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After a hiatus of more than two years, Rancho Murieta’s Joint Security Committee returned Tuesday to discuss a range of issues with the community's key organizations.  The largest part of the meeting was spent discussing the use of undeveloped land for a network of trails.

Represented at the meeting were the Community Services District, the Rancho Murieta Association, the Country Club, Murieta Village and development interests.  The group agreed to meet quarterly. There were nine people in the audience.

Among the topics covered in the 90-minute session were intrusion on Country Club property, use of surveillance cameras and the possibility of meetings to welcome new Murietans to the community and to explain the rules.

Mark Pecotich of the Murieta Trail Stewardship offered a presentation on the group’s work.

Some of the presentation’s points:

  • The group has more than 30 members who have built more than 14 miles of trails in Rancho Murieta’s undeveloped land, trails used every week by hundreds of pedestrians and bicyclists.
  • The trails started occurring naturally in the 1980s, as Murietans began using the land.  In the 1990s, Murietan Roger Brandt began constructing trails.
  • It would have cost $150,000 to $750,000 to develop 14 miles of trails -- but this was done by volunteers, at no cost to the community or land owners.
  • State Civil Code 846 protects land owners from liability lawsuits brought by people using the land.  Signage, trail names, trail maps and trail patrols -- introduced by the trails group -- help mitigate the risks further.
  • The group’s trail map and trail names helped the fire department assign GPS mapping to the locations.
  • Trails have served as natural fire breaks, helping defeat grass fires.

Murietan John Sullivan, representing development interests, called the group’s work tremendous but expressed reservations about the future.  Sullivan is believed to be negotiating with the Pension Trust Fund to purchase the undeveloped North land.

Joint Security Committee

Mark Pecotich of the Murieta Trail Stewardship gave a presentation on the group's work.

“... I think the issue is when those lands develop ... on the North, that they’re not going to have somebody walk down to the Board of Supervisors meeting and say, 'Hey, these are all trails that RMA and the community have all approved.'  Because they’re not.  The ones that are approved are the easements that the developer has granted to RMA,” Sullivan said.

Pecotich emphasized the group wants to partner with the land owners.  “The beautiful thing about a trail is it can be moved,” he said.  “So, if there’s some development that wants to go here or there, and it’s right over the top of an existing trail, we’ll move it.”

Given present proposed development densities, “yeah, there’ll have to be a lot of movement,” Sullivan said.

He added, “Nobody wants to have to go down and spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on their own private property, putting their development plan together, and then have people come down and say, ‘Oh, we have an easement across this lot, this lot, this lot, this lot and this lot.’  That’s where the problem is.”

Related information:

North Gate construction

RMA General Manager Nick Arther said the RMA is still trying to get the Pension Trust Fund to accept RMA’s location drawings for the new North Gate.  Despite multiple requests, PTF hasn’t approved the plan, he said, and RMA wants to begin work in the spring.  Arther said PTF has put $1.375 million in escrow to cover its obligations -- $1.4 million minus $25,000 for legal fees.

CSD proposal for DUI enforcement

Bob Wright, Country Club board president, said club members are “really uptight" about CSD’s plans for a policy to address suspected drivers under the influence.

“(Club members) tell me, ad nauseum, that ‘This is why we live here,’” Wright said.  “‘We want to be able to come up to the clubhouse and have a couple of cocktails and go home and not be fearful that a Security officer ... may be lying in wait....’”

Remson said the only thing new in the policy is the introduction of amber lights.  No one intends to try to trap people, he said, and there will be no chases of drivers.

Bruce McMahon's picture
Joined: 08/07/2007
Posts: 92
Post rating: 87

Drunk drivers

Really, Country Club members! A couple of cocktails does not create a drunk. What you're really saying is that you want the privilege to drive drunk. That is not only irresponsible but illegal. Just because our streets are private that doesn't give you the right to put others in harms way.

