Red Bank Oaks
Landowner Concerns and Applicable Responses
In December 2000, landowners were asked to submit what they believed to be their top three issues regarding Red Bank Oaks. Following is a synopsis of the inputs received (in bold lettering) and applicable information to address the inputs:
On 29 March 2001, we contacted Tom Wess at PG&E, (530) 246-6586, to get a proposal on extending power to the Association. According to Mr. Wess, $13.40 per foot is a good value to use to determine the normal average cost of extending electrical lines. Free-footage rules have gone away. Considering the distance from Johnson Road to Entry Drive, the approximate cost of getting electricity extended down Balis Bell Road to Entry Drive is approximately $283,000. This cost does not include transformers that may be needed. Once electricity has been extended down Balis Bell Road, northern and southern lines would still have to be run along Association roads to service all parcels which are not directly attached to Balis Bell Road. We have not yet determined the mileage of the Association roads which would be used to extend electricity to all parcels. Mr. Wess said a deposit of $15,000 must be put down before they would officially engineer the project to provide an accurate cost estimate. If, upon receiving an accurate cost estimate, landowners decide to go ahead and have electricity extended, the $15,000 goes toward what is owed. If the landowners decide not to extend electricity, the cost of engineering is deducted from the $15,000 deposit and the remainder is returned to the Association. They will only extend lines as far as the last solid customer. In otherwords, there must be at least one solid customer established along Balis Bell before they would consider the project and the lines would only be extended as far as that customer unless there is another solid customer established beyond that point.
Both Entry Drive and Barbie Dell Lane have access gates. Although Entry Drive is secured regularly, the lock and chain on the Barbie Dell entrance has been repeatedly stolen (along with the road sign). Security provided by the gated entrances rests entirely upon the cooperation of all landowners. The Entry Drive entrance has since been improved with road base and a new, wider gate has been installed at the Barbie Dell entrance – new locks and chains were put on both entrances.
In January 2001, we modified the grazing lease contract. The new contract contains the following clause: "LESSEE WILL, to the greatest extent possible, maintain minimally aggressive bulls on the range to prevent damages to people and properties located on the range." Ultimately, however, it is the landowner’s responsibility to secure their possessions from the cattle. It is important to remember that Red Bank Oaks is part of the California State Agricultural Preserve and is protected through the California Land Conservation Act of 1965. All 17 Williamson Act contracts governing Red Bank Oaks requires that the land be used for commercial cattle grazing and Red Bank Oaks has been supporting commercial cattle grazing for over 30 years.
The revenue from the cattle grazing lease has been paying the assessments which would otherwise be paid by individual landowners. If the landowners “get rid of the cows,” all Red Bank Oaks landowners will be assessed for the lost revenue and will have to write a check to the Association, due on the 10th of December each year, to ensure funds are available for road maintenance and administration. Likewise, Tehama county may terminate Williamson Act contracts for non-compliance and assess property taxes at a real property rate versus the lower agricultural rate currently being assessed. Landowners who wish to remove their land from Williamson Act provisions should first review the California Land Conservation Act of 1965 to fully understand the costs associated with such action and then contact the Tehama County Planning Department for further guidance.
PEST CONTROL - Mosquito abatement measures
In prior years, the ponds within the Association had been stocked with "Mosquito" fish. We have no information on whether the addition of the fish had a positive impact on mosquito populations. Landowners, we welcome your ideas for addressing this issue.
SAFETY - As presented to us, it was unclear what, specifically, landowners believed to be a safety issue. The Association will make every feasible attempt to maintain a safe environment for all landowners. Please let us know specific details so we may address them.
Gates and fences will be maintained and we encourage all landowners to keep the combinations confidential and the gates locked. We rely heavily on all landowners to ensure gates are kept locked and strangers are identified. The feasibility of installing security cameras has yet to be researched. It was unclear where, specifically, landowners hoped to have security cameras installed. Please contact us if you have experienced a security breach on your property or witnessed suspicious or criminal activities. We will alert the Tehama County Sheriff's Department.
