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The Rancho Murieta Association says Murieta Village residents must begin paying $62 a month if they want to use facilities behind the gates. It's part of an effort to develop a coherent policy for Murietans outside the gates using amenities funded by those inside the gates, the RMA says. The RMA board is scheduled to address the issue at its May meeting.

A letter sent this week to the Murieta Village Association by Greg Vorster, RMA general manager, itemizes the long list of charges that make up the $139 monthly dues of RMA members, and it breaks out fees for Village residents totaling $62.40. Village residents have their own association and private amenities and aren't members of the RMA.

“People who use the facilities should equally pay to maintain the facilities,” Vorster said in a telephone interview Friday.

His letter says the fee would be collected annually – and adjusted annually based on the RMA’s budget. Village households paying the fee would get a vehicle bar code, the letter says.

“The RMA board, based on their discussion at the May meeting, will determine when all existing bar codes currently issued to the Village will be shut off,” the letter says. “Any Village resident currently listed as a guest by an RMA resident will still be given access through the non-resident gate, however, the Village residents will need to be accompanied by the RMA resident when using RMA amenities.”

The letter adds that the notion of a one-time park construction fee has been discussed by the RMA board, but the board is currently leaning toward only charging maintenance fees.

Barb Vaith, manager of the Murieta Village Association, said the RMA’s letter was just received and the Village association hasn’t developed a response yet. The letter asks for any response in writing by May 10. 

According to the RMA letter, Village board members told the RMA that few Village residents use RMA amenities.

The issue surfaced publicly in October 2015, when a contingent of RMA directors and staff visited the Village to explain why they were considering fees for Village residents. The room was crowded, and it was not a friendly crowd.

At that session, then-Director Tim Maybee said RMA needed a consistent fees policy to cover use of amenities by those who aren’t RMA members. As an example, he cited the Murieta Inn, then under construction – an example he later withdrew, claiming he’d misspoken – but there is a residential development called Murieta Gardens that has county approval for almost 100 homes immediately south of the hotel, potentially posing the same issues.

This letter, Vorster said on the phone, “is a continuation of that thought process,” addressing concerns about development outside the gates and its access to RMA-funded amenities.

“At that time, we explained to them that this was coming down the pike,” Vorster said of the 2015 Village meeting. “We promised them that as we went forward that before we did anything, that we would notify them. And so that’s what we’re doing now.” 

The Village has 189 mobile home sites and its own pool and clubhouse. With Rancho Murieta Airport, it was Rancho Murieta's first piece of development, in the early 1970s.

Vorster said even though these same issues have been raised about the Villas, non-RMA members inside the gate, the board is not taking steps to address that.

From the letter, here is the list of amounts charged RMA members and proposed charges to Village residents:

  2018 RMA dues Village component
Administration $26.22 $9.20
Architectural 5.71 .00
Communications 1.57 .00
Common area maintenance 43.05 15.06
Compliance 2.74 1.00
Parks maintenance 17.98 17.98
Recreation 1.60 1.00
Shop/support 20.10 12.06
Street maintenance 17.37 6.10
Oak trees 2.66 .00
TOTAL $139.00 $62.40


Dave Sigler's picture
Joined: 03/22/2017
Posts: 4
Post rating: 5

Opt Out ?

Are we Village residents going to be given the chance to opt out ?  Speaking only for myself, I don't care if I ever set foot inside the gates...nothing of interest for me...certainly nothing worth paying for.

Beth Buderus's picture
Joined: 08/03/2007
Posts: 926
Post rating: 706

No need to Opt Out

The way I read the article...if you don't pay the fee, you won't receive a bar code.  So if you have no need to come into RM North or South then there's no problem.  If you have family or friends, they would just call you in.  No problem, no need to pay just to visit friends & family.

Beth Buderus's picture
Joined: 08/03/2007
Posts: 926
Post rating: 706

Am I okay with this

Am I okay with the proposal, no.  I know money is tight for many seniors and $60+ dollars a month is just too much to add to their budget.

RM.com's picture
Joined: 06/19/2007
Posts: 27724
Post rating: 1387

Opt in, not opt out

Beth's reading of this is the way it was explained to us: If you're not interested in access, you don't need to do anything.