Janet Nicholson's picture
Joined: 10/28/2007
Posts: 235
Post rating: 380

Me thinks they doth protest too much

This whole argument about the amber lights is really much ado about nothing (different in existing policy).

Really, no one is going to be lying in wait for drunks leaving the club.  Security has way too much to do trying to get parents to believe that their kids are committing vandalism, to waste their time sitting outside the club looking for drunks.  That's just ridiculous and some people's paranoia.  As Chief Remson said, the only thing different is the amber lights indicating they would like the driver to stop.  If they don't voluntarily stop, Security follows them home just like they do now and call CHP when appropriate.  Any country club member who gives up their membership or doesn't go into the club anymore and have a few drinks because of the policy is just looking for an excuse for that action. 

If you are one of the club members that is that worried about getting caught drinking and driving within the gates (where it's just as wrong as outside the gates) and so worried about Security waiting outside the club to catch you, perhaps it's time for you to do some self-evaluation of your drinking habits.  Many people have one too many on rare occasions and hopefully you would get home without hurting yourself or anyone or anything else or, better yet some caring person would help you get home.  Even if you are a regular drinker at the club, that's all anyone wants is for you to get home safely.   Regardless of how fun or funny you think you are, no one else thinks that.  Belonging to a country club is no excuse for being a perpetual drunk or drunk driver.  If you drink responsibly, then why would you care whether or not Security was sitting outside.  And if the club is more worried about being able to serve people who are clearly beyond their capacity in the amount they've had to drink just to make an extra dollar, then I hope the club is looking at increasing their liability insurance.  How does anyone in the 19th Hole know where the intoxicated person is headed?  They could just as easily be out onto Hwy 16 as headed home inside the gates.

I have what I think is a related question.  And, no joke, and not pointing fingers at anyone; I just want to clearly understand the current policy.   As I understand it, the policy is that Security follows the suspected drunk driver home, evaluates them somehow (don't know procedure in this case) and if the suspected drunk driver is determined to be under the influence, Security calls CHP and they are arrested.  Does Security have any leeway to determine that the person is drunk but let them go inside and not call CHP?  I wouldn't think they could pick and choose for whom CHP is called and when they're allowed to pull an "Otis" and just sleep it off.  And what happens if the person flips off Security and goes inside?  Does CHP still get called?

In last week's RVT there was a notation in the Security Logs that Security observed a speeding truck and followed it to the RMA Maintenance Yard, where the occupants of the truck were determined to be (I think) RMA staff (though it doesn't really matter) who had been helping at Blues and Brews and were under the influence.  According to the entry in RVT, CHP was not called and the occupants of the truck were advised to spend the night in the RMA Maintenance Yard sleeping it off.  I don't think I read this wrong, but am hoping there is a reasonable explanation for this.  Otherwise, isn't that action a violation of the policy described above, if I understand it right.  Or does Security get to pick and choose who gets to sleep it off and who goes to jail?

I don't think this can be a pick and choose situation - even though I appreciate that these guys were helping out at Blues and Brews.  And if they were RMA employees and decided once Security left that they were going to head home anyway and then ended up in an accident, doesn't that leave us with potential liability? 

I'm really trying to understand the whole picture here.  If this really is a pick and choose offense, then I made need to change sides in this discussion, because that's not kosher.

And, please don't waste your breath giving my husband grief about this post.  It won't do any good.


Jen Cooper's picture
Joined: 06/06/2012
Posts: 72
Post rating: 96

So what I am hearing . . .

