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Future Planning Committee Report 9-10

Future Planning Committee Report

For the Ninth Month, 2010

The Future Planning/Stewardship Committee met on 8/18/10 with the following members attending: Dave Giltrow, Frank Hirsch, Guthrie Miller, Bettina Raphael, Carolyn Stevenson, and Irene Webb. The convener distributed a list of “Documents Related to the Rush Studio Property” which sought to bring together in one archive all legal documents, discussion papers, and correspondence from the last 50 years related to the ownership and the Meeting’s use of the Olive Rush Studio property at 630 Canyon Rd. A copy of this list is attached to this report. Part of this documentation process has been an effort to track down a copy of the Executors’ Deed to the property which could not be found at the Meetinghouse and was not easy to locate at the County Records Office. A copy was recently obtained from the Stewart Title Co. which had been contacted by the Meeting in 1989 and again in 2008 to determine the Meeting’s Title Claim and availability of title insurance for the property. A clear title has still never been obtained due to irregularities in the old survey that have never been formally addressed. According to the Title Company, the Meeting still needs to obtain a “Quitclaim Deed from the adjoining owner to the west, in order to establish consensus as to the dimension and location of their common boundary line”. In order to clarify all questions of legal identity of the property now and for future members of the Santa Fe Society of Friends, the Committee decided to pursue executing this Quitclaim and we are now looking into whether this will require the involvement of a lawyer, whether a new survey must be made, and how much the entire process could cost.

A second check at the County Records Office did locate a deed and a plat on file there. However, the mapping office did not have any record of our 630 Canyon Road address and a look at their map of the street shows our property line drawn to include some of the adjacent property to the west, including the building that is attached to our Ramada. This does not conform to our old survey and plat of the property and it is not now clear who owns this piece of land. The convener is working with the County Assessor’s Office to try to resolve this and will also be returning to the Stewart Title Co. to pursue what is required for the Quitclaim Deed and what the likely cost of title insurance might be if the Meeting decides to obtain such a policy.

In addition during the meeting, the Committee reviewed Olive Rush’s 1966 Will and 1962 Agreement with the Meeting in light of a legal opinion obtained from the lawyer, George Snyder, in 1989. In his letter to the Clerk of Meeting, Mr. Snyder concluded that the Meeting was the outright owner of the Olive Rush Studio property (no official Trust had been created) and that, in his opinion, the Agreement signed by Olive Rush and the Meeting was legally null and void with regard to restrictions on how the Meeting could use or sell the property and its obligation to pass the 630 Canyon Road property on to the Historic Santa Fe Foundation, should it wish to stop using the facilities. While this seemed clear from his legal perspective, the Committee also acknowledged that more discussion is needed by Meeting to determine its stance on what might constitute honoring the “intent” if not the “word” of the Agreement in the future. We also discussed what might be involved in asking the Historic Santa Fe Foundation to sign a Quitclaim Deed to resolve this ambiguity about ownership as was recommended by Snyder. At the same time, the Committee is looking into what would be involved in creating a “Preservation Easement” that can be attached to a deed and can be used to protect and preserve historic properties for the future.

Prepared by Bettina Raphael, Convener 9/19/10

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