Clearlake Oaks In The News
Clearlake Oaks has been in the news lately and you can read a selection of
the stories below.
Progress in the Oaks community
By Denise Rockenstein
A progress update on the Lake County Community Recovery
Task Force (CRTF) was provided to the public on Wednesday at the Clearlake
Oaks Moose Lodge. Leading agents were on hand to offer information about
the project as well as provide statistics resulting directly from the
implementation of the task force.
CRTF is an innovative new program that combines the
efforts of several county agencies as they work together to enforce laws
and increase public safety in various Lake County communities.
The program is county-funded and will continue over a two-year span with
the initial "pilot" project covering the greater Clearlake Oaks area from
Spring Valley to Glenhaven.
The CRTF combines the efforts of the Lake County Sheriff's Department,
Animal Care and Control, Code Enforcement and Probation. The program also
receives assistance from the California Highway Patrol, Lake County
Narcotics Task Force and Lake County Department of Social Services.
All agencies involved with the CRTF work together to promote a team
approach to solving community problems with the ultimate goal of
generating community pride and improving economic growth and development.
"It's a pretty unique project; I don't know of any other counties doing
the same," said CRTF Coordinator Sheriff's Sgt. Rob Howe. "We started this
thing the beginning of the year, January. But to actually get things off
the ground, get the man power, it took a few months."
Howe reported that since January, more than 100 arrests have been made,
stemming from minor citations all the way to felony drug possession
arrests. More than 20 citations have been issued for such offenses as
traffic violations while approximately 100 probation searches have been
conducted. "These guys are out there contacting the probationers," he
said, adding that more than 150 probation code caseload contacts have been
made as well.
Probation Officer Dean Thornquist later reiterated the success of the task
force from his standpoint. "Rest assure that the people here, the Oaks,
Spring Valley, Glenhaven, are basically on intensive supervision. The
program has really intensified what probation does.
"As a general rule, a person on probation is required to be seen once a
month." he explained. "In this area, because of this task force, everybody
is probably being seen here at least twice a week."
According to Thornquist, there are more than 1,000 adults in Lake County
currently on probation, 28 of which reside in the Oaks. Juvenile
probationers total 450 countywide with 15 on informal probation and 10 on
formal living in Clearlake Oaks.
"When we first started in January, we averaged nine (probation) arrests a
month for warrants, violation of probation. And now, actually because of
the compliance with probationers, I'm lucky to get an arrest in any given
month which is a good thing. That's what we want from intensive
supervision probation," Thornquist concluded.
Sgt. Howe also reported that Animal Care and Control has issued 20
citations; Lake County Code Enforcement has tagged more than 80 vehicles,
40 of which have actually been removed. Code Enforcement has also
red-tagged 13 homes and has conducted well more than 500 site visits.
"(We've had) a couple of demolishes which is not something we're really
shooting for," Howe continued. "No one wants to take someone's house
unless it's a serious safety issue and it has to be done, and sometimes it
Code Enforcement Officer Allison Garrett was also on hand to field
questions from the public. She began with an overview explaining the
lengthy process of abatement and the workload of the area. "Before I got
on the Task Force I had 286 cases in Clearlake Oaks, Spring Valley and
Glenhaven," she said. "That's a big case load for one person. Now I get to
concentrate on the Task Force issues and work with them. And with the Task
Force, it seems that things get done a lot quicker."
Also on hand were Sheriff Deputy Ed Bean as well as Deputy Jim Samples,
representing the Lake County Narcotics Task Force. Bean introduced himself
and described his position on the CRTF as a proactive enforcement agent
while Samples gave specific examples of crime activity in the area. "There
are a lot of different aspects we deal with besides drugs," said Samples,
citing his involvement in a recent murder case conviction.
The CRTF is a "pilot" project that will operate in a two-year span prior
to being brought back before the Lake County Board of Supervisors for
analysis. "We'll be looking at everything collectively with the community
to see if it works," said county administrator Kelly Cox from his seat in
Third District Supervisor Gary Lewis, who represents the Clearlake Oaks,
Spring Valley and Glenhaven areas, was also present for the meeting. Lewis
said if the project is successful, he would like to see it introduced to
all communities in Lake County.