Association Roads - We have initiated the repair and grading of all Association roads. Gravel was spread in all critical areas and several steep roads have been widened, including Entry Drive. As with anything else, road improvements are restricted by the availability of funds. The CC&Rs require 2/3 (two-thirds) of all grazing revenue to be used to extend electricity to all parcels. This leaves only 1/3 (one-third) of all grazing revenue to be used for all other expenses of the Association. The 2001 grazing revenue was $13,500, which means $9,000 was to be set aside for electricity and $4,500 was left for all other expenses. Road repairs, grading, and graveling in 2001 exceeded $10,000. Because the landowners, as a whole, determined their number one issue/priority to be road repair (even over electricity), the funds were made available to accommodate the repairs. Under current circumstances, there is little money available for pavement (chip-seal or asphalt). Preliminary telephone conversations with local pavement contractors indicated chip-seal costs anywhere between $30,000 to $90,000 per mile -- depending on the terrain and necessary road preparations -- and asphalt is generally higher in cost.
SEPTIC and WATER –
On 2 April 2001, we contacted John Stoufer with the Tehama County Planning Department, (530) 527-2200. Mr. Stoufer indicated extending municipal sewage and water lines out to the Association properties is a virtual impossibility. The closest sewage and water lines to the Association are on Paskenta Road in Red Bluff -- just one block outside city limits. Septic tanks and water wells are simply a way of life in Tehama County. The Planning Department does not expect that way of life will change anytime soon -- especially for landowners in remote, unincorporated areas.
TELEPHONE - On 2 April 2001, we contacted Brian Stone, Tehama County Route Manager for Pacific Bell (530) (222-7715), to get a cost estimate for extending telephone lines to the Association properties. Mr. Stone indicated telephone line installation would run approximately $15,000 per mile even with PG&E power poles already in place because Pacific Bell has to purchase rights to use the poles. The cost of extending telephone lines down the first 4 miles of Balis Bell Road is therefore approximately $60,000, assuming utility poles have already been installed. Once telephone lines have been extended down Balis Bell Road, northern and southern telephone lines would still have to be run along Association roads to service all the parcels which are not directly attached to Balis Bell Road. We have not yet determined the mileage of the Association roads which would be used to extend telephone to all parcels. Mr. Stone said the application for telephone line extension must be signed by residents who agree to have phone service immediately connected and those residents must sign a 3-year service contract.
Current residents of the Red Bank Oaks properties are using alternative telephone arrangements to include cell phones, bag phones, and satellite communications.
TRESPASSING - Stay off other people's property. Easements are to get to and from your property. No
trespassing onto other owners' properties - trespassers will be prosecuted!
The CC&Rs, Article II, "Common Road Easements," first and second paragraphs state,
"The easements shall be for the purpose of ingress and egress and the installation, maintenance, and repair of roadways and utilities.
"The easements created are for the benefit of the owners and this Declaration is not intended to constitute a declaration or offer for public use, but rather is intended for the private use of the owners described herein.
Travel by landowners on any of the Association roads, gated or not, is not trespassing so long as such travel is for ingress and egress.. Further, it is not acceptable to install a gate across Association roads if it stops access to another owner's property unless all owners affected agree to it. Remember the Association has an easement and must have access to maintain these roads. You do not have the right to gain access to your property through another property unless it's via a road with an Association easement, unless you have the property owner's permission. The use of Association roads for passage to and from your property does not give you the right to do anything else; including but not limited to hunting, gathering down wood, or cutting dead or live trees on anyone else's property.
The presence of a gate across Association roads, irregardless of the length of time the gate remains in existence, does not erase the existence of Association easements beyond the gate nor negate their purpose to inure to the benefit of all. Likewise, the visible disappearance of an Association road due to lack of maintenance for any reason does not erase the existence of Association easements nor negate their purpose to inure to the benefit of all.
Copyright © 2008
Red Bank Oaks Property Owners' Association