Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Mass Conifer Killings in Coto de Caza

Posted by CotoBlogzz

Coto de Caza, Ca - Some six months ago I asked the CZ Master Association's president Xochit Yocham to consider sweeping house by firing James Harkins and Keystone Pacific.  Why, You may ask?  

At least six perfectly healthy conifers have been taken down in a stretch less than 1/4 of a mile on Coto de Caza Dr. North of San Miguel.

Consider this: The legacy of Keystone Pacific, James Harkins and the CZ Master Association,  a most toxic triad, is that the community has seen three traffic fatalities, the highest crime and vandalism rate per capita compared to  other gated or on-gated communities and have turned the association into the arguably the most litigious homeowners association in Southern California.

Harkins invoiced the HOA $30,000 for a Small Claims Court case!

Because of Harkins, a person lost his condo due to an improperly parked RV.

Keep in mind that Harkins, on multiple occasions, argued that the HOA, CZ Master Association was beyond the jurisdiction of local, regional, state and federal law, and he also that lawyers like himself, were also above the law - but not 

According to 
Case Number: SHMV0038019
On 12/09/2015, Harkins was approved for Traffic School, for " Unsafe speed for prevailing conditions"

Additionally, numerous complaints have been filed with the California Attorney General against Keystone and Harkins, as well as a number of California Bar Association complaints against the latter.  Now it looks as the legal eagles have come home to roost, as Mr. Harkins is involved in various  failed lawsuits.  See for example:

With this dubious legacy, I say it is time for a new start.

The best way to do this is to break up the toxic triad:  terminate the relationship between the association, Keystone and Harkins.  Additionally, turn the association into a normal one with direct elections, openness, transparency and respect for law and order. The benefits cannot be more obvious, including increased equity in the community which can translate directly into increased property values

As expected, Ms Yocham never responded to this request.

The Killing of the Trees

Turning to the close to $1.5 million/year landscaping budget, I see that the landscaping on the South side of San Miguel Street, the O'Connell side of the fence, has not been refreshed in over a decade, as opposed to the one maintained by Wendt, which seems to have several teams working around Coto de Caza Drive and Vista del Verde.  The first question that comes to mind, is who is minding the store?

Crews active on the North side of San Miguel

As if that was not enough, several conifer and maple trees are being taken down in the Wendt side without rhyme of reason - Some trees have been taken down and the areas remain barren.  In other areas, however, additional trees are planted in an already crowded area!

While some areas  overcrowded, others remain barren

Trees cut down several years ago - area left barren:  Multiple areas in Vista Del Verde

while not too far,  a couple of blocks away, after cutting trees,  areas remain barren, roughly at the same time as when the other trees were planted in an already overcrowded area.

CZ Mantra:  Areas with less landscaping, more will be taken

In fact, of all the trees I have observed, most are more alive that the majestic tree: that the association actively tried to kill, even though it was the Coto Golf Course's responsibility.

Perfectly healthy conifer sentenced to death

Now, pine trees are known for the longevity with a lifespan of 300 to 500 year, with an 800-year old tree documented in Utah. Maple trees live 130-300 years.  A last check with the Discovery Center Biologist at Big Bear says that most of the mature conifers at Big Bear are older than 1,000 years!

On the one hand, one maintenance company seems to be butchering trees liberally, perhaps to increase the invoicing, and the other one is not doing anything.

Who is then minding the landscaping?

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