It is suspected that the CRTF will transform into a mobile unit operating
in other areas of the county in need of attention, after the initial
Clearlake Oaks project ends in 2005
Oaks residents discuss site for community park
By Denise Rockenstein
Residents of Clearlake Oaks gathered at the Eastlake Grange hall on
Thursday, Oct. 14 to discuss a possible site for a community park. A
12-acre parcel located near Orchard Shores is obtainable and could be the
ideal site the community has been looking for.
Third District Supervisor Gary Lewis and Lake County Administrator Kelly
Cox were on hand to field questions and receive citizen input on the
potential park site.
"We have an individual that has a big piece of property who would like to
offer part of that property to Lake County for a park," explained Lewis
beginning the meeting. "Before we decide to do that, it was necessary to
come to you and say Is this where you would like to see a park built?"'
Ideally, the park will consist of a ball field, soccer field, benches and
other standard park amenities such as playground equipment and drinking
fountains. In order to accommodate such requests, the County of Lake has
been searching for land between eight to 10 acres.
"I want you to know it's been tough finding acreage," said Cox. "There is
just not a lot of acreage around here for a large-scale park."
Cox indicated that the county is still looking at an area near Red & White
grocery store on Highway 20 for use as a town center-type of park. Cox
reported that the project, which is being conducted under a separate
source of funding, is continuing and that the funds are still secured. "We
are still working with Mr. Nylander and he is considering selling it to
(Lake County) for a downtown, town center- type of park. But we also
needed a park with acreage, which is what was promised to the community
several years ago."
The land proposed to the residents for a community park is situated on a
32-acre parcel that is currently on the market. The area stands as a
walnut orchard at present and does not house any native vegetation. The
land is flat and has sewer and potable water lines running through it. It
also has three-phase power as well as a 500-gallon per minute well.
"I don't know of any other options that are so perfect for a park," said
Richard Kuehn, the developer considering purchase of the property who in
turn has offered to sell the 12 acres to the county.
The most notable concerns cited during the meeting included accessibility
to the park and impact that would be absorbed by residents of Orchard
Shores. Several residents voiced a concern for noise generated by visitors
to the park that could disturb a residential area made up primarily of
retired, elderly people. However, a lady who recently purchased a home in
Orchard Shores stated that it was never disclosed as a retirement
community and she and her young family would love to have a park in the
Another resident of Orchard Shores also voiced her support of a park near
the residential community. "Sometimes you have to compromise," said Sabina
Hue De Laroque. "The park will be there for my children and my
grandchildren and I think it is our responsibility to pave the way for
Other concerns included safety and security, park hours and use, and law
"If we have certain provisions in place and it's done properly, this could
be such a boom to our community and something we could be so proud of,"
said Margaret Medeiros, who is an active community member. "I think it's
terrible we don't have Little league here; we don't have soccer. We've got
kids. We need a place to do it. We need this very badly.
Lewis indicated, closing the meeting, that the county will continue to
pursue this option given the support received. He further informed the
group that the county will be looking to the community prior to
construction. The county will seek input for design and amenities to be
included in the park's development.
Oaks residents to meet to discuss Housing Element
By Staff Reports
CLEARLAKE OAKS Residents of this lakeside community will meet next week to
discuss their concerns regarding the county's new Housing Element and its
possible impacts on Clearlake Oaks. The meeting will take place at 6 p.m.
Wednesday, Aug. 25 at the Clearlake Oaks Grange, located at the corner of
Highway 20 and High Valley Road.
At a public hearing on Aug. 3, the Lake County Board of Supervisors
discussed and approved a new Housing Element which includes potential
sites for low and low-low income housing.
A total of 972 units have been designated for Clearlake Oaks, with 891 of
those units slated for two empty parcels located between the Clearlake
Oaks Keys/Old Keys Landing Building and Shoreline Realty/Orchard Shores on
The need for affordable housing in Lake County is critical, but some
residents believe the density of the proposed units for Clearlake Oaks at
up to 19 units per acre would have a detrimental impact on the community.
