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Here's a video of Tuesday night's RMA meeting. Click the arrow to play. (48 minutes)

A master plan for community trails, given initial OK by the Rancho Murieta Association board in August, won a final unanimous approval Tuesday night, en route ultimately to Sacramento County planners. 

The map, part of development considerations for Rancho Murieta, included changes developed in consultation with the Community Services District, which wouldn’t back the RMA’s August plan, saying it wasn’t complete.

The changes, outlined by General Manager Greg Vorster, include several additional natural and paved trails:

  • Add a paved trail to the Residences East and West, developments that have county approval to be built at the northwest end of Rancho Murieta, near Stonehouse Park.
  • Add a paved trail from the Country Club to De La Cruz Drive.
  • Add a natural trail below the Granlees estate.
  • Add a connection from the Granlees Dam to a trail that connects to Village B, which is proposed between the 3rd and 4th holes and the Cosumnes River.
  • Add a natural trail behind Lake Chesbro to the water treatment plant. 

President Bob Lucas asked if the trail proposed to be added to the Residences developments would be funded by developers. Vorster said the county has approved the maps for those developments already, so funding for the trail would probably have to come from the RMA or from the homeowners’ association that oversees that development.

After Vorster’s brief presentation, Mark Pecotich, president of the CSD, said Vorster’s amendments addressed some of the pieces he thought were missing during the CSD’s first consideration of the plan. Pecotich said an equestrian easement along Stonehouse Road has been abandoned because some neighbors have extended their backyards into the easement, and it’s probably not worth the fight to try to reclaim the land.

Vorster said he hoped to get the map to the CSD for action next month and to the Parks Committee in the new year. After that, it would go to the county.

Upgrade of playground equipment is approved

The board approved spending up to $115,980 from reserves to improve playground equipment at the community’s parks.

The plan, which is based on the promise of substantial end-of-year discounts from an equipment supplier, calls for spending most of the money at Stonehouse and Clementia parks and lesser amounts at other parks, if available discounted equipment lines up with needs at the other parks.

“They get slow in these last months of the year,” Danise Hetland, assistant general manager said, explaining why the supplier is offering a 40 percent discount. “It’s not their entire catalogue (on sale); it’s just a select few, but it works really well for what we need.”

Holiday activities coming up

  • The Toy and Food Drive is going on through Dec. 18. Bring non-perishable food items and new, unwrapped toys to the RMA Building to benefit the Elk Grove Unified School District Healthy Start program.
  • There are more than two buses full of Murietans heading to San Francisco for the holiday bus trip Dec. 6, and you can still sign up. The buses leave Rancho Murieta at 9 a.m. and drop everyone at Union Square before landing back here at 9:30 p.m. The cost is $43. Call 354-3500 if you’re interested.
  • The community’s annual holiday lights contest will be judged Dec. 11-18. You don’t need to register; just have your lights looking their best those evenings. Winners will be announced at the board’s meeting Dec. 19.

In other business...

  • The directors leaving the board this month thanked the community and the members of their committees. “It’s been, I would say, a pleasure most of the time,” said Sam Somers Sr., who has headed the Architectural Review Committee. He said the community is blessed to have directors the caliber of the ones serving on the RMA board. Tim Maybee thanked staff. Addressing residents, he said, “You truly need to know staff at all levels – it’s a shoestring budget; they do extraordinary work.” Board President Bob Lucas offered similar thanks and tipped his cap to the longtime president who preceded him, Jim Moore.
  • As of Tuesday night, the RMA election had received 862 ballots and was within 21 ballots of having a quorum, said Maybee, the Nominating Committee chair. The results will be announced at the association's annual meeting Nov. 30.
  • General Manager Greg Vorster said Frisbee golf will be added to the new Greens Park once the initial building permit is wrapped up. Also in the park’s future, he said, will be a gate that can be locked at night.
  • Vorster reported that meetings are continuing on water quality in the lakes, following the August fish kill at Laguna Joaquin. Experts have come in to address three meetings, he said, with the goal of developing a long-term plan to manage the lakes.
  • The board approved spending up to $22,000 to buy a used replacement for the 17-year-old Compliance vehicle, which has 261,000 miles on it.
  • There were eight people in the audience, including three RMA board candidates – Stephanie Bianchi, Jim Crowder and Tom Reimers – and two directors from the Community Services District.

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