Myrna Solomon's picture
Joined: 07/31/2007
Posts: 427
Post rating: 745

Non residents must always be with residents!

Beth, I believe we should always remind residents that except for going to a house, non-residents NEVER should be at any amenities without a resident.  Especially at our lakes, which is a big problem..

Myrna Solomon

Beth Buderus's picture
Joined: 08/03/2007
Posts: 926
Post rating: 706

Very true

Very true Myrna!

Frank Pumilia's picture
Joined: 08/08/2007
Posts: 134
Post rating: 187

If some in the Village do not

If some in the Village do not use the facilities inside the gates, do not get a"sticker".   As for it being a burden expense wise for some Village seniors,

I'm sure it is also an expense born by some seniors inside the gates and  they never use these facilities, but it is part of the dues because "the facilities " are available and you are free to use them.    These folks do not have the option of "opting out"  If someone not a member of RMA is using the facilities they need to pay their share ......

I have never understood how the RMA allowed the Villa Residents to use all these things without some reasonable payment.....need to write the same notice 

To them and put on notice all prospective developers of housing across the Highway 

Nancy Darden's picture
Joined: 10/21/2007
Posts: 52
Post rating: 53

a view from the other side of the road

Taken from the letter I wrote to Mr. Vorster-

I live in the Village and received notice of your proposed fee schedule for Village resident use of amenities within the gated portion of Rancho Murieta. I have been a resident here for 25 years, 22 of those behind the gates in RM South so I can see both sides of this issue. I moved to the Village when I met the age restriction. I am perhaps not the “average” resident as I still work full time and do not have grandchildren living in the community. I occasionally use the lakes and parks for hiking and kayaking, on average 4 times a month in the course of a year.

While I am in agreement that we should pay our fair share in maintenance of the amenities we use, I feel that a better solution would be a “fee for use” rather than a lump sum. Asking senior residents on a fixed income to pay an annual sum of $748.80 is basically a non-choice for them. I myself would not be able to produce that sum of money in a one-time fee. One wonders if that is not your exact intent?

Breaking down the monthly RMA dues into a daily number comes to $4.63/day. The monthly charge proposed (but again, paid annually) for Village residents would break down to $2.08/day. So, you are asking us to pay nearly half of what an RMA resident pays, yet it is VERY unlikely anyone living in the Village is using amenities unsupervised 15 days of the month.  

I propose that you consider some sort of punch card or the equivalent that we purchase. Similar to the “amenity access pass system” mentioned in the Bylaws Article VI section 1. Perhaps in $20 increments. At $2/day, that would allow 10 days of access. This way, Village residents can budget their use of the parks and lakes to what they can afford. Forget the bar code-we can use the visitor lane and present the card. That way, we are allowed to use the parks and such, but only have to pay for what we actually use. Village residents who visit family frequently can continue to come through on the guest list. If they want to go unescorted by a resident to a park or lake, then they will have to have a card as well that they can present to a security officer if asked. I highly doubt this particular group of people will abuse this system.

I feel this is a much more fair, equitable and neighborly solution. After all, Village residents have had unrestricted access behind the gates since the gates were built in the 1970’s. And the fact that you have non-RMA residents living inside the gates who DO NOT have to pay a dime creates a scenario that honestly smacks of ageism. It begs the question- why us? It feels like you have set up a small, fragile group of people as an example so you have  some sort of legal standing when the Gardens development is finally built.



Nancy Darden



Jan Kays's picture
Joined: 05/06/2008
Posts: 115
Post rating: 111


I live in the gates....am a senior, eligible for the Village, but rarely leave my home due to myriad reasons....wish I could opt out.  I live so close to the gate we put barely any use on the small amount of road we travel when do leave the house. And we haven't had the pleasure of visiting our lovely parks and lakes....again for multiple reasons.....so why am I being charged.  I also want to opt out. 

Seriously....I can honestly say that we only went to the food trucks once last year, only get to an 'event' about once a year, and maybe get the dogs to the dog park about once every 18 months.  I understand that they may not want or need the amenities on this side, but that is a HUGE amount of money to pay at one time for access to get to the dog park.

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