New Carlsbad Sign

Carlsbad Sign

Today at 5:30 the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce will dedicate and lite the new Carlsbad archway sign.  The design of this sign has been modeled after a sign that was built near the site in the 1930s.   The sign and supporting arch truss system is over 82 feet long and crosses Carlsbad Boulevard at the intersection of Carlsbad Village Drive.  The actual sign area is 31 feet long and 5 feet and 5 inches tall.  It features the “Carlsbad” name on both sides in bold, white letters on a dark blue background.  It is stunning.  The sign should be enjoyed by current and future residence as well as thousands of visitors.

The Carlsbad sign was made possible by hard work by the Chamber and a large contribution by TaylorMade Golf Company.

My real estate office is also in the Village Fair Shopping Center behind Ocean House.  It is great to be able to work in Carlsbad.  Need info on Carlsbad homes for sale, contact Gary Harmon.

 

Swan Lake

Lake San Marcos Trumpeter Swans

Four new swans arrived at Lake San Marcos on Friday afternoon. Their arrival was bitter sweet. These swans were purchased as a living memorial to long time resident Ken Beall. Ken was a well loved man around Lake San Marcos and was the editor of our community newsletter, Quail Call.

These trumpeter swans, largest waterfowl in America, join the many other beautiful swans that call Lake San Marcos home.  These new swans, two pair, are easily distinguished from the other white swans on the lake by their black bills.

Last year one pair of the Lake’s black swans had 4 babies which quickly and amazingly grew to adult size.  We now have 8 beautiful black swans.  By the way, the black swans have red bills.

If you decide to feed the swans, please do not use bread.  There is a vending machine where you can buy food for 25 cents right near the marina.  This is not to raise money, but to protect the health of these magnificent animals.

 

Lake San Marcos Water Level Update

After the 1/2 inch rain that we received this weekend, thought I would measure the water level in Lake San Marcos again.  The lake was only down 9 inches at the most.  With the large run off basin feeding the lake, a .5 inch rain added almost a foot of water.

Water level in increasing with the last rain.

Bad new is that the first rain of the season is the worst for polluting the lake.  As it cleans the streets, trees, etc., it sends all this filth straight into the lake.  That is why the lake use to be 48 foot deep at the dam and is now only 26 foot deep.  Will be nice to get more rain soon and get some cleaner water into the lake.  When the lake actually starts flowing over the dam, it starts cleaning the debris off the surface and sending it on downstream.

See Lake San Marcos water level photo before the rain.

Glamping Put on Hold

After a “NO” vote by the Varadero community, glamping at Lake San Marcos, San Diego, has suffered a setback.

Varadero community votes sets back CDC glamping ambitions.

Glamping has been put on hold.

The glamping sites at Lake San Marcos were constructed encroaching the Varadero homes community”s property.  The owner of CDC, Pino Vitti presented Varadero with a proposal to purchase a small strip of land which would have made the location of the 4 tents ok with the County.  They also agreed to limit glamping to only 4 tents if Varadero approved the prospal.  Varadero residents voted on the proposal and it needed 71 votes to pass.  Last night the vote was counted and the glamping proposal failed to get close to the 71 votes needed to pass.  The Board will notify the County and CDC that Varadero has rejected the entire property line adjustment proposal that would have allowed the four glamping sites to remain as they are currently positioned.

Does that mean an end of glamping?  This writer doesn’t think so and predicts that Mr. Vitti will move the sites and also add more sites to his project.  Did the residents of Varadero just “Cut off their nose to spite their face?”  I think so.

The Lodge at Lake San Marcos

The CDC is currently undergoing a name change.  This week they were approved to do business as “The Lodge at Lake San Marcos.”   The name really makes “no sense” to me.  Seems like there will be a lot of confusion with The Lakehouse at Lake San Marcos and The Lodge at Lake San Marcos.   Also, I thought a “lodge” is somewhere you go to stay and spend the night.  No, in Lake San Marcos it is the Lakehouse.  See what I mean, confusing?

New docks by The Lodge at Lake San Marcos

Photo by Gary Harmon

Regardless of the new name, the CDC has done some good things for the Lake San Marcos and its residents.  Many more are planned for the future.

