Sunday, December 12, 2004

The Dragon Lady slaps their hands with her ruler for misquotes

Scribe's notes to the reader: When you get two exschoolteachers, three lawyers and one nice guy trying to tell the same story, here is what you get. The Dragon Lady ( so-named by her committee chairs when she was Bored Pres. ( no misspel there) years ago) corrects them and gives them a "c"minus.
SHE SAID:
While there may have been extraneous issues regarding the fences in The Pinnacle, the overriding issue was whether the association could allow a homeowner to construct a fence within association property. Association property extends to the top of slopes. The lots in The Pinnacle were apparently incorrectly graded leaving many lots shallower than the depths depicted on homeowners documents. The homeowners believed they were entitled to the depth depicted by the builder even though those depths frequently encroached on the slope and association property. It is important to note the many areas within the community where homeowner property abuts association property at the top of slope. The board had a duty to protect association property abuting the Pinnacle.
The decision by the board to call for a specified action(vote) on the public school issue was costly and time consuming. Once a month board meetings make it pretty difficult to complete much in a timely fashion as it is.

Jan Glisson
Sent: Saturday, December 11, 2004 4:01 PM
Subject: Re: [COTO] Volunteer Board and Incompetent Board?
About:
Coto de Caza Homeowners association.
and then, only then, does John see the need to explain ---in detail----his opinion. All Coto residents should have access to these conversations...........especially before they buy behind the gates.Joe:
You may be 100% right about mixing apples and watermelons when comparing current events with the Pinnacles case, BUT, how would anyone not on the board at the time or directly involved in the suit have any way of knowing that?
The comparison lies in the secrecy surrounding the dispute and the refusal of the board to discuss the issue in open session or to disseminate any information based on the advice given to them by the lawyers.
The secrecy led to suspicion and skepticism and all sorts of wild accusations.
That is the heart of the comparison I made.
As for cost, there were many people, including myself, who thought the appearance of the Pinnacles ridge line was actually improved when the homeowners moved their fences and never could fully understand why the association was eating up time and money fighting an issue like that and were justifying it by saying the slopes were too geologically unstable to sustain the weight of a wrought iron fence, while all the while, swimming pools and estates are being built on less stable slopes in Laguna, Newport, and Irvine, and possibly even within some parts of Coto as well.
Are geological slope studies required of all residents by the ACC when installing swimming pools? I can point out multiple swimming pools built right to the edge of severe slopes with houses right below.
I just don't buy the argument Joe, never did and perhaps never will. Perhaps if I was privy to what the lawyers were saying, I might have thought differently, but to me, it sounded too much like Nixon's secret plan to end the Vietnam war, never bought it, never will.
You guys just never SOLD the community on the concept.

It still seems to me that you are complaining about secrecy by the current board and its attorneys in exactly the same way people complained about secrecy and hiding behind lawyers when you were on the board. How does the saying go? different clowns, same circus.

The Pinnacle suit, was, I am sure, well intended at its onset and a positive outcome was expected. The actual result was a lot of suspicion and a lot of bad feelings. One can say the exact same thing about Coto CAN. Well intentioned with positive expectations, but subsequent suspicion and bad feelings overshadow any positive results. To me the parallels are quite striking. What the boards (past and present) really have lacked is the ability to SELL their ideas to the community and to give the community some confidence in their ideas and direction. Forcing decisions down peoples throats or telling people they lack competency if they disagree with a position are not effective ways to sell ideas and gain support It is, after all, a community of equals, and community support for ideas should be earned, before the board implements them. How about floating a few trial balloons before changes are voted on.
The only time I can remember this being done was when the board supported building a public school in Coto, but needed a public vote (of Coto residents only) before it could happen. Was not the vote something like 87% against and 12% in favor? It shows just how wrong a board can be when they assume they know what the community wants.
John

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