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The Rancho Murieta Association resumed discussion of two sticky topics at Tuesday night’s meeting – opening the Escuela gate to Stonehouse Road traffic and moving motorcycle parking from its present spot in the Gazebo parking lot. Also at the meeting, the board voted to send the county a letter supporting improvements to Scott Road and announced a $68,000 gift from Summerfest.

Both the Escuela gate and motorcycle parking issues present problems, as the RMA has heard from members in the past:

  • Opening the Escuela gate requires an answer to a large question (will it be staffed by Security?) and raises worries for some about the security of an unmanned gate. The Community Services District proposed meetings to take the community’s temperature on this question in 2016, but the RMA said it was too soon to talk about it.
  • Pro-motorcycle Murietans were heard in 2015, when the board discussed spending $60,000 to move motorcycle parking to a grassy stretch across Lago Drive because the motorcycles were thought to be unsightly to people coming through the North Gate. In the end, citing the cost, the board backed away from the idea. (Many who were critical called it a waste of money and said the RMA would do better to just let the motorcyclists ride their bikes home.)

The issues weren't listed on the agenda for Tuesday's meeting.

Director Larry Shelton, chair of the Maintenance Committee, said the motorcycle issue has come up again because there are efforts in that committee to improve the appearance of the North Gate area and to enhance the Gazebo area. “Those ideas have brought this back on the table,” he said. And opening Escuela gate could offer another answer for the motorcycle parking, he said.

Looking for a way to open Escuela gate without incurring the cost of staffing, in 2015 the RMA proposed a draft plan for a limited-use gate to handle special events and Little League traffic at Stonehouse Park.

Because the existing black metal gate on Stonehouse Road is slow, it would have to be propped open for park events, according to the plan, and existing yellow gate arms would be swung out across Escuela Drive to lock traffic in the park area, keeping it from getting onto Pera or Guadalupe drives.

One downside to this approach is that locked yellow gates would keep Murietans from driving their cars to Stonehouse Park parking.

Shelton explained that in 2016 the RMA estimated the cost of a passive Escuela gate at $118,000, and the RMA decided to save up for the expense, setting aside $28,000 a year for four years. It’s halfway to that savings goal.

Neighbor Jerry Pasek told the board he’s concerned about the traffic from Little League parents “who don’t seem to mind speeding down Guadalupe at 40 miles an hour.” He added, “The people on Guadalupe are waiting for the accident to happen.”

Pasek, a CSD director who was speaking as a private citizen, said CSD could open and close Escuela gate on a schedule and follow the RMA idea to employ the yellow gate arms to cut off Escuela Drive. The next step in the Escuela gate’s evolution could be bar-reader gates, he said, and ultimately a decision could be made about whether it should be staffed by Security.

As for the problems created for Murietans by locking down Escuela Drive, Pasek said Murietans could drive out the front gate and come back in on Stonehouse Road, or they could drive golf carts to the park (after RMA builds a cart path around the yellow gate arms).

Pasek didn’t see much difference, in a security sense, from someone coming through the North Gate for a baseball game today or someone coming through a passive Escuela gate in the future. “If you have somebody who wants to tour the community,” Pasek said, “they can do that today.”

Director Rob Brown said he supports a passive gate and he feels members of the sports groups would prefer to come in from Stonehouse Road instead of driving through the community. But he warned of a “pretty big pushback” by Murietans if the yellow gates were closed and they couldn’t drive directly to Stonehouse Park.

Later, Pasek said most residents use golf carts, not cars, to get to Stonehouse, and many in the audience of eight muttered disagreement. One, Les Clark, another CSD director speaking as a resident, got up to say many families haul things to special events at Stonehouse Park and would be unhappy if they couldn’t park cars there.

Shelton said opening Escuela gate could allow motorcycle parking to be shifted to the area of the RMA’s maintenance yard, north of Stonehouse Park, echoing a comment made earlier by General Manager Greg Vorster.

Board backs pushing county to improve Scott Road

The board voted unanimously to endorse a letter requesting county improvements to Scott Road.

The letter, to be sent to the Cosumnes Community Planning Advisory Council and county officials, says Scott Road is vital for Murietans to access work, schools, medical services and more, but it's “a two-lane road built many years ago on a substandard base, curving around private property lines,” a road “never intended for high traffic use.” The letter asks the county to allocate funds to construct turn-outs to reduce unsafe passing and says there must be a commitment to find future funds to eliminate the flooding that closes the road in winter storms.

The planning council, a volunteer group that advises county officials on development matters, will meet 7 p.m. Feb. 28 at 9717 Colony Road, Wilton, to discuss Scott Road with county officials.