While the population of Clearlake Oaks comprises roughly 5 percent of the
county, over 50 percent of the low and low-low income units have been
designated for Clearlake Oaks, which could potentially double its
Currently the Housing Element is with the California Department of Housing
for final approval. If approved, this becomes part of the General Plan and
would be very difficult to change in the future.
While Clearlake Oaks needs to shoulder its share of affordable housing,
residents believe that it should be equitably spread throughout the
county. Currently there are no building plans to start a project there,
but there could be in the future.
Residents are encouraged to attend this important community meeting to
voice their concerns. Supervisor Gary Lewis and a member of the Planning
Department will be available to answer questions.
A copy of the final Housing Element sent to the State is available at the
Clearlake Oaks Senior Center, the Planning Department, and online at
www.rummaging.com/lakecounty. For more information e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
or call Chuck Lamb at 998-0135.
County accepts updated housing element
Elizabeth Larson - Record-Bee staff
LAKE COUNTY The board of supervisors last week accepted an update of the
county's housing element, but critics said the document doesn't make
provisions to ensure for the necessary ratio of affordable and
Per state law, the county needs to assess its housing needs and inventory
of restraints, which is the purpose the housing element serves. Among its
requirements, the element must analyze the population and employment
trends of an area; look at special housing needs; document and analyze
household characteristics; and look at opportunities for energy
conservation in residential development.
The last housing element for Lake County dates from 1995.
Larry Mintier of Mintier and Associates the consultants who have worked on
the element with the county for a year and a half joined Rick Coel of the
Planning Department to discuss the plan with the board.
The revised element has gone through several rounds of review, said
Mintier. It includes a discussion of what was learned from 1995's housing
element; identifies sites or zones where permanent and seasonal farmworker
housing is allowed; and considers potential governmental restraints on
development for people with disabilities.
"We feel really good about this housing element," said Mintier.
Santa Rosa-based attorney David Grabill submitted a letter to the board
that morning that was greeted with annoyance by Board Chair Rob Brown, who
felt the letter wasn't submitted with enough time to let the board
consider the concerns it outlined.
Grabill, who said in his letter that he represents several farmworkers who
live in Lake County, stated he believes the updated housing element does
not comply with state requirements, and added, "The county has a poor
record in meeting its regional need for lower income housing over the past
According to Grabill, the draft element is "ambiguous about how many units
affordable to lower income households were actually built in the
unincorporated areas of Lake County during the previous planning period."
During the portion of the meeting devoted to a public hearing about the
element, Lakeport attorney Andy Rossoff spoke extensively about his
concerns regarding the document.
Rossoff is an advocate for seniors and the disabled through his work for
the Senior Law Project and Legal Services of Northern California. He also
works with Clearlake Housing Now, a housing advocacy organization whose
mission is to improve housing possibilities for the disabled.
Rossoff defended the letter from Grabill, who he said is a colleague of
Rossoff also said said he felt the public hasn't been actively brought
into the process of updating the element.
And the process itself, Rossoff suggested, has been "unfathomable."
The element is suppose to analyze the previous element's success or
failure, said Rossoff. "I can't tell from the new draft housing element
just how we did over the last nine years," he said.
"Over the last nine years, the need for affordable housing in this county,
I think, has reached crisis level," said Rossoff.
That need, he said, affects seniors, farmworkers, the disabled and
Rossoff said measurable standards needed to be inserted into the housing
element to go with the policies stating support for affordable housing.
But Brown said the private sector is responsible for actually creating
affordable housing, "Not us."
"There's only so much that can be done by us," he said.
Brown pressed Rossoff for examples of measurable goals. In turn, Rossoff
suggested counting how many homes are accessible for the disabled.
But Brown questioned the value of those numbers. "You can't force people
to make their homes handicap accessible," said Brown.
"You can educate people," replied Rossoff. "Common sense doesn't fit into
this discussion too often."
Rossoff also suggested the county give incentives to developers who met
the goals of making homes handicap accessible.
Brown said he understood where Rossoff was coming from, but "warm and
fuzzy goals" don't accomplish anything, he said.