  • Kayak storage – In June, the Lodge opened kayak storage and was immediately filled to near capacity.  They then began work on an outdoor kayak storage facility.  You can call and make reservations at 760-500-5012.
  • Pools – They have refreshed both pools and hire a professional pool service to make sure everyone has a good recreational experience.
  • Rules and Regulations – Drafts were sent out for people to review and make comments.  I did.
  • Security – Electronic proximity  card locks on all of the gates leading onto the property at the Lodge.  Also, on the gates leading to the pool.  Locks are scheduled to be activated in August.  All of us lake (The Lodge at Lake San Marcos) members will have a new ID Card.

Looking forward to all the new improvements to the community at Lake San Marcos.  And the best news is that all of these changes are helping improve the values of our Lake San Marcos homes.  For more information about Lake San Marcos real estate, contact Gary Harmon.

 

Glamping – Lake San Marcos

Glamping is coming to Lake San Marcos courteous of the Lakehouse Resort.

What is glamping: It is shorthand for glamorous camping; luxury camping.  Going camping, but with glamour. A combination of the two words. It’s like regular camping , but with nicer things than usual, being warmer, and more comfortable.

Photo by Gary Harmon

Photo by Gary Harmon

The above photo is inside one of the four units currently under construction past the campgrounds at Lake San Marcos.  Access to this “Glamorous Camping” will only be by boat.  All units will have electricity and a ceiling fan.  Modern restroom and shower facilities will be nearby.

San Diego residents can get away for a great mountain – lake, outdoors experience without all the hassle and time wasted by a long drive.  Keep checking this website for updates.  Also, check out the photos below of the Lake San Marcos glamping site.

Photo by Gary Harmon

Photo by Gary Harmon

Photo by Gary Harmon

Photo by Gary Harmon

 

Photo by Gary Harmon

Photo by Gary Harmon

 

San Marcos Vent Project

High above beautiful Lake San Marcos on the top of a hill to the southeast, is a new construction project called the San Marcos Vent Project.   This is part of the Carlsbad Desalination Project which will result in the largest desalination plant in the Western Hemisphere.  So far construction phases for the 50 million gallon a day plant and related water delivery system continue to move forward without delays.  This is keeping us here in Lake San Marcos on pace to have this new, drought-proof source available in early 2016.

Recently the vent project’s work hours have increased to meet the deadline for the remainder of the project which runs between Carlsbad on the coast up to San Elijo. Lake San Marcos is a staging area for the San Diego Water Authority. Here is an update:

Work Hours Extended
This Water Authority water pipeline project is under way in the open space south of Lake San Marcos. The contractor is now working 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Depending on progress excavating in hard rock, the contractor may need to begin working up to 24 hours a day, six days a week through March 26.

The extended hours are necessary to meet a critical deadline in late March when two major drinking water pipelines will be taken out of service for ten days. During this ten-day period, the contractor has confirmed he will work 24 hours a day to make the final pipeline connections.

The project will be complete in May 2014. Water service to homes and business will not be interrupted.
To minimize disruptions to nearby residents, the Water Authority has instructed the contractor to install sound curtains and to direct lights only at the work site. Noise monitoring at three locations in the surrounding residential communities will ensure that the contractor’s noise level stays well below the allowable limits for nighttime construction. The contractor will continue to use San Pablo Drive and La Plaza Drive to access the Water Authority’s access road to the project site.

The San Marcos Vent project will provide new flexibility in operating regional water pipelines for a new supply: seawater desalination from the Carlsbad Desalination Project. For more information, contact the Water Authority at (877) 682-9283 Ext 7009.

Information courtesy of Lake San Marcos Communication Association.

Where to See San Diego Christmas Lights 2013

 

San Diego Holiday Christmas Display 2013 courtesy of San Diego family Magazine

1    ALLIED GARDENS, 92120
7048 Hillsboro St. Off Waring and Princess View. Dec. 7-30, dusk-10 pm. Santa will hand out candy canes Dec. 14.  5919 Cloudview Place. 20-ft Mega Tree and 40,000 lights synchronized to 98.5FM. Dec. 1-31, Sun-Th, 5:30-10pm, Fri & Sat, 5:30-10:30pm.

2    CARLSBAD, 92009 
7607 Romeria St. Nicknamed “The Christmas House”. Walk up to see the animated window display, swimming penguins, dancing Santa, 15-ft hot air balloon, animals frolicking in the waterfall and three snow machines. Food drive donations accepted. Dec. 8-31, 5-9 pm.

