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Buckingham Homes Association

The hungry workers enjoy lunch    



Come enjoy YOUR park! The landscaping is growing, the beach is raked, and the picnic tables are ready for those summer barbecues which begin Wednesday, June 14.  Remember, the park is for the use of Buckingham homeowners and their guests. Please keep the gate locked when you enter and exit the park.

Please Take Note:


The Long Range Planning Committee has met with the County about the road maintenance that is supported only by the County's share of gasoline taxes, which is small. The County has higher priority roadwork and thus will not be repairing Buckingham's roads anytime soon.


We have the opportunity to have the roads repaired with County help if we provide the material. This is what Kona Tayee is doing right now. The Committee is endorsing and asking your support to form a BENEFIT ZONE for Buckingham. This is a plan to have our roads resurfaced and includes all of Buckingham, including those properties outside of the Association that use our roads to get to their parcels.


Under this program the property owners would contribute to a fund that stays in Buckingham for the express purpose of upgrading the roads. The role of the County is to provide engineering, leveling, filling, labor, insurance, machinery, and to place the Zone on the November Ballot for vote (51% needed to carry). The County would do our roads in the summer of 2007, if this passes. The approximate cost would be $200/yr and would be put on the property tax roll over a period of 5 years.


The Zone will be split into two ballots, one being the North (Little Borax Road to the end of West Lake Dr., East Lake Dr and Peninsula area) The other being the South (Little Borax Road to the end of South Lake Dr., Hillside Court etc) No repair will be done to Little Borax Lake Road which has few homes and which would only further encourage outsiders to use it as a raceway instead of using Soda Bay Road.


At this time, we are asking your support in signing a petition to place the Zone on the November ballot. You can do so at the Clubhouse during regular office hours, or by contacting one of the committee members listed below.



Marie Hughes 279-2500

Bob Olsen  [email protected]

George Speake

Tom Maguire [email protected]

Julie Berry 279-0829

                                                                         BHA SURVEY RESULTS

Dear BHA Member,

Some months back, your elected BHA Board appointed a Long Range Planning Committee comprised of volunteer Buckingham property owners and two BHA Board Members. This committee sought to discover what Buckingham issues were important to members of the Buckingham Homes
Association. After considerable preliminary research, the Long Range Planning Committee produced a survey and circulated a questionnaire via our quarterly newsletter. We are pleased to report that there were 154 responses. Your BHA Board is grateful to all of those who participated in the survey and for the valuable insights gained.

                                                          BHA MEMBER VIEWS

ROADS (71%):
Far and away the highest priority of those responding was the condition of the roads within
Buckingham Park. The original questionnaire revealed that Lake County has no funds allocated and no intention of repairing the roads in Buckingham. On the plus side, the county has offered a program to us whereby the County would furnish at no charge, the equipment, insurance, labor and expertise to repair Buckingham roads. We as owners would bear the cost of buying the actual asphalt. A five-year, relatively low, annual assessment would be added to each owners' property taxes in order to pay for the asphalt. If there is sufficient interest in this program, the matter will be put up for vote. You will be hearing more about this opportunity.
Preservation of the golf course was the second highest priority reflected amongst those participating in the survey. You may remember that the questionnaire revealed to BHA members that the Golf Course had historically been zoned R-1, and could conceivably be sub-divided into half-acre home parcels---half acres being far smaller than most existing on the northern peninsula. We have subsequently learned from the County, that the zoning is actually 9000 square feet, i.e less than one quarter-acre! Because BHA Members attached such high importance to preservation of the golf course, your BHA Board continues to stay in contact with County Planning Officials as they update the Area Plan.
Ranking third in respondent priorities were concerns of road safety at the two main
Soda Bay Road entrances to Buckingham Park, in their current configuration. We are discussing with the county, but given that there is not a history of accidents at these intersections, and
modifications would be extremely difficult, it is unlikely that much can be done about the safety risk in the short term.


Members participating ranked increased Buckingham security in 4th place. You may remember that the questionnaire pointed out some practicalities that seem to make gating of Buckingham a very difficult endeavor. The questionnaire did offer "roving security" as a more attainable solution to consider. The latter is under consideration by the Board. The Board has invited the Sheriff’s Department to speak to us at the Annual Meeting on July 1, about a formal Neighborhood Watch program in Buckingham.