Recent coverage:

Summerfest donates $68,000 to community improvements

The Summerfest community organization will donate $68,000 for community improvements, the biggest chunk going to new turf at Stonehouse Park, the board was told.

General Manager Greg Vorster said Summerfest will donate $50,000 to improve the newly graded practice field on Escuela Drive. The project includes installing irrigation, adding soil amendments, final grading, introducing bermuda sprigs to the soil and installing an 18-space parking lot with a retaining wall and steps. The field will be named Summerfest Field to recognize the donation. Summerfest will also fund lighting – two poles with LED lights – at the Stonehouse dog park at a cost of about $18,000.

The work should be complete in May, the RMA said.

Summerfest, run by community volunteers, stages a two-day carnival every summer and other events. It awards scholarships and has made past donations to the community – $50,000 for Stonehouse Park lighting in 2010 and $70,000 to help build the community’s splash park in 2014.

Board urged to open dog park on South

Sean and Karen Mitchell of Linksman Court encouraged the board to put a dog park on the Riverview Park land that was the site of a bicycle pump track from 2013 to 2016.

The Mitchells said they had published a Facebook poll on the question, and 58 respondents voted yes, three voted no. They offered to help the RMA get the park going.

Director Larry Shelton told the Mitchells that the board considered the idea last year and had revisited it in conversation earlier in the evening.

General Manager Greg Vorster said the board considered the idea last year, weighing it against the Little League’s possible need for the field as a practice facility. Now, he said, Little League is satisfied with the available practice space at Stonehouse Park, so the old pump track would be available for a dog park. He said the idea will be brought back to the board to start the conversation again.

Last March, RanchoMurieta.com published an unscientific poll on the idea of a South dog park. There were almost 300 votes, 69 percent of them in favor of the park.

In other business...

  • The board unanimously approved the replacement of a backhoe at a cost of $85,222 and the replacement of a skid steer at a cost of $36,000. Also unanimously approved was spending $16,000 to repair a pump and filter on Laguna Joaquin.
  • CPR certification classes will be offered Feb. 24 by the RMA’s Recreation Committee, Director Stephanie Bianchi announced.  The class will be broken into two parts – first aid and CPR. The cost is $40 for CPR and $60 for both. A youth class will be offered from 9 a.m. to noon; the adult class will be from 1 to 4 p.m.
  • A bingo night will be held 6 p.m. March 2. Participants, who must be 21 years old, are asked to bring a dessert or appetizer to share. Call 354-3500 for reservations.
  • The board appointed Alex Bauer, Larry Shelton and Cheryl McElhany to an ad hoc committee that will work with a Community Services District ad hoc committee looking into buying open space and Country Club land, trying to spare the open land from development.
  • President Alex Bauer said the presidents of the RMA, Community Services District and Country Club are meeting every other month with an eye to better coordination among the groups.
  • Director Joanne Brandt said the Communications Committee is looking into the cost of bringing back the community’s TV channel. It used to be on Channel 5 on the old cable system but would be on Channel 2 for Greenfield DISH subscribers.

RM.com's picture
Joined: 06/19/2007
Posts: 27622
Post rating: 1381

No video of meeting

There were technical problems with the RMA's video recording of the meeting, so no video is available.

Beth Buderus's picture
Joined: 08/03/2007
Posts: 899
Post rating: 688

Escuela gate access

Just as an overall observation, I do not support the Escuela gate access to be an unmanned gate.  When we were looking at different communities to live, our real estate agent often piggy-backed their way thru a passive gate behind a resident.  So unless there is some way to prevent another car from tail gating into the community, I will always vote no.

Jacque Villa's picture
Joined: 07/11/2009
Posts: 534
Post rating: 689

Motorcycle parking at the gazebo

Why don't you just let the motorcycle owners take their bikes home like they do in the South ???  I don't hear of any problems over there with the bikers going in and out to their homes......We don't need to spend any more money trying to figure out what to do with them...let's get rid of the 1970's rules and come up to 2018 !!!!!!!

Maralee Duffek's picture
Joined: 11/03/2007
Posts: 8
Post rating: 8

Motorcycle Parking

Would a 6-month trial period for people to park their motorcycles in their garages instead of at the Gazebo be worth trying?  If there are noise or other reasonable complaints, keep the rules as is.  If there are no significant problems, adjust the current rules.

M Duffek

Polly Schumacher's picture
Joined: 10/11/2013
Posts: 12
Post rating: 14

Motorcycle's & How about some Bathrooms :)

Good morning neighbors,

I was thinking the same as Maralee - give it a trial period.  A lovely couple that are friends of ours bought a home on the north.  She has a beautiful little black scooter in her garage and can't take it out and putt around.  No one would ever hear her on the cute little thing.  And even if they had a Harley Davidson with some nice pipes on it - so what?  You hear a nice rumble once in a while.  To my knowledge these are not a bunch of gang bangers out here...... then again in those leathers and tattoos..........wink, wink. 

