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Rather than enact new, difficult requirements for members to be granted exclusive uses of common area, the Rancho Murieta Association board of directors voted Tuesday night to delay any action on the rules change while it explores alternatives.

Director Dick Cox suggested the board take questions about the change to the state Department of Real Estate, a move backed unanimously by the board.

The issue helped draw one of the biggest crowds in months, about 30 people.

The CC&Rs allow the board to grant members with certain types of lots the ability to lease up to 1,200 square feet of adjoining common area for uses that range from a propane tank enclosure to a swimming pool.  A 2006 state law addressed the granting of exclusive uses, calling for approval by 66 percent of an association's members to grant one. 

The RMA felt the state law did not apply here until neighbor Wilbur Haines took the RMA to Small Claims Court and won there and on appeal.

Over the course of an hour, a handful of neighbors offered comments in support of exclusive use, including three area Realtors, who said a lengthy moratorium on granting exclusive use has hurt the value of small-lot properties that don't already have the extra land.

Realtor Karen Hoberg said potential buyers looking at these properties back away because they need the extra land for safety fencing for a pet or a child.

Realtors Denise Shanahan and Matt Corsaut agreed, Shanahan adding, "Values are dropping on those houses, absolutely."

Neighbor Carl Gaither, saying he was coming at the question from a different direction, challenged the RMA's charge for the leased land -- $2 a square foot -- when raw land starts at about $50 a square foot.  The RMA also has a range of fees for use of the land, ranging from zero for a propane tank enclosure to $5,000 for a swimming pool.

The board's plans for the 2010 budget were challenged by Director Andy Keyes, the association's treasurer.  He distributed a statement to the media and used it as the basis of his comments to the board.

Keyes said the budget included plans to broadcast a sports channel -- at a cost of $3 per household per month -- even though the idea hadn't gone through the proper committee approval channels.   He said it was a decision of "the board president and a couple of his friends."

He especially objected because the RMA didn't know what the channel would cost in subsequent years of a multi-year contract, and the board would be obligating members to the charges.

The charges were being offset by a surplus in the current budget, which Keyes suggested be returned to members in the form of a rebate -- about $91 per household.

In the end, the board approved a budget that did not include the cable channel.  It leaves dues unchanged.  The question of how to handle the surplus was left unresolved.

See deeper coverage of these topics and the whole meeting in the live blog, below.  Here are times for the various topics in the blog:

6:32 p.m. -- Presentation on Murieta Townhouses Inc. CC&R changes
6:59 p.m. -- Exclusive use discussion and vote
8:11 p.m. -- Board receives outside company's report on RMA cable operations
8:28 p.m. -- Board approves new fine schedule for multiple vehicle violations
8:47 p.m. -- Director Andy Keyes calls 2010 budget improper

Martha Glunt's picture
Joined: 07/29/2007
Posts: 192
Post rating: 421

Thank you for the LiveBlog...

While I couldn't make it to tonight's meeting, I'm very appreciative of you having the LiveBlog so those of us at home (and seated Directors, during the meeting!) could follow along and comment!

Doug Lewis's picture
Joined: 08/08/2007
Posts: 165
Post rating: 322

outside cable

  At last nights meeting board members asked Mr Harmon about ATT availablility.  He stated although it was a good idea,  it costs too much.  Has a study been done on this or is there a recent report outlining the costs?  Just curious as ATT seems to be expanding its optic service all around us to places as far as Placerville,  and Rancho Cordova is listed as having it.  This service , called U-verse , offers 26 HD channels, fast channel search, 4 channel recording capability so it sounds similar to satellite.

I don't  know anything  about cable installation costs but a web search shows average costs of laying optic cables from 16,000 to 100,000 per mile.  For rural areas it seems to be around 40,000 to 50,000 per mile for underground.  One Washington state project put total installation costs at 40,000 per mile for aerial installation.    I don't believe these costs include all the electronics.  The number of fibers installed can alter the cost and that was based on a 24 fiber line.  I guess new technology is decreasing the number of lines needed through multi wave technology (which is all way beyond what I understand). 

It is understandable that a company like ATT might say it is cost prohibitive for them to pay for bringing cable to RM at their own expense but have they ever been asked what costs they would be willing to bear if it was done in partnership with RM? 

Last night it was discovered that  85,000 was almost allocated to buy the Giants channel out excessive budget reserves. (I believe that was the amount)    That amount might  lay a couple miles of cable.  The total excess in reserves is said to be 250,000 and that amount could possibly lay miles of cable, if it is indeed already to Rancho Cordova. 

Presently fiber is getting less costly  and AT&T seems to want to keep expanding the area it serves.  Perhaps a partnership approach and a cost study is already complete and I may be totally wrong about what the costs would be.   It just seems that bringing a service into the community that would fulfill the MBA and would allow RMA to be relieved from running its own cable service makes sense if it is at all possible.   Even if outside cable cannot be utilized at this time,  it would also seem prudent that any upgrading to our present system should work towards meshing  with outside systems such a AT&T with hopes it will soon be available.

Is there info the board or communications committee has available that explains this without getting into transducers and giga things that most of us don't understand? 

Doug Lewis


Doug Lewis

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

AT&T U-verse


My question would be why would RMA contribute $$$  to partner with AT&T to get U-verse out here??? It's their business and if they think the market at RM is big enough they would run the fiber out here.  Obviously that is not the case at the present time.  If  RMA used dues money to help pay for the extension, that would mean all RMA members paid.   Dish subscribers would not want to buy U-verse from AT&T unless it was a better deal, but would be paying for the infastructure.  If it were to happen,what would RMA members get out of such a deal.  Its AT&T's property and they set the rules.

Sounds like a good deal for AT&T and a bad deal for RMA..

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