As the discussion progressed, Rossoff also stated that he perceived a
"lack of reality" relating to plans to expand the low-income housing
As an example, he cited plans for 972 low-income housing units to be built
in Clearlake Oaks,
"Is that appropriate?" he asked, pointing to concerns of density and
resources. "Is that suitable planning for the county?"
If a developer were to propose the plan, "is there any possible reality
for that being approved?" Rossoff asked.
Brown agreed the plan had problems.
Rossoff asked the board not to approve the element at this point in the
process, citing the many flaws he believes the document possesses. He said
he understood the board's desire to get things done, but "it's important
to get it right," he said, adding, "getting it approved is not necessarily
getting it right."
To that he added a concern that the document could be legally challenged
if it's not correct.
Supervisor Anthony Farrington asked Rossoff about setting target goals for
meeting housing needs.
"I would like to set the numbers at the need level," said Rossoff.
"This housing element is a guide, the way I look at it," said Supervisor
Gary Lewis, adding that he thinks "it's a good plan."
The board eventually approved the document 5-0.
With the county's approval secured, the housing element will go to the
state for a final 90-day review process, said Mintier.
Southern Comfort Band appears at chili
Attendees at the Clearlake Oaks Community Support
Network's inaugural "Chili Cook Off" will be privy to a public appearance
by the Southern Comfort Band.
The cook-off takes place from noon to 9 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 7 at the Plaza
in Clearlake Oaks. Look for the band to be onstage from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Jerry Toler, band manager and the only founding member of the band still
alive, said the band has been in operation for 21 years. "Now well into
the 21st century, Southern Comfort Band is an icon and still what country
music is really all about."
Toler said he has worked with quality musicians over the years to keep the
sound alive. The band has worked every honkytonk, rodeo, county fair and
music event in these parts, including Konocti Harbor Resort & Spa as an
opening act for the stars and lounge band.
"The band now-days is a little more low key, doing mainly private parties,
but in August they are going public for the first annual Clearlake Oaks
Chili cook off on August 7th," Toler said, adding that the band will also
perform on Saturday, Aug. 28 at Richmond Park Resort.
For band booking information, call Toler at 995-9602. To find out more
about the inaugural "Chili Cook Off," call Sabine Hue De Laroque at
350-4067 or visit the Clearlake Oaks Community Support Network's Web site
Abatement discussed in Clearlake
Wednesday 19,2004 -Lake
County Administrator Kelly Cox and Public Services Director Kim Clymire
were guest speakers during Clearlake Oaks Community Support Network's
public meeting held on Wednesday. Cox gave an overview of the county's
budget concerns highlighting park acquisition in the Oaks while Clymire
outlined the current position of the park project.
County Wines Featured In Mercury News
25, 2003 - A story about Lake county and the
wines produced here were featured in the San Jose Mercury News recently.
You can read the story on the Mercury News site by clicking here.
To Start Community Patrol Soon
26, 2003 - The Clearlake Oaks Community Service Network
(CLOCSN) will be starting community patrol soon.
The community group has purchased a used Sheriff's Department patrol car, said CLOCSN's President Sabine Hue De
Laroque. "We are trying to get it ready, fixing the logo and the lights. After that, we will start patrolling."
Aggressive plan for marketing, economic growth
15, 2003 - The county has appropriated close to $4 million for its marketing and economic development program in the new fiscal year.
This amount represents a significant increase over the $2.4 million used for those programs in fiscal year 2002/03.
Vibrant Vision For The Community
8, 2003 - In almost every community, there is a downtown where most people gather. In Clearlake Oaks, residents there would tell you it is the Clearlake Oaks Town Plaza.
But don't be mistaken; it is not a shopping mall. It is a big parking lot surrounded by homes on three sides and the Clearlake Oaks United Methodist Church on the fourth.
Oaks Gets Ready To Go
17, 2003 - Close to 120 people from Clearlake Oaks gathered at that northshore community's first town hall meeting to see how they can improve the image of their area.
Within a week, 31 people signed up for the different projects that the community wants to see fixed, said Roger Hue De Laroque, owner of Pascal's Discount Market and one of the meeting's initiators.