3    CARMEL MOUNTAIN RANCH, 92128
Fairway Village, east and west sides of Stoney Gate Pl.  80 homes decorated in “Holiday Magic”. Enjoy a microcosm of world peace and brotherly love as many diverse ethnicities are represented. Dec. 1-31, 5:30-10:30 pm.

4    CHULA VISTA, 91910, 91911, 91914, 91915
Whitney St./Mankato. Circle between First and Second Ave. off H St. & 1st Ave. “Christmas Circle.” 55+ homes decorated. Dec. 7-26, 5-10 pm.

5    CLAIREMONT, 92117
Lana Dr. & Jamar. Off Mt. Abernathy Ave. Circular street. 40+ homes decorated. Dec. 7-28.
4670 Norwalk Ave. Off Clairemont Mesa Blvd./Moraga Ave. Dec. 7-Jan. 1, 7-10 pm, weekends 7-11 pm.
5404 Mt. Burnham Dr. Features a 96 channel animated light display transmitted to 98.5 FM. North Pole village display, train and animated figures displayed in garage. A Christmas tree, life-size Santa and more. Dec. 1-31, Sun-Th, 6-10 pm, Fri & Sat, 6-11 pm.

6    EAST SAN DIEGO, 92113 
4641 Craigie St. Off Highway 94 and 47th. Dec. 10-24, dusk-8 pm.

7    EL CAJON, 92021, 92020
Jingle Bell Hill (also known as Pepper Dr. Lights). Solomon Ave./Pegeen Pl. and surrounding area. Off 67 & Bradley. Dec. 8-26, Mon-Th, 6-9 pm, Fri-Sun, 6-10 pm.
11456 Pegeen Pl. “Nightmare Before Christmas” theme, complete with Jack, Sally, Zero, the Mayor & Oogie Boogie. Dec. 9-29, Mon-Th, 6-9 pm, Fri-Sun, 6-10 pm.
1838 El Pico Dr. Off Hacienda Dr. 50th year of decorating the 20-ft. star over 100 ft. Nov. 28-Dec. 31. Also see a 55-ft. train. Dec. 8-31, dusk-10 pm.
1768 Cono Dr. 14-ft spiral tree with 3,200 lights and graphic displays all set to music. Nov. 29-Jan. 1. Sun-Th, 5-10pm, Fri & Sat, 5-11pm.
9777 Valley Ranch Rd. Cul-de-sac with lights programmed to 89.1FM and 87.9FM. Dec. 1-31, 5-10:30pm.

8    LAKESIDE, 92040
10248 Paseo Palmas Dr. 20+ houses nicknamed “Tinsel Town”. Dec. 1-25, 5:30-9 pm.
13518 Appaloosa Dr. 48 channels of lights twinkle to 88.1 FM. Dec. 1-Jan. 1, 5-10pm.

9    LA MESA, 91942
7390 Stanford Ave. Lights on miniature trees, house and lawn. Santa and his reindeer and several giant inflatables. Dec. 1-31, dusk-10 pm.
6266 De Camp Dr. 22-ft tree of light, penguins and more. Lights synchronized to 88.5 FM featuring over 15 Christmas songs. Dec. 1-25, 5-9 pm.

10    LEMON GROVE/LOMITA, 92114 
689 Meadowbrook Dr. Off Jamacha Rd. South of Lemon Grove. Dec. 8-Jan. 1, dusk-10 pm. Santa and Mrs. Claus may be out from Dec. 17-23.
2618 Sheri Lane. Cul de sac turns into Santa Claus Lane each December. Light show starts at 6:30 pm and plays every 30 min. Listen on 89.9 FM. Dec. 1-Jan. 1, 5:30-9:30 pm.

11    OCEANSIDE, 92056
3648 Esplanade St. Watch choreographed lights dance on 99.5 FM. Stop by for a candy cane! Nov. 29-Dec. 31, Sun-Th, 5-10 pm, Fri & Sat, 5-11 pm.
1615 Quiet Hills Dr. Lights synchronized to 10 songs on 87.9 FM. Dec. 1-31, 5-9 pm. www.ChristmasOnQuietHills.com.

12    POWAY, 92064 
12631 Stoutwood St. Off Twin Peaks Rd. & Deerwood St. Nicknamed “The Griswolds.” Dec. 1-Jan. 1, weekdays,  5:30-10 pm, weekends, 5:30-11 pm.
Hickory Ct./Hickory St., 12659 Butterwood Ct. and Rockrose Ct. All off Twin Peaks Rd. & Silverset St. named “Candy Cane Courts.” Entire cul-de-sacs are lit up. Dec. 8-24, 6-9 pm.

