Frustrated Camarillo Springs Homeowners

By Logan McFadden

The Camarillo City Council unanimously approved extending the Emergency Proclamation for 30 additional days. The community suffered debris flow from rain storms last year.

HOA President, Barbara Williams spoke about the forecast for more rain in May, rebuilding homes, dealing with insurance companies, and meeting with Caltrans about the drainage from the 101 Freeway. She asked the Council to extend the Emergency Proclamation as it provides assistance with the authorization of monies to fund recovery projects.

Two geological studies have been completed. Residents spoke of the need to re-position the K rails which will direct future debris flows. One resident said that recent rain showers sent more debris into his back yard. He is waiting to apply for a building permit until after he sees the results of another rain storm.

Homeowners complained of the frustrating building permit process. The overriding issue is the Release which must be signed before a building permit is granted. Homeowners described the Release as an “unfair” City requirement and “onerous”. Per the residents, the waiver forces homeowners to give up significant property rights and accept restrictions which may adversely affect resale property values. In particular, it is alleged that the Release takes away the subrogation right of an insurance company, makes it difficult to sell the home, requires a new owner to sign a covenant which takes a right without just compensation. One owner threatened the City with litigation if the Release is not modified by the City Attorney to address these issues. Another owner said he had an appointment to meet with staff regarding a building permit and was ignored when he arrived at City Hall.

Yet, amidst all of these complaints, one homeowner thanked the City for all of its diligence over the past several months. He said that City employees had been instrumental in clearing debris and were often “onsite working in the mud”. He feels proud to be a citizen of Camarillo.

Council members instructed staff to continue working with the homeowners to resolve their requests and demands. The most pressing issue is drafting a Release that is mutually agreeable. If future rain storms cause new debris flow, the homeowners and the City will have to re-assess the debris flow diversion project. The frustration expressed by several homeowners seemed to expect the City to handle all of the problems. What is needed is cooperation among the parties and a clear understanding of where the City’s “liability” ends.

Logan McFadden is a city reporter and a recently retired banker, residing in Camarillo. He volunteers for the Heritage Action Sentinel team and serves as the AMAC Delegate to the 26th Congressional District and a Convention of States District Captain.

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4 Responses to Frustrated Camarillo Springs Homeowners

  1. Jeff May 17, 2015 at 6:56 am

    I’ve heard everyone had insurance. The question now is will they be able to get insurance if the hillside isn’t fixed. By the city letting the builder build there and then by issuing occupancy permits, they seemed to have given an implied warranty. We’re a community – and this is pretty unforeseen. Once the underlying problem is fixed, the homeowners will be responsible for fixing the homes themselves.

  2. Jeff May 16, 2015 at 5:23 pm

    The city approved the building of those homes years ago. The city should be responsible for the debris flow. The reporter’s editorial at the end should be marked as such.

    • Citizen Reporter May 16, 2015 at 6:55 pm

      The nanny state is not responsoble for your cradle to grave security. People must take more responsibility for their own lives/decisions and at least have insurance.


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