Water Resources Institute Oral History Program
Ralph Wagner Interview #4
March 6, 2007
Interviewer Suzie Earp
• SE = Suzie Earp
• RW = Ralph Wagner
• AC = Amanda Cole
SE: O.K. Today is March 6, 2007 and my name is Suzie Earp. I’m here with Ralph
Wagner and Amanda Cole. I finally can remember your name. We’re going to have to
backtrack a little bit, because we lost a couple of weeks of tapes. We are going to be
going over some things from previous recordings, but I have a list of people and
questions to ask you, Ralph. From the very first interview, one thing really jumped out at
me was the roads in Lake Arrowhead. You made the comment that by 1964 the roads in
Lake Arrowhead had really deteriorated, they weren’t necessarily planned and they
often were at property boundaries.
RW: Yes, the primary roads, the state highways, for instance, and the primary roads
serving a number of houses in any given tract were in pretty good condition. However,
the secondary roads back in many of the tracts, particularly on the North Shore, were
not maintained well by anybody. Most of them, almost all of them, were not dedicated to
the County, so the County did not maintain them, instead they were in effect private
roads not maintained by anybody in particular. Many of them were owned by the
development company or whoever owned Lake Arrowhead at the time. If they were
maintained by them, the private property owners that fronted on those roads, they were
responsible for the maintenance. Many of them did not do any maintenance, particularly
during the winter months, because they weren’t here.
SE: Right, and the roads weren’t necessarily planned, is that correct?
RW: Well they were sort of planned, but the fact that they showed up on a map didn’t
necessarily mean that they were located in the same place on that map. They just put
the roads in where ever it seemed they should go and where ever it was convenient.
Many times you’d find a road, a secondary road that was supposed to be within a right-
of-way that really wasn’t there. It may have been located on private property, but the
properties were big enough that it really didn’t make that much difference where the
pavement was located. It didn’t do any harm to anybody and it was there and it worked.
SE: And early on when it was being developed, in the early 1920s, 1930s and even
1940s, there weren’t that many cars as compared to today.
RW: That’s absolutely true.
SE: So a family would have a car instead of six cars.
RW: Yes, and it was generally much smaller than today’s cars.
SE: And people may drive up to their house, but from that point on they may walk all
summer long or take a weekly trip out or something like that.
SE: So the roads were not a huge deal for many years?
RW: That’s correct, yes.
SE: So they just sort of evolved in other words.
RW: Yeah, they lived with them and they worked, so why do anything about it.
SE: So the older the development, the worse the condition of the road I’m guessing?
RW: Generally speaking, yes.
SE: The other factor I would think is the fewer year round residents that were on that
road, the worse the road would become. So if you would have to drive on it every day,
then they may maintain it a little better than. . .
RW: Also when properties up here were first subdivided in the 1920s and even into
the 1930s, the subdivision requirements were not the same as they are today with
respect to the dedication of road right-of-ways. In the early tracts there were no
dedicated road right-of-ways, in other words, the boundaries of all properties in early
subdivisions were common and if you had a line between two properties where it
appeared that there should be a road to service those two properties there was simply a
private road easement that was dedicated. Owners of the property owned out to the
centerline of that private road easement and that’s where they tried to put the road if it
SE: Right, and if the next year they decided to put the garage on the other side of the
house, then they’d just move the road over to the other side?
RW: Yes, they could do that if somebody was paying that much attention.
SE: So by the 1950s and 1960s the roads are beginning to show some wear and
RW: Yes, particularly in those old tracts where it was done through private road
SE: And the developer at that point was long gone?
RW: In most cases, he had sold the properties, yes.
SE: And there was probably getting to be more and more year round residents, as
the years go by. How did they fix them Ralph, at first they must have been dirt roads
and then did they ever become hard surface?
RW: Most did in time.
SE: And then would a group of homeowners get together, let’s say a group of
homeowners decided to fix their road, their private road which had, let’s say, six homes
off of that road. Would they just simply get together and hire someone to fix that road?
RW: Yes, and then eventually after 1964 all of those problem roads, not all but most of
those problem roads were dedicated to the County of San Bernardino and the County of
San Bernardino Road Department became responsible for the maintenance.
SE: O.K., that’s where I want to go back to this whole issue of the roads. That’s a
pretty big shift right there, to go from total private property and private maintenance of
those roads and then you’re asking the County to come in?
RW: Right, and in some cases the width of the private road easement was wide
enough to accommodate what I’ll call a more modern roadway and therefore under
those conditions the County required the dedication of right-of-way to a minimum width
of 40 feet so that they could install a paved road and then maintain it. But you have to
remember that this area was generating quite a bit of tax money at that time too. The
County was being for it.