13    RAMONA, 92065 
23542 Bassett Way. “Happy Lights Ramona” with 20,000+ lights animated to music broadcast to 106.9 FM. Nov. 29-Jan. 1, Sun-Th, 5:30-10 pm, Fri & Sat, 5:30-11 pm.

14    RANCHO PEÑASQUITOS, 92129 
Oviedo St. Off Black Mountain Rd. “Christmas Card Lane.” Also enter off Twin Trails Dr. & Carmel Mountain Rd. Ellingham St., Renato St., Oviedo St., Twin Trails Dr., Barrymore St., Rotherham Ave., Talca Ave., Talca Ct., Allenbrook Way, Davenport Ave., Amber Sky Ln. Dec. 10-31, dusk-10 pm.

15    SAN CARLOS, 92119 
Block of 7900 and 8000 Hillandale Dr. Off Mission Gorge & Deerfield. Dec. 1-31, 5-9 pm.

16    SAN MARCOS, 92069, 92078 
1639 Knob Hill. Off Nordahl Rd. Between Tam O’ Shanter Dr. & Augusta Dr. 25th year of decorating. 100,000+ lights plus Carnival, Santa Puppy Rescue, North Pole and Santa’s Wild Animal Park themes. Nov. 24-Dec. 23, 5-9 pm. See Santa from 6:30-8 pm from Dec. 13-23.   www.ChristmasOnKnobHill.com
1145 Barham Dr. #20. Santa & Mrs. Claus pass out candy canes in front of a festively decorated house. Nov. 29-Dec. 24, Sun.-Th, 5:30-8 pm, Fri & Sat, 5:30-9 pm.

17    SANTEE, 92071
Sunburst Santee. Tomel Court, off Magnolia. Many homes, Starlight Circle. Dec. 14-26, 7-10 pm.
9835 Pebble Beach Dr. Displays on house and yard set up to music. Dec. 1-31, dusk-10 pm.
9773 Roe Dr. 27,000 Christmas lights dancing to ten songs over 128 computer controlled channels. Dec. 3-31. Sun-Th, 6-10 pm, Fri & Sat, 6-11 pm. Dec. 17, 24, 25 & 31, 6 pm-midnight. Food Bank and American Cancer Society donations accepted. www.DBChristmas.com

18    SERRA MESA/MISSION VILLAGE, 92123 
2621 Raymell Dr. The clash of both holidays! Yard decorated like Halloween Town and Christmas Town from “A Nightmare Before Christmas”. Dec. 8-31, dusk-10 pm.

19    TIERRASANTA, 92124
5306 Belardo Dr. Off Via Valarta & Via Playa De Cortes. 100,000 lights, including many homemade decorations, all sequenced and animated to music. Tune radio to 89.7 FM to hear the lights dance. Nov. 30-Dec. 26, 6-10 pm. www.belardolights.com
11626 Papagallo Ct. Off Colina Dorado or Calle De Vida. Winter Wonderland theme. Dec. 10-Jan. 2, 6-10 pm.
10927 Baroque Lane. A “Winter Wonderland” theme featuring a dozen handcrafted snowmen, a miniature village and many other hand made characters. Dec. 6-28, 6-10 pm.

20 ESCONDIDO, 92025
452 Highland Place. 50,000+ lights sequenced to music. Dec. 1-31, Mon-Fri, sunset-10pm, Weekends sunset-11pm.

21 PARADISE HILLS, 92139
2160 Reo Dr. 10th year of decorating. Free cocoa and smores on Dec. 22, 8pm. Dec. 1-31, 4:30-midnight.

