It All Began With The Covenant

Rancho Santa Fe is one of the most desirable rural communities in the country, and it all began in 1928 with The Covenant. The Covenant refers to both the community within Rancho Santa Fe as well as the agreement amongst those who live here to preserve the landscape and uphold architectural standards. The result is an exclusive community that is like no other.

History of The Covenant

The Covenant has its roots in the Santa Fe Land Improvement Company, who began developing Rancho Santa Fe into a residential community in 1921. By late 1927 private owners had acquired most of the land and the Rancho Santa Fe Association was formed. In 1928, the organization adopted The Protective Covenant (now known simply as The Covenant). This was a set of regulations aimed at steering the development of the community. 90 years later, The Covenant ensures that the community is still as consistent as it was in the beginning. In fact, it is the oldest planned community in California that remains active and was designated a State Historic Landmark in 1989.

Homes in The Covenant

There is one word to describe the homes in The Covenant and that is spectacular. All of the homes and development must follow strict guidelines set forth in The Covenant in order to maintain the “high artistic result” of the original community. Although homes here are built according to this standard, you will nevertheless find a range of styles. These include Spanish Mediterranean, California Ranch, French Country, and English Tudor. There are approximately 2,000 homes in The Covenant, including condominiums. The median sales price is $3.5 million, with many homes priced at $20 million or more.


One of the greatest benefits of living in The Covenant are the amenities. The Rancho Santa Fe Association operates a number of community facilities. The first is the Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club, which limits its membership to property owners within The Covenant. It was designed by Max Behr in 1929 and was once home to the Bing Crosby “Clambake.” Another first-class amenity located next to the golf club is the Rancho Santa Fe Tennis Club. It includes 10 hard courts and two clay courts.

Osuna Ranch is a stunning historic preservation property located in the northeast corner of The Covenant. It was originally part of the Mexican land grant, and today still operates as an equestrian facility. In addition, there are 68 acres of open space at the Rancho Santa Fe Arroyo property in the southeastern corner. Residents can enjoy hiking trails, horseback riding, fishing, and camping. As if that weren’t enough, there are 60 miles of private trails throughout the community for the exclusive use of residents and their guests.

The Village

What makes The Covenant so charming is the historic Village located in the heart of the community. Developed in the 1920s, it includes some of the earliest buildings constructed under The Covenant. Here you’ll find a wide range of shops, restaurants and other establishments, including The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe.

Contact The Lucy Kelts Collection

Are you ready to buy or sell a luxury home in Rancho Santa Fe’s most exclusive community? Then contact The Lucy Kelts Collection at 858-756-0593 or [email protected]. Whether you are new to the area or have been here for years, we are ready to sit down and talk with you personally.

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