Rounding out the top five priorities of those participating in the survey was road safety on
Westlake Drive. The questionnaire had pointed out the steady increase of heavy vehicles entering and exiting Buckingham Park via this narrow street, as well as the number of parked service vehicles and blind spots. The Board has raised this issue with the County, especially in regard to the added traffic an Orchard development would bring.
29% of members responding to the survey had a positive opinion on a proposal made by a businessman to build an upscale general store/coffee house on land owned by the BHA and currently leased to the golf course. The Board has requested additional information.
27% of members taking part in the survey supported additional berths. This has been tabled for the time being, while higher priority matters are being pursued


20% of members answering the questionnaire supported creation of a children's play area at the Clubhouse facility. This has been tabled.
14% of respondents supported the concept of a future BHA swimming pool. This has been tabled.
10% of those participating endorsed the idea of BHA tennis courts. This has been tabled.



                                               Buckingham Ladies News

Make plans now to attend the 2nd Annual Open Studios Tour Saturday, July 29, 2006 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tour the studios of some of the great artists we have living right here in Buckingham.  Tickets, at $10 are available by calling 279-8099, at the Reception on Friday evening or at the BHA clubhouse from 9:30 to noon on Saturday. An Artist's Reception will be held on Friday evening, July 28 from 7-9p.m. There will be a raffle held Friday night at the reception only with pieces donated by the artists.  An easy way to get a beautiful piece of art for your home!

Buckingham Ladies present a Hawaiian Luau on Saturday, August 12.  Mark your calendars now to attend and look here for more information.

WEED ABATEMENT:  The deadline for weed abatement has been pushed back to July 1 this year, because of all the wet weather.  But don't delay!  Get your brush cleared as soon as possible.  Do what you can while the weather cooperates to clear your lot and property of weeds.  Thank you!

                             Lending Library- There is a great library of used books to be read and enjoyed at the Clubhouse.  Bring a few in and take home some new reading material...something to do in this inclement weather.  Office hours are between 12 and 3, Monday through Friday.
Just a thought...
Many of us give each year to our favorite charity, some near, some far away.  Have you ever thought about donating to OUR local Kelseyville Fire Protection District?  The local fire station is undergoing renovations that will allow all vehicles to be parked under one roof, with updated living and office space. 
Did you know that one of the ambulances, barely two years old has over 230,000 miles on it?  The District not only transports patients to our local hospitals, but to those out of county as well, along with assisting people throughout our widespread area.
Last year, they received their first new fire truck in 12 years! A tax-deductible donation will help them buy fire equipment, fire suits, medical and ambulance supplies.
Think about it...and remember to clear the right-of-way from the road edge back three feet toward your property so emergency vehicles can park easily if needed.


          BHA BOARD MEETINGS-4th Tuesday of the month @ 7 P.M.  

          BUCKINGHAM BABES-3rd Thursday of the month @ 7 P.M. at the Tee Room. (Call Julie at 279-0829).

          BUNCO- If you've never played this game, or haven't in years, but would like some good company, join a unique group of women the first Thursday of each month at the Clubhouse for a lot of laughs, a cocktail of your choice, and a mindless dice game.  It's easy...so what have you got to lose?  Give Julie a call at 279-0829 for details.  The more the merrier!!

          MONDAY-WEDNESDAY-FRIDAY Line Dancing @ 8:30 A.M. in Clubhouse.

BUCKINGHAM PARK WATER DISTRICT: Next meeting will be held August 9, 2006 at 7 p.m. at the Clubhouse. New hookup ordinance is still in effect, so if you have questions regarding building on your lot within Buckingham, give BPWD a call at 707-279-8568. Water Board meeting is the second Wednesday of each month at 7 p.m. at the Clubhouse. NOTE: backflow testing is due for 2006.  Please call the BPWD office if you need the name of a company to test your backflow device.

                                           WALNUT ORCHARD UPDATE:


                                                          Buckingham Homes Association, LTD.


                                                                                                                                May 10, 2006


Dear Buckingham Homes Association Member:

You may have received a lengthy letter from Sara Appelbaum.  The owner of the 50-acre “walnut orchard” within our midst is Appelbaum Bakersfield, LLC. Those of you who have not been following the situation, and especially those of you who were unable to attend our Community meeting on March 18, 2006, may be disturbed by the accusations and threats of litigation in Ms Appelbaum’s letter.  The Board has invited Mr. Spike Wheeler who represents Applebaum Bakersfield, LLC, on several occasions, to meet with us in a small group, or at a Community gathering such as the March 18, 2006 meeting, but he has not done so. Consequently we have very little context to deal with his piecemeal applications or demands for approval of his intended actions such as gating and tree removal. This letter will hopefully clarify the major issues raised by Ms Appelbaum.  We have heard that many of you have received Ms Appelbaum's letter but many others have not.  For your convenience we are including a very short summary, in italics, of the thrust of a particular claim, if the subject matter is not obvious.  We then include our response on each topic.