 

COMMERCIAL HOLIDAY LIGHT DISPLAYS
A    Hotel del Coronado 
1500 Orange Ave. Tree in the lobby is beautifully decorated plus 100,000 lights illuminate the resort from Nov. 27-Jan. 5. “Holiday Festival…A Family Celebration” with St. Nick and holiday booths with games and prizes on Dec. 4, 4-7 pm. Free. 619-522-8490. www.hoteldel.com
B    LEGOLAND Holiday Snow Days 
Real snow! Build a snowman with LEGO accessories, LEGO Holiday Village building activity, LEGO Santa and his holiday helpers. Nov. 29-Dec. 31. Nightly tree lighting at 5:30 pm followed by entertainment, fireworks and Santa from Dec. 5-24. 760-918-5346. www.legoland.com
C    Mission Bay Christmas Boat Parade of Lights 
Over 100 vessels. Begins on Quivira Basin. Dec. 14, starts at 7 pm, fireworks at 9 pm. 858-488-0501. www.mbyc.org
D    Oceanside Harbor Parade of Lights 
Boats decorated in holiday lights circle Oceanside Harbor. Dec. 14, 7 pm. 760-722-5751.
 www.oceansideyc.com
E    San Diego Bay Parade of Lights
42nd Anniversary, “Big Bay Toy Parade” theme. Dec. 8 & 15. 5:30 pm. Starts off Shelter Island, goes through the harbor and ends at the Ferry Landing, Coronado.  www.sdparadeoflights.org
F    San Diego Botanic Garden “Garden of Lights”
230 Quail Gardens Dr., Encinitas. 100,000+ lights illuminating the Garden. Dec. 7-23, 26-30, 5-9 pm. Nutcracker display, Poinsettia Garden, marshmallow roasting, live music, holiday crafts. Adults, $14, children 3-12, $6. 760-436-3036.  www.SDBGarden.org
G    San Diego Zoo’s Jungle Bells
Balboa Park. Dec. 13-23, Dec. 25-Jan. 5. Lighted animal figures, bell ringers, nightly tree-lighting ceremony, “The Night Before Christmas” show. 619-231-1515.
www.sandiegozoo.org
H   SeaWorld Christmas Tree of Lights
The Skytower sparkles nightly at 6 pm. Nov. 16-Jan. 4. www.seaworld.com
I   Sights and Sounds of Christmas
San Diego Temple, 7474 Charmant Dr., UTC
 Walk the grounds and enjoy 125,000 lights on nearly two miles of cords. Free. Nov. 30-Jan. 1, 5-11 pm. Enjoy musical performances Nov.30-Dec. 2 & Dec. 7-9; 6,7 & 8pm.
J   Victorian Mansion/The Forward House
108 Ivy St., corner of First and Ivy, downtown San Diego. See this 1905 mansion adorned with thousands of lights. Nov. 28-Jan. 1, 5-10 pm. Santa gives out candy canes to kids of all ages on Dec. 13 from 5:30-8:30 pm. 619-533-7900.
K  Luminaria San Diego
Trees, lampposts, roofs, courtyards all decorated with lights. Along 30th St. and Fern St., from Juniper to Grape to Beech. Dec. 1-31.

Lake San Marcos Bankruptcy Update

As a resident of Lake San Marcos and an avid bass fisherman on the lake, I often have a first hand view of the progress going on around the lake.  I must say that I am constantly impressed with the improvements like the new dock above where I keep my boat.  I believe that Lake San Marcos and the surrounding real estate are in for some very positive growth.  Please read the bankruptcy update by Wayne Widener as published in the Lake San Marcos Community Association Newsletter, Quail Call, December 2013 edition.

“BANKRUPTCY UPDATE
By Wayne Widener
Near the end of this recap, I have some good news to share with you.

Lake San Marcos is emerging from a dark chapter in its history. About nine years ago Matt Dinofia bought the assets of CDC, which owned the recreational facilities and the lake. Matt was a real estate speculator who liked to buy prop-erties, and either flip them quickly, or operate them at minimal expense.

Dinofia found he was unable to flip the properties here at Lake San Marcos, and a long period of physical deterioration began. Requests to fix the sinking docks, the rotting Pavilion, the cracked tennis courts and the scuzzy pools brought little action. Numerous meetings and discus-sions brought few positive results. The facilities and the lake continued to get worse and worse.
John Andrew, the Community Associa-tion President at that time, said, “If he won’t work with us, let’s go after him. It’s our job to try and protect the commu-nity.” With the support of the board, the LSMCA hired a noted local attorney, Ken Lounsbery, to file a lawsuit in state court alleging CDC was in breach of con-tract for its failure to maintain the proper-ty included in the Lake and Lodge Leases.

