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Lakeland Village Tells Lake Elsinore: 'We Want A Voice'

"We don’t want Lake Elsinore imposing standards on us.”

More than 100 residents – most of them from Lakeland Village – turned out at Lakeland Village School Wednesday night to hear about Lake Elsinore’s proposed boat dock standards that would potentially affect all property owners around the lake.

lasted nearly two hours, but the overwhelmingly consistent message from the county residents boiled down to these few words: “We want a voice. We don’t want Lake Elsinore imposing standards on us.”

Meeting co-hosts Lake Elsinore Mayor Brian Tisdale and Riverside County Supervisor Bob Buster took notice.

spent months drafting the current standards, Tisdale conceded the issue would need to start over at square one.

“I think there were some mistakes made…,” he said of the process, namely not reaching deep and wide enough into the Lakeland Village community.

In order to restart, the mayor and supervisor both acknowledged that Lakeland Village residents need to play a larger role in future discussions about the lake and any proposed standards.

Many residents in attendance Wednesday had no idea what the proposed standards looked like and hard copies of the documentation were not made available at the town hall.

“We’ve never seen the standards,” was an often-heard complaint during the meeting.

For those who had seen the documentation, there was no support, although one Lake Elsinore resident said he wanted standards because he has seen docks destroyed during harsh weather conditions. Many of the residents were longtime Lakeland Villagers with extensive knowledge about lake conditions. They expressed concerns that the standards were cost-prohibitive to property owners and offered no improved safety assurances.

Several residents suggested that any proposed standards should allow for “roll-up” docks that can be taken in and out of the water. The residents said the lake’s ever-changing water level and sometimes-harsh weather conditions make roll-ups the most cost-effective and safest alternative.

Still, most residents complained that Lake Elsinore’s reach into the unincorporated area is already too great.

“We don’t have a voice,” said Dave Hamilton of Vista del Lago.

Supervisor Buster conceded the issue “is not an easy knot to unravel.”

Currently, Lake Elsinore claims rights over the water’s surface; Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District claims control of the water itself; city residents own shoreline property within Lake Elsinore and county residents own shoreline property on the unincorporated side of the lake.

Lake Elsinore has expressed its desire to standardize the boat docks for safety and aesthetic reasons. But Lakeland Village shoreline resident Pete Dawson, who also serves on the Lake Elsinore Marine Search and Rescue, says one entity trying to assert control is asking for problems, including potential court battles.

“Are you sure you want to get into this can of worms?” Dawson asked the mayor.

“No,” was his reply.

Dave Stahovich, Buster’s chief of staff, was at Wednesday’s town hall. He said he’s attended recent meetings on the boat dock standards and had cautioned Tisdale that Wednesday’s meeting would be contentious.

“I warned the mayor he was entering into a real hornet’s nest,” Stahovich said.

Tisdale and Buster said they were aware of the discontent but felt it was important to work with the residents.

“We’re a community. If we work together, we can resolve the issues,” Tisdale said.

The mayor promised the audience his city would not be moving forward with the existing standards and said the next step would be bringing all concerned parties to the table to hammer out a possible solution. The only other Lake Elsinore City Council member present Wednesday was Bob Magee.

After the meeting, Lakeland Village resident Linda Ridenour said she is hopeful that her community will have a voice on any future proposal and expressed gratitude toward the mayor and supervisor for putting on the town hall.

Dawson offered that he is “cautiously optimistic,” but said his property rights should prevail.

“My dock is anchored on my land,” he said. “Their water has inundated my land.”

