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At its meeting Wednesday, the Rancho Murieta Community Services District responded to concerns the Rancho Murieta Association board expressed the night before about the CSD’s proposed DUI vehicle-stop policy. The board also took further steps on its water-shortage contingency plan.

CSD legal counsel and directors made these points on the DUI policy:

  • Arrests for driving under the influence are currently made in the gated community.
  • Golf carts are covered by state DUI law.
  • The CSD wants the RMA to pass a rule requiring vehicles to stop in response to an amber light displayed by a Security patrol vehicle.

The board approved a water shortage contingency plan to cover drought, and heard about a map of back area bike trails that will assist Sac Metro fire and Security personnel in emergency situations.

Coverage of the RMA and CSD board discussions of the proposed DUI vehicle-stop policy is available here.

Water planning

The board unanimously approved a final version of the water shortage contingency plan and funded a study to look at updating water use factors.

The water shortage contingency plan includes a tracking model that will give the board guidance about "how and when to call a drought, and at what stage," General Manager Ed Crouse said. There are four  stages in the plan.

The draft version of the plan was reviewed at last month's CSD meeting and published on the CSD web site. No public comments were received, and board comments were addressed in the final version, Crouse said. The final plan appears in the board meeting packet on the CSD web site.

The usage study will examine "true water use" in the community, Crouse said. The 750-gallon-per-day equivalent dwelling unit measure of use was established in the early 1990s. "We know from a historical perspective that that is trending downward, but we don't know where it's bottoming out," Crouse said. The study will project where water use will be in the future, and "we can add safety factors … to give us confidence that we're not going to be short in the future if usage ramps back up,"  he said. The water factors study will be done by a consultant at a cost of  $23,000. A related $11,400 normalization study will compare water usage by month, taking into account climate factors, changes in price and other factors.

Emergency response for trail accidents

Security is working with the Murieta Trail Stewardship and Sac Metro Fire to coordinate
emergency response procedures for accidents on the mountain bike trails after two
incidents required helicopter evacuations.

Mark Pecotich of Murieta Trail Stewardship told the board that mapping, use of checkpoints and GPS coordinates, and a public education program are measures being implemented to reduce response times. Pecotich said the teenager injured in the Labor Day accident is "doing just fine now" and returned to school within two days of the accident.

Pecotich responded to a liability concern raised at a Security Committee meeting earlier this month  by saying that under California law "the landowner is held harmless from any responsibility of falling anywhere. … It's the person who did the act that's responsible for their own accident."

The trail stewardship emerged publicly in the last year as a group of community volunteers who have built a dozen miles of trails in Rancho Murieta.

In brief

  • The CSD Candidates Night is Oct. 25 at the CSD Building. The three candidates for two board seats in the November election are Mike Martel and incumbents Betty Ferraro and Steve Mobley.
  • Curbside e-waste collection is scheduled for Oct. 1.
  • The board approved the purchase of a used dump truck for  $31,337 and paving work for a levee road at the wastewater treatment plant at a cost not to exceed $24,680.
  • The board approved an amendment to General Manager Ed Crouse's contract, increasing his current annual salary from $156,880 plus a car to $166,500, with no car. The salary increase is effective July 1, 2012,  and the car will become a pool vehicle Nov. 1. Director Betty Ferraro was the sole vote against the contract amendment.
  • The board approved agreements related to grants the CSD has received from government agencies for a water reuse feasibility study and construction of an augmentation well.

John Hein's picture
Joined: 08/07/2007
Posts: 353
Post rating: 417


I'm unsure that even if the RMA passes a "rule" requiring residents to stop for un-deputized officers that it holds water. It seems to me that there is still no legal ground for them to do so. They are not peace officers and even with a RMA rule I don't believe they have the power to pull anyone over. Is there anyone out there who can shead light on that issue? Wilber?

John Hein

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

"stop rule"

John, I agree there's nothing "CSD* can do to you for declining to stop.  As I grasp it the idea is that they could report you to RMA by looking up your plate number and RMA would then fine you for violating ITS rule.

So it's a question of whether RMA has the authority to enact such a rule, rather than one of whether CSD non-peace-officer personnel have authority to make you stop.

Does RMA have such authority?  It's a question of first impression AFAIK but I'd say there's a good chance they do.  The Cal Supremes have been pretty explicit about granting HOA Boards broad leeway in regulating behavior under their CC&R authority - which is very broad and open ended.

"Section 7. Association Rules .
(a) Rule-making Power. The Association Board may, from time to time, act pursuant to subparagraph (b) to propose, enact and amend rules and regulations of general application to the Owners of Lots within Rancho Murieta. Such rules may concern, but need not be limited to:
(i) matters pertaining to use of the Common Areas and Common Facilities;
(ii) architectural control and the rules submitted by the Architectural Review Committee;
(iii) the conduct of disciplinary proceedings in accordance with article XII, section 6
(iv) regulation of parking, pet ownership and other matters subject to regulation pursuant to article VII hereof;
(v) minimum standards of maintenance of landscaping or other improvements on any
(vi) any other subject or matter within the jurisdiction of the Association as provided in this Declaration and the Association Bylaws.
Notwithstanding the foregoing grant of rule making authority, the Association Rules shall not be inconsistent with or materially alter any provision of, or the rights, preferences and privileges of Members as set forth in, the Articles or Bylaws of the Association, the Articles and Bylaws of MTI (if applicable) or this Declaration. In the event of any material conflict between any Association Rule and any provision of the Articles, Bylaws or this Declaration, the provision contained in the Articles, Bylaws or Declaration (as the case may be) shall prevail."

IMNSHO CSD will not do anything of substance to increase DUI enforcement unless and until the voters press them or compel them to implement their latent powers to establish a police force with statutory peace officers.  And the open containers in the local movers and shakers'; golf carts tell me that ain't gonna happen.

Jerry Pasek's picture
Joined: 12/13/2007
Posts: 135
Post rating: 191



According to state law, ANYONE driving a motorized vehicle (golf cart, motorcycles/bikes included) ANYWHERE (including your driveway or cart paths/fairways) is subject to a DUI arrest if so deemed by authorities. What CSD is requesting from RMA is a rule that states if you don't stop and rush home, into the house and don't respond,  it will be a violation and an RMA fine that can be imposed...your choice. These are RMA streets and their authorization to "attempt a stop" is what is missing at present and this is similar to other HOA rules and practices.


Jerry Pasek

Steven Mobley's picture
Joined: 08/07/2007
Posts: 261
Post rating: 325

DUI Incidents Increasing

I would like to add to what my esteemed CSD collegue has just stated. The "amber light" stops being proposed would be very limited in scope. They would only be used for DUI / Reckless driving within RM, period. This is for our SAFETY. They would NOT be used for any other purpose, period, and their use would be very closely monitored. My hope is that this could be a future RMA rule. I also would like to see it used as a "pilot" program and subject to suspension / revocation, if deemed too over-reaching. The Joint Security committee could have oversight, along with the security chief, CSD BOD / RMA BOD.  This is an important safety issue, which should be addressed without further delay.

Check the local news for DUI issues. They're increasing everyday and are closer to home than most residents here realize.

Steven Mobley - Director

Rancho Murieta Community Services District

Shelley Wright's picture
Joined: 10/14/2007
Posts: 110
Post rating: 78


I'd rather see them attempting to stop drunk drivers instead of chasing down, and pinning drivers in their cars that they think didn't come to a "complete" stop.


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