Knowing that he could not win such a lawsuit, and facing many other problems, Dinofia filed for bankruptcy, using the federal bankruptcy laws to shield him from the Community Association law-suit. At that point the Community Asso-ciation hired another attorney, a specialist in Federal Bankruptcy law, Judy De-scalso, who began representing us in ap-pearances before the federal bankruptcy court judge in San Diego.

CDC filed bankruptcy on August 26, 2010. So we are now entering our fourth year of attending hearings, and filing mo-tions on behalf of the community as the bankruptcy process slowly winds its way through the system. There have been many hearings and many trips to San Di-ego. But our attorneys didn’t go alone. We have always had lake residents in attendance at every hearing involving CDC. Eli Whitney, John Andrew, Jim Murphy, Bob Kreis, Warren Lydecker, Rich La Farge, Lee Herzog, Jim Broach, Harry Bubnack, Don and Carol Alexan-der, and many others have insured that when the judge looked out over the heads of the lawyers…there were always con-cerned citizens in attendance for her to see.

What was revealed by the CDC bank-ruptcy filings was a record of complete incompetence in the management of the CDC assets. CDC has gotten itself into a position, under Dinofia’s ownership, where at one court hearing CDC reported it had less than $1,000 remaining in its bank account. I won’t speculate how, with $800,000 a year in payments from the residents, and few of the incoming bills being paid, why there was less than $1,000 left in the till. Where all the mon-ey went has never been determined, but it is clear it wasn’t being spent to clean the lake or to maintain the recreational facilities.

As an example of why it is difficult to determine where the money went, I earli-er attended a deposition in Los Angeles where Dinofia was required to testify under oath to questioning from lawyers. When asked where a $2 million dollar payment he had received was used, he responded, under oath, he “couldn’t re-member what he had done with that two million.”
To try and get the judge to order Dinofia to perform maintenance on the properties while the bankruptcy proceedings were going on, the Community Association hired a Consulting Engineer to produce a series of reports giving expert testimony to the court that the properties were dete-riorating due to lack of maintenance. To counter these reports, Dinofia would wait until a few days before the next court hearing, and would then nail a few boards on a dock, or putty over and paint rotting wood, and then present “evidence” in court the maintenance problems were being taken care of.

As you can imagine, all this sparring in Federal Court was expensive. At one point the Community Association legal bills were getting to the point where they appeared unsustainable. The President at that time (and currently) was Eli Whit-ney. In an act of bold leadership he said to “continue on the fight….we’ll pay for it somehow.”

When it appeared the Dinofia lawyers were going to be able to stall the court proceedings indefinitely, the Commu-nity Association sought other allies to find a way to bring Dinofia to task. At the same time Dinofia had been thumbing his nose at the residents and many of his creditors, he had also been thumbing his nose at the Re-gional Water Board over requests to do testing and begin cleanup of Lake San Marcos.

There was a chink in his armor of us-ing the bankruptcy as a shield against all claims. That flaw was that the Re-gional Water Board has police powers and, under law, he could not use bankruptcy to avoid paying for ac-tions that they officially ordered.

At a public hearing, supported by a busload of residents from Lake San Mar-cos who testified in support of forcing action on the lake, the Water Board is-sued an “Investigative Order” to force Dinofia to pay for an estimated $400,000 in lake testing. He couldn’t dodge this financial bullet, and it struck him be-tween the eyes. The Water Board’s order was a key factor in Dinofia deciding to “leave town” and sell his stock in CDC to a new owner.

So, after years of effort and expenses that ran into six figures (some of which we still owe), we were instrumental in get-ting CDC out of the hands of Matt Dino-fia, and into the hands of new management.

This was an epic battle that the commu-nity had to win. The condition of the facilities, the docks, and the lakes had deteriorated to the point many were con-sidering stopping payments on their Lake and Lodge leases, the financial support for our community facilities and the lake. The “Lake and Lodge Financial Model” of paying for our recreation facilities and lake was getting shaky after 40 years. Many residents were simply not paying, and others were failing to renew their leases when they expired.

If this “non-payment movement” had become more widespread it could have led to a death spiral for the community, with CDC being dissolved, and its assets sold off on the courthouse steps. In that event, it is likely that the community fa-cilities would have ceased to exist. You would probably find condos being built here on the site of the Pavilion, and the lake owned by the state and open for dai-ly use by the public. The judge referred to this scenario as “mutually assured de-struction” for both CDC and the community.