Ken Mayes July 19, 2012 at 02:02 PM
Stolen on September 9, 1850. On January 7, 1844, Julian Manriquez acquired the land grant to Rancho La Laguna which included the lake now known as Lake Elsinore, he did not sell his land grant until 1851, after California became a state. This one person was governed by "Las Siete Partidas", the law in effect at the time of the Mexican land grant. "Las Siete Partidas" requires that public waterways be treated essentially the same as under the "Public Trust Doctrine". Per the "Equal Footing Doctrine" and an 1842 U.S. Supreme Court decision the determination of what constituted the public trust land of the lake was to be determined by what was on the day California was admitted to the union. Therefore the City of Lake Elsinore's claim along with all the people that claim ownership of land below 1265 ft elevation are in error. It is time that this miscarriage of justice be corrected and the people of California be given what is rightfully theirs to enjoy without interference from government or private owners.
D A July 19, 2012 at 03:22 PM
"Some" of the the places on the county and city both look less than desirable (not all by any means) you would think that if they made it look decent then government would not need to enterfear and then no one would complain. In reality if the county came up with the rules and regulations there probably would not be one complaint from the county residents. But being it came from lake Elsinore city input they will never agree no matter how much better it could make that side of the lake look.
andy July 19, 2012 at 11:06 PM
Lakeland Village is probably one of Southern California's most under-appreciated and under-developed communities. I agree with Ken that in the best world the lake would be a public water way. All those privately owned lots that lay under the lake need to be bought out. Many of those lots have already been on the market pretty much priced with this inevitability in mind. The quagmire we have now needs to be settled so Development can have a clear path to follow. It's amazing to me that a community like Mission Viejo can develop and build a FAKE lake community in what was once an isolated area in a matter of two decades, yet the area around Lake Elsinore with all it's natural beauty can't get it together.
Ken Mayes July 20, 2012 at 04:02 AM
Andy Those lots do not need to be bought out. Ownership of those lots is much like having a stolen car in your possession, no matter how long you have it even with a title the courts will always return it to its proper owner for the taking. It will surely PO a lot of people but theft is just that. The citizens of the state are entitled to what is rightfully theirs and until local government is removed from the decision making process nothing will ever happen with this lake. The local government has had almost 130 years to make something of this jewel and all they have managed to do is let it tarnish.
Gordan July 20, 2012 at 06:02 AM
Can it be any clearer that Tisdale dances to the beat of Buster's drum. Brian, grow a pair and stand up for the city that elected you. What's next? No fireworks at the Storm games because the people in Lakeland Village don't like the noise. Did you bother to get THEIR permission to build the new boat launch? It seems pleasing Lakeland Village is more important to you than water safety and your own citizens. What you did Wed. night is inexcusable and Lake Elsinore should be ashamed of your behavior. You just lost my support.... not that it matters to you.
andy July 20, 2012 at 02:16 PM
The area around the lake is ripe for development. Believe it or not I think communities around the lake turn out to be a huge metropolitan area of significance. There are many large plots left all around us ripe or development. Besides more tract housing, the city/county would be smart to leave space for a corporate park that would allow for high rises because believe it or not there will one day be a need. Imagine this SouthWest Valley in 30-60 years. This area could be the center and crown jewel of an inland megapolis. That the areas and communites around the lake lagged in development behind Menifee, Perris, Corona, Temecula, and Murrieta could actually work in our favor because it could allow us to build upon those cities development and further develop into a more significant city beyond these bedroom communities. Wasn't Lake Elsinore one of the major presences in the area historically although you wouldn't know that now, well, I bet it can be the main city of importance again. It's location and natural features make it an obvious choice. Sorting out ownership of the lake and making clear lines for development to follow is part of getting us started.
TRUTHBTOLD July 24, 2012 at 09:38 PM
Sorry Chuck, no hidden agenda here..... and no county members on the committee even though they were asked to participate. If you had gone to the meetings you would have known that the committee was composed of Mike Norkin, Chairman of PSAC, Rick Morsch, now Chairman of the Planning Commission, Pat Kilroy, Justin Carlson and Warren Morelion, all City staff. Everyone seems to forget that the state quit claimed the lake to Lake Elsinore and EVMWD only has rights to the water above elev. 1240. The County was not granted any interest or authority of the lake by the state. Sorry, no story here.

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