In two committee meetings last week, the Community Services District continued a push to broaden its role. At one session, it talked about the Rancho Murieta Association’s need to clean up RMA policy around the variety of homeowner associations that exist – or will soon – in Rancho Murieta. The second committee discussed working more closely with the RMA to get things done for the community’s benefit.
Pending development and an upcoming study of Security operations are driving the effort, according to Mark Pecotich, board president. He is a member of the Security and Communications committees, which met Thursday.
Pecotich said RMA wants CSD Security to enforce the RMA’s gate policy, but he said enforcement is problematic because it’s not clear who’s entitled to access and who’s not. He told Danise Hetland, the RMA’s assistant general manager, who was present at the session, that he wanted to clean up the tangle of issues “so we don’t have to touch it again.”
They discussed access by Village residents (who belong to their own association), the new development homes (which will have multiple associations) and even access by people connected with the Murieta Equestrian Center (part of the Rancho Murieta district).
Hetland said the problems are addressed by the Mutual Benefit Agreement, a development document signed by the developers of a decade ago but binding on present and future developers.
“The MBA gives them access; they pay full dues ... just like an RMA member,” she said of residents of the new developments. “In the MBA, it also says that their CC&Rs have to be consistent with ours. So, it’s gonna be pretty seamless. It provides for a mechanism for, if someone ... who lives in the Retreats breaks a rule at a lake or a park, there’s a mechanism set up in there where they can be fined, and there’s a special committee. And then the reverse is true. If someone speeds on a Retreats street, there’s something set up in there about it.
“So I don’t see that as being a problem at all.”
Director Les Clark pointed out that the county-approved Murieta Gardens development, across Murieta Drive from the Village, isn’t a party to the MBA – and neither is Murieta Village, whose residents have enjoyed access behind the gates since the first days of the community. Clark said it’s important that RMA trace the lineage of policies like that so a consistent, defensible approach can be taken.
Security Chief Paul Wagner said he wants his officers to be on sure footing when an unhappy person begins arguing “their civil rights, their 4th or 14th amendment rights, and all those other things that people do when you wear a uniform like this and tell people to leave.”
CSD General Manager Darlene Thiel said she’ll reach out to the RMA staff to begin the conversation.
At the Communications meeting, Director John Merchant repeated a suggestion that CSD hold joint meetings with the RMA.
The community doesn’t have a coordinated way to address the development process, just like it can't address issues with traffic on Scott Road, an example he used at the CSD board’s goal-setting session last month.
“There’s no legitimate way to voice common interests to the county,” Merchant said. “And there’s no way to get stuff done that doesn’t physically fall within the parameters of one organization or the other.”
The most powerful statement Rancho Murieta could make to the county is to issue a joint statement from the CSD and RMA, Merchant said. “To my knowledge, we have never, ever done that,” he added.
With development approved or planned, Merchant said Rancho Murieta is on its way to being a community of 9,000 or 10,000 residents. “That’s a fairly decent-sized town," he said. "And we don’t have a town structure. And we never will.”