Damage to Entrance Gate

You may be aware that the main community entrance gate located on Saddle Creek Drive has been damaged by an accident that occurred on New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2014. We have evaluated the damage and the necessary repairs are significant enough to require extensive work performed by our qualified contractor.

Our contractor has been notified of the damage and the urgency for repair or replacement of the gate and its supporting infrastructure; unfortunately it appears as though security gates were a fairly popular target for vehicles this New Year’s Eve and we are currently in line for repairs just as quickly as they can be completed. The CSD staff takes this matter very seriously and assures you that this matter will be handled quickly.

The CSD security video equipment was working very well on New Year’s Eve and we have turned the recording of the offending vehicle and its actions over to the Highway Patrol and our insurance for appropriate processing.

Again, please rest assured that the gate repair is our number one priority.

District General Manager Hired

The Board of Directors of the Saddle Creek CSD is pleased to announce the hiring of Peter J. Kampa, of Kampa Community Solutions, LLC, as our new General Manager. Peter is a certified Special Districts Administrator and has been very active in the California Special Districts Association. He starts his new position on July 1, 2014.



Peter has successfully served rural resort communities in California for over two decades as General Manager of three Community Services Districts and one County Water District. He has received awards for his prior work including Tuolumne County Excellence in Government Award and the California Special Districts Association General Manager of the Year 2010.

Peter is very familiar with the Saddle Creek community and the services provided by the District. Further, his productive working relationship with Calaveras County Government, Calaveras County Water District, Calaveras Taxpayers Association, City of Angels and other local public agencies will be an asset to the Saddle Creek CSD as we move forward.

CCWD Mandatory Water Conservation

Due to the severe drought and water shortage the Calaveras County Water District has ordered cut backs of 35% on raw water usage for commercial property, effective immediately. This order affects the CSD’s ability to maintain landscaping throughout the district.

The availability of recycled water will help us maintain appropriate wetlands water levels. However the entry area; the strip along Saddle Creek Drive; the roundabouts; the street trees; and our other property will have their water allotment cut. We will water trees to keep them alive, but expect to see these normally green areas turning brown because of the water cut backs.

The CCWD also issued rules affecting residents., which are as follows. You may download PDF copy of the CCWD rules here.



1. Continue public outreach to convey water shortage information and measures to be taken by residents and business owners to reduce indoor use.

2. Use of water for cleaning hardscape is prohibited.

3. All irrigation is prohibited between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

4. Line flushing will be discontinued.

5. Use of water in decorative fountains and recreational ponds shall be the minimum to preserve aquatic life if present. Filling of new or existing pools is prohibited.

6. Residential landscape irrigation will be on an “odd/even” watering program:

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday- odd numbered addresses
Monday, Wednesday, Friday- even numbered addresses
Sunday- no outdoor watering.

7. Water for irrigation of commercial landscape, schools and parks shall be reduced by 35%.

8. Treated effluent will be used for dust control as per state regulations (if dust control permit is issued by state).

9. Golf course irrigation will be restricted to greens and tees if raw water is sole source. Raw water delivery will be reduced by 35% where treated effluent is being used.

Under the mandatory Conservation Programs and in addition to, and/or exercise of, any and all lawful remedies, the Calaveras County Water District (CCWD or District) Board hereby adopts the following course of enforcement actions to apply to violations of Stage III irrigation and outdoor water use restrictions.

1. Written warning from the District that further violation will result in possible restriction of water service.

2. Customer’s water service shall be restricted by a flow-restricting device for a period of at least 30 days. The device shall remain in place until the Board of Directors repeals the state of emergency or threat of emergency or shortage and upon payment of a $25 administrative and device installation and removal costs.

3. Customer’s water service shall be restricted by a flow-restricting device installed by the District. The device shall remain in place until the Board of Directors repeals the state of emergency or threat of emergency or shortage and upon payment of a $25 administrative and device installation and removal costs.