To spend money on a new place to park the bikes seems ridiculous to me.  We live in the south, use to ride a bike years ago (goodness I miss that baby!), and have absolutely no problems with the bikes in the neighborhood...... well, it does make me miss my own.

And like I recently posted on a local Facebook page:  how about putting that money to some much better use and get some bathrooms out at Lake Clementia.  Look at all the events that go on out there.  Water is already to that location and if sewer is not then look into a septic system instead.  Shoot, maybe then the lake will clear up a bit...........I know, gross, but I'm telling you, 9 out of 10 kids won't climb the hill to the ever-loving blue rooms and instead use the lake.  And it's pretty obvious when the adults take a stroll into the water waste high for a couple minutes.  Bathrooms!  Bathrooms!  Bathrooms! (chanting to continue.....).

Enjoy your day~

Polly Schumacher


Bruce Stout's picture
Joined: 10/29/2016
Posts: 6
Post rating: 4

Motorcycles and bathrooms

Can agree on both points. My wife and I live off Murieta Parkway and the modified cars and trucks make as much or more rumble as some motorcycles. This issue should be addressed at RMA meetings. Motorcycles parked in their owners garages, gazebo parking lot utilized for all vehicles, and proper bathrooms at Lake Clamentia.


John Merchant's picture
Joined: 08/30/2007
Posts: 121
Post rating: 224

Clementia Restrooms

I believe the real problem with bathrooms at Clementia is the length of the sewer line and the supporting infrastructure that wouldbe required to support it. Years ago, this was a six figure number. Add to that number an ADA compliant restroom facility that must support large crowds. 

Janet Nicholson's picture
Joined: 10/28/2007
Posts: 236
Post rating: 380

I'm with you, Beth

First, let me say I am in favor of having the ability to enter the community through the Escuela gate.  It would be a shorter trip for me from Folsom and I wouldn't have to try to cross Jackson in rush hour.  (Though I'm retired, I still seem to hit the major traffic times at Stonehouse and Jackson.)  Additionally, if the developers are successful in building and selling all the houses on their plans, another point for resident ingress/egress will be critical. 

That said, I am not in favor of an unmanned gate at Escuela for exactly the reasons you state.  I understand opening the Escuela gate and closing the yellow gates when there are events at Stonehouse Park, but for daily use not so much unless the gates are manned.  And the Escuela gate should be residents only, except for Stonehouse events, i.e., no guests or contractors would be able to access the community from Escuela.  Remember when they were building the new front gate and there was talk about putting fancy gates on the two posterns?  Along with cost, the biggest reason not to install them was the amount of time it took for them to open and close, which caused a concern about traffic backing up at the gate, particularly at drive time.  If there were a passive gate at Escuela, then we'd either have everybody following the rule of one care at a time, in which case traffic would back up onto Stonehouse, or cars would start piggy-backing coming in.   How long before someone trying to beat the gate when piggybacking gets their car whacked by the gate because they misjudged the timing?

Just MHO!

Matt Corsaut's picture
Joined: 08/17/2007
Posts: 54
Post rating: 41

Here’s my two cents

Here’s my two cents for what it's worth. I have no problem with an unmanned gate for the following reasons. First, we already have an unmanned front gate turning into the first Lago if someone wants to “piggyback” into the community.  Secondly, in my travels throughout California over the past 25 years visiting high end communities, I have come across dozens of unmanned gates. Many that lead into multi-million dollar home developments and never have I heard of a crime problem from “outsiders” sneaking past the gates. Think about it, criminals seek the path of least resistance. I don't believe there is any credible threat of a burglar or criminal bypassing Granite Bay, Serrano, the fabulous 40’s, etc.. (most all with no gates), and instead driving 30 minutes to the middle of nowhere trying to sneak past a gate with a security camera to steal a laptop or big screen tv.

I would encourage anyone who thinks that criminal activity will increase with an unmanned camera gate to call any of the hundreds of communities around California that have unmanned gates and ask them if they have any serious problem with this issue. I think you will found that it poses too much resistance for criminals when they have so many other choices closer to their residences with no security barriers to deal with.

Frankly, only having one point of ingress/egress for 1800+ homes has always seemed like a development oversight to me, one that can now be rectified. I believe an additional gate would be a benefit to the community, not a detraction. Don’t get me wrong, if we can man the gate at a reasonable cost I am all for it; however, if the choice ends up boiling down to either an unmanned gate or no gate at all, I vote unmanned.

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