Saturday, January 08, 2005

15,000 residents paying 40 mil in taxes get no CHP enforcement

Simply because its a "Private" community"????
Traffic is seriously out of control in this area. Margarita Parkway a three lane wide arterial outside coto is 40MPH yet coto de Caza Drive INSUDE coto gates must be 50 MPH per the county and state. In other words, the state and county want residents to RUSH to having that fatal accident inside Coto that is bound to happen. Then the question can be answered in the courts at the cost of some persons--resident or non residents life?
cotonewsreporter and to add to this subject,............ read

To All Concerned:

This was in today's (1/8/05) Register, quote:

Coto must pay extra for traffic patrols

State says CHP won't watch private streets at no charge

This gated community will either have to pay extra for traffic patrols or do without.

Leaders of the largest homeowners' association that oversees much of the 15,000-resident development had asked the Attorney General's Office to re-interpret state laws to allow the Sheriffs Department or the California Highway Patrol to roam the streets for traffic violators without assessing a fee.

Coto leaders argued that their tax dollars had already paid for the service.

But in a one-page letter to Assemblyman Todd Spitzer, R-Orange, who represents the area, Chief Deputy Attorney General Richard Frank said the 1960 ruling on such scenarios remains the same: A private community must pay for the CHP to actively patrol for traffic violations such as speeding, ignoring stop signs and driving while intoxicated.

"The streets in question are gated; members of the public are not allowed to use them without permission," Frank said in the letter. If the community is concerned about safety, "the residents may wish to consider having the streets become public 'county highways.'"

For three years - ending last January - the homeowners' association paid about $10,000 a month for up to 160 hours per month of CHP patrols. Association president Robert Varo had said is was "extortion" that Coto residents must pay a fee for protection that they believe they've already paid for through taxes.

He was disappointed to learn that the attorney general wouldn't reconsider. He hadn't decided whether the associations would reconsider another contract with the CHP.

"We pay $40 million in property taxes," Varo said. "We're not looking for a free service. We're just looking for some value for the taxes we pay."

Sheriff's deputies respond to Coto for crimes such as burglaries and robberies and can cite traffic violators if they happen to witness the violation. The CHP still responds to accidents such as those involving alcohol or injuries.

Once and for all it should be clear that we have no pro-active traffic patrol in Coto. CZ Board Members Varo, Mezger, Hill, Thagard and Larkin are exposing our residents to danger from speeders on streets. They cannot deny their responsibility in the event of a tragic accident. Regards, Joe Morabito

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