4. District may pursue a violation of conservation restriction under Water Code Section 31029 which states in part,”…it is a misdemeanor for any person to use or apply water received from the district contrary to or in violation of the restriction or prohibition, until the ordinance has been repealed or the emergency or threatened emergency has ceased, and, upon conviction thereof, that person shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than 30 days or by fine of not more than six hundred dollars ($600), or by both the fine and imprisonment.

District Announcement

It is with great sadness that the Board of the Directors of the Saddle Creek Community Services District must report that General Manager, Charlie Martin, unexpectedly passed away last week.

After almost 10 years as a police officer and 14 years as the Police Chief, Charlie served the city of Los Banos for another 10 years as both City Manager and Director of Public Safety. In April 2003, he joined the Saddle Creek CSD as General Manager, responsible for the day-to-day operations of the District and assisting with it’s long-term planning. Charlie’s knowledge and experience was invaluable to our District and he helped to establish a strong foundation for the growth of Saddle Creek.

The Staff and Board of the Saddle Creek CSD extends its deepest sympathies to Charlie’s family. He was a good friend to many of us at Saddle Creek and he will be missed.

Happy New Year

2013 was a busy year for the CSD. We finished the following major maintenance projects:

  • Street crack repair in some neighborhoods (more to be completed in 2014);
  • Sidewalk repair (more areas scheduled to be fixed in 2014);
  • Drainage issues repaired by 13th tee box;
  • Storm drain cleaned and drainage issues repaired by women’s 18th tee box which impacted homes in Rock Ridge area;
  • Landscape sprinklers repaired and replaced in Summit area;
  • We continue to operate the only Mosquito Abatement District in Calaveras County.

And last, but not least, we completed a software upgrade to the gate entry system. Many of you have not taken advantage of the additional methods to gain access through the entry gates. You can read a summery of the new system in our post last April. If you have not yet done so, and would like to order additional gate clickers, access cards, or would like a five-digit entry code, please print, complete and return the Request for Gate Access. Instructions are on the form. Contact CSD Maintenance Manager, Greg Hebard, at 785-0100 with questions regarding the new entry system.

Best wishes for the New Year!

Upgraded Electronic Entry System

Effective May 1, 2013, the CSD will begin operation of an upgraded electronic gate entry system. This new system provides residents/owners with two (2) additional methods of access and enables the CSD to more effectively regulate construction activities and lodge/golf/restaurant activities. As of May 1, 2013, the entry gates will be open and unmanned only during the hours of 6:45 am – 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday.

Overview of New System Entry Options:

  1. Home Link System (no change from old system): The three (3) buttons on the sun visor or headliner of newer cars can be programmed to open the gate. If your vehicle was programmed under the old system it will continue to work under the upgraded system. If you never activated this option with your existing vehicle or if you have purchased a new vehicle and you want to activate this system please call the CSD for an appointment to do so at no charge.
  2. Call Box (no change from old system): When your guest calls you press the number 9 on your phone to open the gate. You must have a (209) 785-xxx phone number to use this option. This option is unchanged under the new system.
  3. Gate Clickers (no change from old system): This option will continue to work unchanged under the upgraded system. Two gate clickers are provided to each residence. Additional gate clickers may be purchased from the CSD for $40.00 each.
  4. Access Card (new access option): An access card  (approximately the size of a credit card) may be purchased from the CSD for $10.00. A card reader has been installed at the entry gates. The gates will open when the access card is passed in front of the card reader.
  5. Five Digit Entry Code (new access option): Upon request, the CSD will issue a five (5) digit code to each residence. Residents may provide this code to medical personnel, family members, housekeepers or others they want to have access to their residence. The gate opens when the access code is entered into the key pad at the gate entry. In the event you have given the code to someone who you no longer want to have access to your residence contact the CSD and the code will be changed.

If you would like to order additional gate clickers, access cards, or would like a five-digit entry code, please print, complete and return the Request for Gate Access.  Instructions are on the form.

Contact CSD Maintenance Manager Greg Hebard at 785-0100 with questions regarding the new entry system.

2013 Mosquito Abatement

During the next several months, Saddle Creek CSD will be increasing Mosquito abatement activities due to warmer temperatures and increasing mosquito populations.