At this point new ownership took over CDC. Pino Vitti, the new owner, is the opposite of Matt Dinofia. He is con-cerned about the residents, sees them as his customers, and wants to see the lake cleaned up and the facilities remodeled. However, he inherited a rat’s nest of problems. Overdue tax liens, missing records, unhappy customers, environmental problems, legal problems, financial prob-lems, and regulatory problems. I did not believe this many problems could be overcome before time ran out. He had enormous courage to buy into this mess. He has been working on multiple problems during this last year, slowly solving them one by one. However, as recently as a month ago I was still concerned he might not be able to solve them quickly enough, and CDC might still fail under the weight of its problems.

But, I am happy to report tonight that the last of those who were blocking CDC from getting a reorganization plan approved have compromised and agreed to not block him any further. This was a big big win for CDC and also for Lake San Marcos. It will pave the way for CDC moving out of bankruptcy next year.

The Community Association has been working closely with the new ownership of CDC to achieve this win. We have filed motions of support in federal bankruptcy court, had meetings with the Water Board, the City of San Marcos, and Vallecitos Water District, written letters to the Telesis Credit Union, filed freedom of information act requests, challenged obstructionism by 3rd parties in letters to the Water Board, and appeared on behalf of CDC at mediation meetings. We were a friend to the new owners of CDC when they didn’t have many friends. We think they appreciate the support we gave them as they strug-gled through a list of challenging problems in their first year of ownership.

I believe in the next 90 days CDC will have a plan approved by the court and the creditors, and Pino Vitti will be able to take full control of the finances and direction of his company. Up until now he has been handcuffed by the court proceedings, and could not do many of the things he wanted to do. We believe that will mean CDC will be able to speed up the process of re-placing the decaying docks, finish testing and begin remediation efforts to clean up the lake, and begin the process of remodel-ing and/or replacing our very old recreational facilities. By the end of 2014 we should see significant improvements and changes to the facilities.

CDC has uncovered old insurance policies from the 1960s and 1970s that covered lake pollution, and once the fix for the lake is agreed upon, much if not all, of CDC’s share of the cost of cleanup may be paid by the insurance carriers.

So, the bankruptcy phase may be at an end, and the revitalization phase of Lake San Marcos may soon begin. Our community and our facilities will be changing. Some of the changes we will like, and some we won’t like, but com-pared to the possible loss the lake and all of our community facilities, any changes we undergo will be better than the alternatives we faced only a year ago.

The community still has problems to face. As I mentioned before, the “Lake Lodge Lease Financial Concept” is now almost 40 years old, but it is working less well as time goes on. Fewer and fewer people are paying to keep up the facilities and the lake. Eventually we must find a way to have more people share in the expenses of maintaining our com-munity, or the expenses for those who do pay will have to go up to compensate for those who do not pay.

One solution to the problem may be to create a Community Facilities District (CFD) by a vote of the residents. The Facilities District would receive income from the property taxes paid by ALL RESIDENTS in Lake San Marcos, and in return they could use the revenue to contract with CDC for the use of the lake and the facilities. All Lake and Lodge leases would then be can-celled. For those who pay a lease now, you would be trading a lease payment for an increase in your property tax bill. It could be the same or even less money than what you are paying now, and it could be tax deductible. A CFD might be a way to restructure the financing method which supports our community facilities and the lake. The Community Association will be looking at the idea in the coming year.

So, in conclusion: Over the last four years the Community Association helped force out the old owner, and helped support the new owner in their first turbulent year of ownership. Because of those actions by the Community Association, and the good luck of getting Pino Vitti for an investor, we think the future for the Lake San Marcos community looks much brighter for 2014.”

Find out more about the “Quail Call” or get involved in the “Lake San Marcos Community Association.”

Want to look at property in Lake San Marcos, just contact me, Gary Harmon.

Sales of Lake San Marcos Homes 2013

Detached Homes Sold

The following is a list of detached homes sold since January 1, 3013

Detached Homes Listed and in Escrow

Detached homes currently listed or in escrow may have changed status since this posting.

Listed, in Escrow, and Sold 1/1/2013 through 9/30/2013

Data is from Sandicor and represents Lake San Marcos homes listed and sold by various brokers.  If your property is currently listed, this is not intended to be a solicitation.

To learn more about Lake San Marcos and the great style of life it offers, contact Gary Harmon.    Lake San Marcos offers many different styles and price ranges of homes, some Lake San Marcos homes are right on the water’s edge.

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