ORCHARD PLANS: The Board has very little information as to what Ms Appelbaum plans to do with the Orchard property. Her representative, Spike Wheeler, stated his intent to sub-divide and build up to 100 homes in June of 2004, when he visited the regular Buckingham Homes board meeting and introduced himself. A proposal for sub-division to half-acre lots, the MINIMUM lot size possible for the zoning, was submitted to the County in early 2006 with minimal details. It called for a gated development of 91 homes for seniors, age restricted but age not specified. A U-shaped private road would intersect Orchard Drive at two points. The Board and Buckingham Community reacted with numerous concerns about the environmental impact of such a development and the possibility the plan’s details would be inconsistent with Buckingham’s governing documents, established practices, CC&R’s, and harmony issues. The sub-division proposal was subsequently withdrawn and we see from her correspondence that Ms Appelbaum is now uncertain what she will do with the property.  

GATES: Ms Appelbaum states concerns that the ACC has abused its authority to deny her the right to build a private gated community within Buckingham.  In addition, she incorrectly names an individual who has not participated in the ACC discussions regarding the gates. 

Spike Wheeler’s application to Lake County, on behalf of Ms Appelbaum, for sub-division of the “orchard”, and the construction of a 91 home gated community, contained few details but raised many concerns. The Board has consistently opposed a “gated sub-community” within the Community of Buckingham as neither harmonious nor consistent with the overall general plan as envisioned many years ago. When Mr. Wheeler submitted a proposal to build two large gates, 45-60’ across (according to the drawings), located at the two points on Orchard Drive where the sub-division application showed a U-shaped road intersecting, the Architectural Control Committee (ACC) took note and expressed legitimate concerns about a possible “gated sub-community”.

Once the sub-division application was withdrawn, and in response to the ACC’s concerns about size, Mr. Wheeler revised his gate application. He down-sized his gates to 25’, approximately equal to the largest existing gates in Buckingham. The ACC approved the gates for the orchard property “as is” - a single parcel of land.  This “as-is” restriction is apparently of concern to Ms Appelbaum. However, given the history of a proposed 91 home development, which could re-surface at any time, the ACC was not comfortable with a blanket approval of gating such a large, developable property. As provided for in the CC&R’s, the ACC’s position may be appealed to the full Board. This has not been done.

Greig Olson is a Board member of Buckingham Homes but does not now serve and has not served on the ACC during any deliberations regarding gates on the Orchard.

The Board has indeed discussed the potential attractiveness of gating Buckingham Park in its entirety in order to provide greater safety from crime, etc. The idea of gating an enclave within greater Buckingham, in order to create a “locked sub-community,” which might also reduce the relative value of the larger, non-gated Buckingham Community, is a far different proposition!

THE WATER COMPANY: Ms Appelbaum’s letter states that the IRS has fined Buckingham Homes Association $56,000 and is investigating past officers of the water board.

The Buckingham Homes Association has absolutely no financial liability or responsibility for Water District activities.  The Buckingham Park Water District is a separate legal entity, and is providing the following information for your convenience. During 2002-04 an employee no longer with the water company failed to make required IRS withholding payments. When the Board of Directors of the water company and the IRS discovered the shortfall, they entered discussions. There is a signed agreement in place between the Buckingham Park Water District and the IRS to pay the back taxes without any penalty, and that fact has been disclosed to the water customers. There is an explicit line item in the 2006-07 water company budget clearly indicating the IRS payments. THERE IS NO FINE INVOLVED, although of course the back taxes must and are being paid. THERE IS NO FRAUD INVESTIGATION underway against any current or previous board members.

HALF-ACRE LOTS: The zoning of the “orchard” is half-acre MINIMUM!  This does not mean the County will approve sub-division down to half-acre lots, given input from the orchard owner, their own County staff, other experts, and the people of Buckingham.

There are many lots of various sizes in Buckingham. In order to compare lot sizes around the walnut orchard we actually studied every lot bordering the orchard, using County plot maps. There are 68 such lots. NONE OF THEM are as small as 0.5 acres. The average size of the 68 lots was found to be 0.85 acres. If you then consider the nearby lots across Eastlake Drive, they were found to average 1.15 acres. The lots across Westlake Drive averaged 1.30 acres. Further, the existing CC&Rs clearly provide that existing residential lots may not be subdivided into lots which are smaller than one acre.  It is therefore the Board’s opinion that half-acre lots in the Orchard would not be harmonious with the immediate neighborhood. There are also numerous environmental impact concerns. The Board provided the County with this analysis last October.