Work will include inspection of known and suspect mosquito breeding sites, such as irrigated lands, ditches, waterways, ponds, and wetlands. Mosquitoes will be controlled using integrated pest management techniques (IPM), including: application of approved use pesticides to breeding sites and areas of high adult mosquito populations, mosquito eating fish in ponds and public education efforts. Additionally, the CSD will be increasing surveillance in attempt to detect mosquito-transmitted diseases, such as West Nile Virus and Western Equine Encephalitis.

In most cases, spraying of approved pesticides will occur on Thursdays during the late afternoon or early evening hours. While the spraying activity does not present a health risk to residents, there will be a noticeable odor. To minimize this problem, windows and doors should remain closed while the activity is occurring near your area and should remain closed for approximately 30 minutes after it is completed.

Residents are asked to assist in our abatement efforts by eliminating mosquito-breeding sites on their property and by reporting abnormal mosquito population to the CSD District Manager Greg Hebard at 209.785.0100.

February 19, 2013 Board Meeting Update

During the January 15, 2013 meeting, the Board voted to leave the front gates open and unattended for limited time periods (during the day and at times the restaurant is open) while the CSD continued to evaluate the situation. The Board also requested that the matter be placed on the February meeting agenda and directed Staff to research the cost of upgrading our current system to one more capable of handling 24/7 closure.  Additionally, Staff was instructed to continue to work with Castle & Cooke towards a mutually agreeable solution that would provide an appropriate level of privacy for residents while meeting the business concerns of Castle & Cooke.

The February 19, 2013 meeting was well-attended by members of the public. Staff reported that since the January meeting, the CSD had received approximately 15 emails and comments from residents requesting the gates be closed 24/7. Staff also reported that the costs to upgrade the electronic entry system were anticipated to be less than $8,000 and Maintenance Manager Hebard provided an overview of the capabilities of the proposed upgrade.

Staff’s report was followed by a presentation by Mr. Dave Haley who advised that Castle & Cooke had reconsidered it’s decision to withdraw funding for the staffing of the gates and proposed a new schedule for weekend staffing/funding. The Board and Mr. Haley negotiated several changes to the proposal, which resulted in expanded  staffing hours.

Following Mr. Haley’s presentation, the Board opened the meeting to public comment and a number of those present voiced their opinion as to how the matter should be handled. While some who spoke recommended the gates be closed 24/7, most objected to 24/7 closure expressing concerns that it would adversely affect golf and restaurant operations which would be harmful to the community as a whole.

Upon conclusion of the public comment period and after a brief discussion by Board Members the following actions were taken:

  1. The Board approved the purchase of upgraded entry gate software and equipment at a cost not to exceed $8,000. Formal FY 2013 Budget revision to occur at the March 19, 2013 Meeting.
  2. Castle & Cooke’s staffing offer, as re-negotiated during the meeting, was approved and Staff was authorized to finalize the details with Mr. Haley.
  3. The Gate Operation Schedule approved at the December 15, 2013 meeting to remain in effect until Castle & Cooke begins their proposed staffing schedule.
  4. To allow for further review of the matter, Staff was directed to include the gate issue on the March 19, 2013 Agenda.

On Friday, February 22, 2013, weekend staffing began and as of that date, the front gate schedule is as follows:

 Gate Open & Unattended 

  • Monday-Friday: 6:45 am – 5:00 pm

 Gate Closed and Staffed

  • Friday:  5:00 pm  – 8:00 pm
  • Saturday:  6:45 am  – 8:00 pm
  • Sunday:  6:45 am – 5:00 pm

Gates Closed and Staffed from 6:45 am – 5:00 pm on the following holidays:

  • March 31, Easter
  • May 27, Memorial Day
  • July 4, Independence Day
  • September 2, Labor Day
  • November 28, Thanksgiving Day
  • December 25, Christmas Day

The CSD will provide updates if the current schedule is modified.

