River Access Denied
As of this morning the gate across the road allowing access to the river has been permanently closed. It will be 99 degrees today and unless you are willing to walk half a mile down the dusty road with your children, chairs and umbrella it looks like the river is not an option today or ever.
I am very disappointed that CSD is helping facilitate this denial of access to residents such as myself who have been using that road for the last 25 years.
I have known about this for a while, and until today, it hadn't dawned on me to ask this question......unless the PTF is paying OUR SECURITY to patrol the beach area, why are they doing this for the PTF?? It is our security, not PTF's.... Clearly we as a community didn't have any say so when the PTF decided to put gates up, and BTW, their decision was based on a few kids driving on neighbors land....so all of us who enjoy the river will be inconvenienced and penalized by this....I wonder if the neighboring property owners put pressure on the PTF to do this?....
CSD patrols all property within the District, including that owned by the Pension Trust Fund. PTF pays CSD a significant amount of money for their Security tax. We have no choice but to provide Security for property owners within the District 's boundaries.
As Mac and Myrna point out, this is a major loss for the respectful and law abiding river goers. I hope it deters the problem half as effectively as it deters responsible community members. I don't understand how this happened with so little public conversation. Or maybe I just am not aware of the ongoing debate? Did we have no choice? Thank you Mac and Myrna for speaking up. Such a bummer for our families!
If you look at the signage, it is absolute, it does not say walking and bicycles are OK. This so far has been granted verbally, hence may be withdrawn at any time. All the BMX trails, hiking trails, lake perimeter and perhaps even the lakes in time, may be in jeopardy. Is not our rules of access to the lakes the same as the rest of the open space? We will loose right of easement by lack of use in time and this may be by design.
Attorney time? Ideas?
The big question we should be asking is, WHY, what's their angle? Im betting a few dozen or so large acreage/parcel homes, and you can't do that if you have people running all around the back areas. Do you have any idea how much river front views sell for $,$$$,$$$ ? If you look at a RM map, there isn't a single river lot, but there's plenty of room for it high and dry.
There is one and only one reason the PTF has put up back area signage and gates to their property and that is their legal liability should someone get injured while trespassing. They are a deep pocket that anyone injured could find a sympathetic (for a fee) lawyer to help them get some “free money”. It is the same reason health care is so expensive as extortion to settle plays a huge role. We are not on a loser pays all costs system (YET) so it is easy to squeeze tens of thousands of dollars out of a deep pocket. If an individual owned the river front, would they allow everyone to use it? I doubt it. Yes, the best solution is for RMA to be the owner and add the river to its parks with appropriate rules of use and consequences for violators.
I suggest those interested do a Google search of "Prescriptive Easement". Makes for an interesting read.
Steve - RMA resident
I'm not an attorney but I hope a GOOD one will take a look at that question and determine if "we the people" have any rights anymore with regard to river access. I for one, support the idea of purchasing the land around the river so it won't ever be taken away again. That, in my view is a far more valuable use of our funds than an aquatic center.
I don't know if it is related but a recent ruling by a federal court judge in Sacramento in the Moonlight Fire lawsuit against Sierra Pacific, that a land owner could be held libel for damages for an incident that occurred on their property, even if they were not responsible for the act not the participants, may make any landowner very leary of allowing any one on their property. Sierra Pacific had been a good steward of their lands and allowed public access for hunting, fishing and recreation but may be rethinking that policy for their 22 million plus acres of land in light of that ruling.
I have lived here for 25 years...and in all that time....the PTF has NEVER cared about the liability issue pertaining to the roads that go to the river....until now that is...So why are they so worried about it now?? There is a house being built across the river which is owned by Stan Van Vleck Jr...he has a huge NO TRESSPASS sign, and clearly from the security log, the kids in our community have been tresspassing onto his property, which they have been doing for the 25 years I've been here. In my humble opinion, I believe there is a connection between the house being built, and the PTF putting up gates to block the roads to the river. This is too much of a coincidence for me to ignore.