Logging to Begin
October 3, 2004
After much contention and many delays the time has come for
the log hauling operation on the adjacent Holmes Lumber Co.
property to begin. The Holmes Property located near the end of
Valley View Rd. is highly impaired as a result of
at least two active landslides that have washed out both their
Coon Heights Rd. access "lower" and their El Solyo
Heights Dr. access "upper". At this time The Holmes
Family can only access their property through our road system.
Trees were felled this winter and according to regulations they
have until November 15th to complete their logging and hauling
As most of you who attended the annual meeting last March remember the Holmes
agreed to pay and the membership agreed to accept road dues in the amount of
$400.00 for each parcel they own in our neighborhood during the calender year
2004. This offer implied a "Good Faith" agreeement that we would not
obstruct use of our road system during their log hauling operation or use their
money to litigate with them. It was also is an acknowlegement from them of the
sacrifice we are making for their benefit. At this time we have received a total
of $2000.00 for the five parcels the Holmes own in our neighborhood. While this
amount is small compared to the potential for damage to our roads caused by log
trucks the membership decided that it was better to put a small amount of money
in the bank rather than a large amount of money in to the hands of lawyers fighting
the Holmes which seemed to be where we were headed. Continued use of our roads
for calander year 2005 by the Homes Family will be discussed at our next meeting....most
likely March 2005.
As things stand now the Holmes have from September 15, 2004 to November 15, 2004
to complete their operations. After October 15, if there is more than 4 inches
of rainfall they must cease operations until the following year. It is in our
best interest to have them complete their operations quickly because right now
our roads have had all summer to dry out and are less vulnerable to damage from
heavy trucks do to subsurface failure. At this point is not in the best interests
of either party for this operation to drag on.
On September 17, 2004 myself and Tomas Wynn met with Registered Professional
Forester Matt Rourke representing the Holmes family and John Swenson of County
Dept. of Public Works to document the condition of the part our road system that
constitute the log haul route. The documentation was done by means of video,
digital camera and written notes indexed to white marks painted on the road at
areas that were deemed particularly vulnerable to heavy truck traffic. All areas
not painted were listed as unimpaired. The Holmes family has posted a bond in
the amount of $5000.00 to cover any damage that might occur to the road during
their operation. Again this is a rather paltry amount considering that it has
taken somewhere in the range of a half to three quarters of a million dollars
in road association funds over the last 20 years to get our roads to the point
that they are now which is far from perfect. Nevertheless this is the maximum
bond required by state law for this type of operation and the Homes Family have
complied. In the event that damage does occur it is my understanding that a representitives
from the California Dept. of Forestry and The County of Santa Cruz will determine
the damage and the amount to be paid.
CONDITIONS & TIMES OF OPERATION:
Once the operation begins we could see from 5 to 6 loads a day taken out for
a period of up to 8 weeks. All loaded log trucks will be required to have a pilot
car preceed them as they travel down our roads. Unloaded trucks will be allowed
travel on our roads without pilot cars. Loaded log trucks going down hill ...must
have pilot cars...unloaded log trucks going back up the hill....need not have
pilot cars. Loaded lowboy equipment trailers bringing tractors or other equipment
in or out...must have pilot cars.Trucks traffic is only allowed on Park Drive
and Valley View Rd. Trucks are not allowed to stop to check loads or tighten
binders or for any other reason before exiting onto Highway 9. The hours of operation
are 7:00 am to 7:00pm on week days....Only. No operations are allowed on Saturdays....Sundays...or
designated national holidays. The haul route must be posted by the timber operator
at regular intervals with signs that read "Caution Log Trucks." When
you see these signs posted you will know that log hauling operations are imminent.
Designated truck speed limit for this operation is 10 mph.
No one is looking forward to these operations but if we all slow down, pay attention
and drive safely for the next month or so there is a good chance that we can
all get through this without too much trouble.
If you have any questions please feel free to call or e-mail
me or your area
rep. and we will be happy to respond.
Michael Saunders President LTRA
1000 Valley View Road 336 2412