Charlie Martin, General Manager
Saddle Creek CSD

Entry Gate Update

As most residents are aware, on November 20, 2012 Castle & Cooke notified the CSD that they would discontinue the funding for staffing the entry gate effective January 1, 2013. In order to minimize confusion that might result from an abrupt change in gate operations and allow the CSD time to evaluate the situation, which included soliciting input from residents, the Board of Directors acted to approve CSD funding to continue the former level of gate staffing through January 31, 2013.

Shortly after the December meeting an “opinion poll” was placed on the CSD website and as planned, the matter was on the Agenda for regular meeting of January 15, 2013. This meeting was well attended and a number of residents suggested various ways they felt the CSD should handle the gate matter. While these suggestions varied (install new gates at the two residential area entrances; leave the gate open and unstaffed; staff the gate at reduced hours; close the gate 24/7 with no staffing), a significant number who spoke urged the Board to close the gate 24/7 with no staffing. This approach was also reflected in the on-line poll where the majority of the responses suggested a 24/7 closed, unstaffed gate.

Upon conclusion of a lengthy discussion of the matter on January 15th, the Board voted that at present the gates would be left open and unattended for limited time periods (basically during the day and at times the restaurant is open) while the CSD continues to evaluate the situation. Currently, CSD staff is exploring costs for installation of an upgraded entry system that would be more capable of properly handling 24/7 hour closure than would our present system. Additionally, staff continues to work with Castle & Cooke in hopes that we may reach a staffing agreement which provides an appropriate privacy level for residents as well as meets the business concerns of Castle & Cooke.

It should be noted that the Board’s decision at the January 15 meeting (which authorized the gate to be open and unattended for limited time periods) was not the final conclusion of this matter. Follow-up review has already been scheduled for the regular meeting of February 19, 2013, and all interested residents are encouraged to attend.

The CSD recognizes the importance of this issue to the community and is fully appreciative of the concerns of residents with regard to how it will finally be resolved. Our goal is that the final solution will be a plan that is in the best interests of the community.

Charlie Martin, GM
Saddle Creek CSD

Important Notice Regarding Privacy Entry Gate

On November 20, 2012, Castle & Cooke informed the District that they would be discontinuing their funding for staffing of the Main Privacy Gate effective January 1, 2013. The cost (approximately $50,000 annually) for continuation of privacy gate staffing at the present levels (Sunday-Thursday, 5:00 pm – 11:00 pm; Friday-Saturday 6:45 am – 11:00 pm) would have to be borne by the District.

The Board of Directors placed this matter on the December 16, 2012 CSD Board Agenda in order to provide an opportunity for discussion amongst themselves and with members of the public in an effort to determine what approach would best serve the community.

Discussion of the possible approaches to be taken included: 1) continuing the current staffing level; 2) reducing the current staffing level; 3) leaving the privacy gate closed and unattended 24 hours a day; 4) leaving the privacy gate open and unattended during business hours for construction/golf/restaurant operations (6:45 am to no later than 9:00 pm); 5) exploring the possibility of installing new privacy access points (gate arms) at the entrance to the two (2) residential areas; and 6) Closing the gates, but staff them from 6:45 am – 9:00 pm daily. Some of these options may result in a reduction of services or an additional monetary assessment (after a ballot measure) that would be borne by Saddle Creek property owners.

After lengthy discussion by the Board of Directors with extensive input from a number of residents who were in attendance, the Directors determined that since this matter was of significant interest to the community final action would be deferred until the regular CSD Board meeting of January 15, 2013. This would allow opportunity for additional input from interested residents. As a result of this determination, the Board added $5,000 to the FY 2013 CSD Budget to pay for gate staffing costs from January 1, 2013 through January 31, 2013.

Interested members of the community are encouraged to attend the January 15, 2013 Meeting (starts at 2 PM at the Lodge) of the CSD Board of Directors and make your position on the matter known. If you are not able to attend the meeting, but would like to express support for one of the six options as outlined above you may complete the poll below. You can read the current Privacy Gate Rules here.

Board of Directors
Saddle Creek CSD

The Poll is now closed.