San Lorenzo Express News

San Lorenzo Homes Association Board in Turmoil

December 7, 2009

A second director of the San Lorenzo Village Homes Association has resigned, following the departure a few months ago of board president Wulf Bieschke. Richard Ogg resigned in a letter Dec. 2 citing "childish and unprofessional behavior" of other directors. He also questioned the amount of time and funds spent on "party planning."

Resignation Letter of Richard Ogg

December 2, 2009

Dear members of the board,

This letter is to signify my resignation immediately. I would like to take the time to thank the board for allowing me the opportunity to sit on it.

I took this position in hopes that I could help make a difference and in making San Lorenzo a better community for all parties. However, it seems that for every step taken forward, we unfortunately took two steps back. It is with sad regards that I am unable to sit on this board any further due to the childish and unprofessional behavior that takes place between the members of the board. This demeanor has led to nothing but unproductive use of time.

This board's purpose is to be making governing decisions and reinforcing the CC&R's for the betterment of San Lorenzo. Instead, it seems that we have become a party planning company. I realize that we need community involvement but I feel the amount of time and money that is taken up on these extravagant affairs is counter productive to the majority of the citizens of San Lorenzo. This, in my opinion, is better suited for the school's PTA and the likes of youth sporting organizations.

I wish you all the best of luck and once again thank you. I sincerely hope that you will be able to work cohesively as a unified group and put your personal feelings toward one another aside for the betterment of San Lorenzo and its citizens.


Richard Ogg

Bieschke resigned abruptly on September 25, without forewarning. He cited the demands of his business as the reason for leaving the board.

The Village Homes Association was formed with the subdivision of farms into San Lorenzo village during World War II, when David Bohannon undertook construction of the then-largest planned community in the nation under contract with the U.S. Navy. Bohannon completed construction in the few years following the war.

Additional areas of the village were built in the 1950s and 1960s and were added to the association. Presently the association includes practically all of the properties within the village. It also manages the homeowners associations of a few recent subdivisions (such as the subdivision of the former retail center on Bockman Road and the Cottage Square subdivision of the Nielsen-Ferro farm on Washington Avenue).

Homeowner associations are formed as "mutual benefit nonprofit corporations" under the state's Corporation Code (beginning at section 7110) and subject to the Sterling-Davis Act, which governs all "common interest developments" (Civil Code, beginning section 1350). (See All About the Davis-Stirling Act -- lots of useful information in plain language.)

The principal purposes of an homeowner association are to enforce the "covenants, conditions, and restrictions" (CC&Rs) contained in the original deeds of a subdivision and to manage any lands commonly owned by all members of the association. CC&Rs pass with each subsequent sale of a parcel and cannot be eliminated or changed by sellers and buyers.

In this year's election of directors three of the five seats on the board were open. The two incumbents whose terms had expired -- Margaret Wright and Kathy Martin -- chose to run again. In addition, the two-year remainder of the term for the seat formerly held by Bieschke was open for election. Only one non-incumbent, Brenda Carr, filed for election. (Carr had been an unsuccessful candidate in the January 2006 election.) Since there were only three candidates for three open seats, all three candidates have been deemed elected "by acclamation."

In the last contested election, in January 2008, Mel Medeiros defeated long-time incumbent Jim Sherman, who subsequently was elected to the board of trustees of the San Lorenzo Unified School District.

See the history of the homes association board since 1945