LOTS 31 AND 32: Ms Appelbaum alleges that the sale of two lots to fund the construction of the club house was fraudulent.

It is true that the original purpose for lots 31 and 32 on Hillside owned by the Buckingham Homes Association was to provide lake access to homeowners who were not on the lake. Unfortunately these lots are on a narrow road without easy access to the lake.  Approximately 16 years ago a plan was developed to sell lots 31 and 32, and use the proceeds to build the Clubhouse at the current location on Eastlake Drive across from the golf course. This location provides easier lake access for all, including lawns, beaches, docks, boat launch, restrooms, and the clubhouse itself. The plans were developed in public, and then taken to the homeowners in a written ballot which the homeowners approved. Appropriate procedures were followed, legal advice was obtained and followed, and the homeowners not only benefited, they APPROVED both the sale of lots 31 and 32 and the clubhouse development in advance.

TREES: Ms  Appelbaum alleges that the ACC has been using the threat of forbidding tree removal to block home construction.

I think you will all agree, based on personal experience in many cases, that the CC&R’s have never been used to block home construction. The CC&R provisions are designed to encourage retention of as many trees as possible but not to influence what is otherwise acceptable architecture. No threats have been made against Ms Appelbaum, Mr. Wheeler, or anyone else to use the CC&R’s tree provisions to block construction. Mr. Wheeler advised us on January 12, 2006 that he intended to remove all the walnut trees for agricultural reasons. The ACC has 30 days to respond and in this case responded on February 9, 2006 that “if the removal of walnut trees is in site preparation for a new building or structure, the approval of the Architectural Control Committee is required.”  

BOARD MEETING AGENDAS: The monthly Board agendas are posted on the Clubhouse Bulletin Board and the minutes published on the BHA website. Board actions are noted in every BHA newsletter, and minutes are available for review at the BHA office during regular business hours.

THE BOARD: Let me assure you that the Board and its Committees work very hard to enforce the CC&R’s and to protect everyone’s interests. There is no conflict of interest. No Board member owns a property immediately adjacent to the orchard. Most of you know at least some of the individuals named by Ms  Appelbaum, and they are highly respected people that donate their time to preserving and improving our Community.  Ms Appelbaum, to my knowledge, knows none of us. To be called childish, spiteful, untrustworthy, and accused of furthering our own agendas, is not only insulting but reflects on the character of those currently attempting to develop the orchard.

LITIGATION: Mr. Wheeler has been threatening us with litigation since almost the first day he appeared on the scene approximately 2 years ago. The Board has been duly cautious, in frequent contact with our attorney Peter Windrem, and has budgeted for legal advice/defense to the extent possible. While wishing to avoid litigation, the Board is prepared to deal with it and is confident of a satisfactory outcome. I am personally very proud of our Board, our Committees, and our Association Manager Julie Berry, and I thank them for their commitment to Buckingham. I know many of you have already expressed your own support for these hard-working people after reading Ms Appelbaum’s letter. Thank you for this!



Bob Olsen, President                                                                            

     BHA officers for this year are Bob Olsen, President, Bill Groody, Vice-President, Pam Hendricks, Secretary and Tom Maguire, Treasurer.  Chris Hansen chairs the Architectural Control Committee, John Dechaine is head of Building & Grounds and Greig Olson is Compliance and Special Projects.  The Board is looking into establishing a committee to update the CC&R's within the next few months.  The committee will be chaired by Vice-President Groody.  If you are interested in being a part of this committee, please give the office a call at 279-0829.

     In the interest of fire safety, we ask that your house numbers be clearly visible on the front of your home or near the street. The Fire District also asks that you put your street number on your boat dock, for emergency access from the lake. Thanks for your consideration of this very important matter.

          Also, as the Board takes a closer look at CC&R enforcement, they have noticed issues such as trash cans left out, and a number of boats and trailers parked on the road.  Remember that trash cans must be out of sight of the road, and also taken in after trash day.  Timberline offers 32 gallon garbage bags at a cost of $3.00 each or they can be purchased in a box of 100. For cleanup, you can rent an additional green waste can from Timberline for $14.16 with a $10.00 delivery charge.   Regarding boats and trailers, they will be tagged by Code Enforcement and towed, as the CC&R's state that they may not be left on the roadway, but only parked in driveways or common areas.

Buckingham Homes Association
2850 Eastlake Drive
Kelseyville, CA 95451-9031
Phone: (707) 279-0829