Is that you moved here so you could break the law and no one could do anything about it. Well I am soooooooooooooooo glad you are concerned about your fellow man. Just an FYI if you decide to go to the club and get drunk and drive your self home instead of call for a ride and you hit me, my kid, my dog, my property etc. the laws will in fact still apply to you. There will be NO grace extended to those who do damage, especially god forbid to a person. Also, the clubs blatant disregard for "over serving" is abhorrent. And if I am not wrong it is also illegal. If you are a bartender and you keep serving someone who is visibly intoxicated you and your employer can also be held liable if they choose to drive home, even if it is in "just a golf cart". Just an FYI. And lastly on the trails topic, I think Mr Sulivan may need to look at what is best for the neighborhood and not just his pocket book, something he has not been known to do. People move here specifically for the open natural not overbuilt feel. Most people are not too scared of a few new houses here and there, but, if I am to believe what I have been hearing that is not his wish. We ALL needs to be good stewards of what we are given.


Mark Pecotich's picture
Joined: 09/11/2011
Posts: 11
Post rating: 9

Open Space Safety and Preservation

Hi All - An important part of the Murieta Trail Stewardship's work is education, preservation and protection of the open space. Please consider the following as you and your family enjoy the open space.

Important Safety Rules!

Follow these rules to be safe when you are biking, walking, hiking, riding, or trail running in the open space.

  • Bikers wear your helmets! Don’t ride anywhere – trails or streets – without one!
  • Bring a cell phone to call 911 if you are seriously hurt or see a fire in the open space.
  • Know the trail names and checkpoint numbers so people can find you if you get hurt or lost.
    • All trails have trailhead signs with names. 
    • Use the trail map to locate trails and find your way.
    • Checkpoint signs are red, numbered and have GPS coordinates to help people locate you.
  • Know your limits and ability before riding, hiking or running on a trail. Follow the trail rating system as shown on the trail signs and map:
    • Green circle = Beginner
    • Blue square = Intermediate
    • Black diamond = Advanced
  • Respect other trail users and yield to others
    • Bikers yield to hikers and walkers. Control your bicycle.
    • Hikers yield to dog walkers
  • Go with a friend whenever possible.
  • Stay on the trails and fire roads. Leave no trace.
  • Be aware of rattlesnakes, ticks and other animals that can harm you.
    • If you see a rattlesnake, walk away slowly.
    • Always check yourself for ticks after recreating in the open space

Protect and Preserve The Open Space!

  • The open space is private land that does not belong to the community. Please respect it and allow us to keep using this wonderful community amenity. 
  • Please report any wrong doing, illegal dumping, picnic table or bench vandalism, or destruction of open space lands, trees or wildlife to Security at 916.354.3742.
  • Stay on Rancho Murieta lands! Do not cross through barbed wire fences, go up river or trespass onto rancher and neighbor lands. Please respect our neighbors’ properties and businesses.
  • Travel at your own risk. Know that when you recreate in the open space you are doing so at your own risk. You are responsible for your own actions and injuries should they occur.

We also offer guided hikes, historical information (second only to Naida West's tours that we highly recommend) and bike safety and skills clinics for kids and adults. Email us at murietatrails@att.net if you are interested. Thank you!

Wilbur Haines's picture
Joined: 08/07/2007
Posts: 474
Post rating: 470

Question for John Sullivan

John, you assert that the only legal paths across PTF land are recorded easements in favor of RMA.

Please explain, then, this statement by the developer in my public report, pertinent page posted at http://www.ranchomurieta.com/localnews/DRE%20Floating%20Easement.pdf :

"Members' access to the lakes and river is by existing roads and by floating easement over the developer's lands.  Said easement to be defined at a later date. "

Floating easement, John.  Existing roads.  NOT limited to recorded easements.

Have your sponsors authorized you to repudiate that written authorization to cross developer land?

And where, pray tell,is my "EXISTING ROAD" which I was assured - on exchange for a lot of money -  I can take to get to the river?

Candy Chand's picture
Joined: 08/15/2007
Posts: 304
Post rating: 811

You are right, Wilbur


You are right. Check your inbox for the 2010 (after the Private Property signs went up) email to me from DRE regarding PTF's lawyer's stance on our access. The PTF lawyers know we have access rights. Good luck! :)


955 2027

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