privacy and serenity.” We’re not going to look at any of those, however. Instead, we’re going back outside to look at the “private pool with spa, pool bath with sauna, pizza oven and fire pit.” The pool is nice, and it also looks like there’s a room with a massage table and a device that I think is a rowing machine styled in the fashion of a medieval torture device, but I’m going to focus on the pizza oven for a second. I’ve been repeatedly impressed by the presence of pizza ovens, which seem to be an extravagantly unique appliance for a home to possess. I’m guessing I’ve seen them in at least five of the last seven homes we’ve looked at for this column, so perhaps I’m underestimating just how common it is for a rich person to have a cooksite dedicated to a single foodstuff that’s probably best left to pros anyhow.

We wrap up our tour with a few more interior and exterior photos that are fine for conveying just how much maintenance is going into keeping up the opulent appearance of the manor and grounds. But we don’t get to see any of the “bespoke walking trails [that] naturally surround the estate allowing one to enjoy the outdoors on one’s own land and connect with nature,” or the space where one could plant a “vanity vineyard.” Nor do we get an explanation of how a walking trail can be bespoke, or “made for a particular customer or user.” If there’s a walking trail, anyone should be able to walk on it! There is, however, a picture of an old VW bus parked in the terminus of the very large driveway.

The Via Gaviota estate has been owned by a Colorado-based holding company since it last sold for a reported $5 million in 2008. After a decade and a half off market, it was listed in late January with an asking price of $8,750,000 that remains unchanged to date.

  • 4560 Via Gaviota| Rancho Santa Fe, 92067
  • Current Owner: GI-8 LLC | Listing price: $8,750,000 | Beds: 4 | Baths: 6 | House size: 5916
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