My home town

Unfair Housing - North County neighborhoods once quietly shut out other races, religions -
5/5/02 -

"While no one remembers any 'Whites only' signs like those in the South, many San Diego County neighborhoods prohibited blacks, Asians and, in some cases, Jews from buying property...

"City councils did not impose the restrictions, so it is rare for broad areas to have restrictions. Rancho Santa Fe appears to be an exception, since its protective covenant, adopted in 1927, applies to every home within the community. Far from subtle, the restriction was the second paragraph of the covenant's first article.

"'No part of said property shall be sold, conveyed, rented or leased in whole or in past to any person of an African or Asiatic race or to any person not of the white or Caucasian race,' the article read. Also, no 'domestic servants, chauffeurs, or gardeners who are members of a race other than the white or Caucasian race may live on or occupy the premises where their employer resides.' However, with the association's written approval, they could live in a 'hotel, club, student boarding house, hospital or other building."'

"Fran Foley, archivist for the Rancho Santa Fe Historical Society, has lived in the enclave since 1976. She said she isn't sure when the clause was removed, but believes it was the late 1960s or early 1970s. She suspects that the covenant was amended not because residents wanted it, but because the association's legal counsel recommended its removal."

My Dad writes:

"The race restriction clause was removed in 1973.

"The first thing we did after moving into RSF in 1986, other than going to RSF School to inform them about our mailing address and telephone number, was to visit the RSF Association. We were given a copy of the protective covenant clauses. The second clause (or article) in the protective covenant is about race restriction. But under the title of race restriction, it is empty except a simple statement saying it was removed in a certain date in 1973. We did not know this before or even during our purchase of the RSF property. I think we still have a copy of the protective covenant at home."


One summer in the early 1990s, I volunteered to be an assistant teacher for a week at RSF Elementary/Middle School. I noticed almost immediately that there were groups of hispanic kids -- with their own teachers -- walking around the school at times when the "normal" classes were in session. I could only assume that these were separate ESL classes for the hispanic kids in the Ranch, who at that time were mostly children of "the help." What was strange was that the ESL facilities were extremely segregated from the rest of the school. The segregation was so effective that, as a student of RSF for three years (grades 6-8), I wasn't even really aware of the other class.