By Mary-Justine Lanyon
David Dahl, president of the Arrowhead Lake Association board of directors, once again tried to get the message across to the members: Although the members voted in 2020 to adopt a bylaw prohibiting short-term rental clients from accessing ALA property, the judge presiding over the lawsuit in San Bernadino County has ordered ALA to not enforce that bylaw amendment. His order stated that the bylaw was inconsistent with the 1964 Agreement.
The board was advised by legal counsel that, under the terms of the preliminary injunction, ALA should not prohibit dock owners from allowing access to their docks by any properly registered guest.
There are currently 129 docks owned by members whose homes are registered with the county as short-term rentals. Those STR clients must be registered on the owner’s account and must purchase wristbands from ALA. The STR clients may not use any type of watercraft on Lake Arrowhead.
“Some people,” President Dahl said at the June 24 meeting, “have said we should forget what the judge said. Do you know what the judge’s sanctionability is? It is not in the best interest of ALA to piss off the judge. An appeals court would say, ‘Seriously – you’re going to thumb your nose at the judge?’
“It’s best to abide by the judge’s ruling. There are just three plaintiffs. One day this will be resolved. I hope then the community can go back to a peaceful existence.”
In his general manager’s report, Bob Mattison reminded ALA members about the trails cleanup day, being called Happy Trails Day, on July 29. Volunteers will convene at three locations: the ALA marina, Burnt Mill Beach Club and Tavern Bay Beach Club at 8:30 a.m. Work will take place from 9 a.m. to noon when lunch and beverages will be available at Burnt Mill Beach Club. Happy Trails Day will be open to ALA members and their guests; volunteers can sign up on the website.
“We’ll have specific projects identified,” Mattison said, noting volunteers will be able to sign up for specific projects.
Meanwhile, the association has people dedicated to train maintenance. “They have addressed most of the significant safety problems,” Mattison said. “Some of the trails are narrow. There were branches that needed cleaning up.”
Mattison also reported that excavation has taken place at Grass Valley park where the playground will go. The company ALA purchased the equipment from will install it but they can’t get to it until the middle of July.
“Wasn’t there a hiccup with the excavation at Grass Valley?” President Dahl asked. Mattison said they discovered three wells they were unaware were there.
“We looked into the history with LACSD (Lake Arrowhead Community Services District). One is only 20 feet deep. The other two are relatively deep and were capped by LACSD. It remains to be seen what the final treatment of them will be. But they won’t delay the playground.”
Director Denise Loxton noted that the wells would be on the agenda of the LACSD board of directors meeting on June 27. The decision, she said, would be whether LACSD would split the cost of properly abandoning the wells or whether ALA would pay the full estimated cost of $37,000.
Technically, Mattison said, they are LACSD wells but, because ALA has a vested interest, “we suggested splitting the cost.”
(Editor’s note: Because there was not a quorum at the June 27 LACSD meeting for the well issue, the matter was tabled with no discussion.)
Following considerable discussion, the ALA board voted to approve the installation of a boulder at Grass Valley park acknowledging those who made donations “representing approximately 90 percent of the funds raised from individual members.”
During member comments, Scott Rindenow said that “it makes no sense to spend more money on an engraved boulder when there are huge costs associated with this project that were not anticipated. I suggest you give all donors a certificate of appreciation. Put this to rest.”
Roberta Rindenow described the boulder as a “self-serving, self-aggrandizing project. I don’t want monuments with names all over ALA property. This would set a precedent for the future. We’re not a memorial park – we’re a forest setting.”
Kathi Rothner expressed a different opinion: “It is true that everyone whose name is on the plaque gave feely and didn’t know a plaque was coming. I think people who gave a certain amount of money should be honored in some way. The boulder is appropriate – trees will grow around it.”
During the directors’ discussion of the agenda item, Director Chris Wilson noted that “the park wasn’t going to happen without member donations – a lot of people were against it – so I think recognizing the members is the right thing to do.” And President Dahl said that “the generosity of the community should be acknowledged.”
Secretary-Treasurer Alan Kaitz, participating on Zoom, said that “the community got together and accomplished something that should be recognized. It sets an example of what we can do without member fees having to go to it but can go to the maintenance of buildings and trails.”
Director Eran Heissler wondered why the issue was even being debated. “As Alan said, it’s the right thing to do.”
In the end, the vote was positive to spend an amount not to exceed $1,800. Directors Kaitz, Heissler, Wilson and Dahl voted yes; Director Loxton voted no and Director Bud Macer abstained.