SE: I agree with that, but still asking the County to step in a private situation, I mean,
some of the homeowners lost more property than others correct?
RW: Well if they required additional right-of-way, they usually took the same amount
from each side, so it came out pretty even.
SE: Well I guess I’m not so concerned about cost as I am that, to push the residents
to ask the County to come in and start maintaining the roads, they were bad, the roads
were bad. That’s a pretty big step especially when it’s still a privately held lake and
SE: What I’m asking, I guess, is do you think that’s when the citizen’s realized that
Boise Cascade in this case, was not being very. . .?
RW: Well this was prior to Boise Cascade. This was during the time that the lake and
the properties around the lake were owned by the Lake Arrowhead Development
SE: Oh O.K., but they weren’t listening to the residents very much?
RW: That’s correct.
SE: By the time Boise Cascade takes it, and then the citizen’s by that point then
really want it back, they’re not being very responsive.
RW: The Lake Arrowhead Development Company was not very responsive, in spite of
the fact that they made a great deal of money up here, the development and the
developed properties that they sold. That’s the reason that they sold to Boise Cascade
was because they were in financial distress.
SE: But we’ve already. . .
RW: They took out more than they were willing to put back into the community and
that really caused a lot of problems. But never the less, they still didn’t make a lot of
SE: Might be because the price tag was pretty high. O.K., we already see evidence of
the residents being able to gather around a major concern, organize, work on a solution
to a problem, and call in outside help, is a new thing for them, isn’t it? Is this the first
instance . . .?
RW: Well the community finally wised up to the fact that the land developer was
unwilling to put sufficient money back into the community to maintain, for instance,
SE: Right, so they called in the County?
SE: Do you think that was the first instance of them asking for outside help,
organizing against local developers?
RW: Yes it was. They had pleaded with developers earlier than that, and some of the
developers had responded particularly the Turf Club. They were very responsible
owners. They put a lot of money back into the community, for instance, the hospital.
Then they ran into financial distress and they had to sell to the Lake Arrowhead
Development Company. Lake Arrowhead Development Company plowed a lot of
money into the community to subdivide the area, and they were even less willing to put
more money into the community and they ran into financial bad times. Then they sold to
Boise Cascade. Boise Cascade subsequently ran into financial problems, so they had to
SE: O.K., everybody that owns it runs into the same problem. When the problems
began with Boise Cascade, most of the citizens are beginning to see that they could run
things better, and Boise Cascade is being forced to get rid of their property. You’ve got
both of these things happening at the same time, did they ever ask for the County to
step in and take it over?
RW: The only thing they asked the County to do was to come in and take over some
of the roads. That’s all. The reason for that is, because if the lake had gone into
ownership, for instance by the County, it would have opened it up to the general public.
They wanted to keep the lake private that has always been first and foremost.
SE: Do you know if the County maintains other private roads?
RW: Well, they are no longer private. Now they’ve been dedicated to the County. That
was a condition, you had to dedicate the right-of-way to us (the County), before we will
SE: And they are public roads?
RW: Then they’re a public road.
SE: O.K., so I could walk along the roads up here?
RW: Oh yes, of course.
SE: I just can’t touch the lake.
RW: You can’t walk around the lake. Then you’re trespassing.
AC: Now I live off of an access road, off of my road, which is private property.
RW: Yes, and that’s still private. That is up to the owners of the property that abut that
road to maintain it.
AC: And it’s expensive. Yes, and AWAC has taken the lead, as far as helping
property owners get access roads repaved, as far as taking the other property owners
RW: Now another thing that has happened, is some of those private road easements,
that you just spoke of Amanda, in some cases the owners of abutting property have
formed a County service area for road maintenance, for road maintenance and snow
SE: They pay a tax?
RW: They pay a tax, yes. The County then maintains the road and plows it, but those
are access roads and there is a large of number of access roads within the tracts of
Arrowhead Woods, simply because of the hilly terrain. You need access roads, because
you can’t conveniently get to the houses that have been built off of the paved County
roads. You have to put in what they call access roads, which remain private, and
therefore there are a lot of those that and there just two handfuls that have been
converted over to maintenance by the County. You can do that with yours (Amanda),
but you’d have to have at least two thirds of the people abutting that access road to
agree to do it. Some cases it makes sense.
SE: Do you have any idea, Ralph, how hard it was to make that decision? How did
that come about?
RW: Well it was forced upon the developer, Lake Arrowhead Development Company
in 1964, by the 1964 Agreement of Settlement and Compromise. The owners of
property in Arrowhead Woods prior to 1964, several years prior to that, filed a class
action suit against Lake Arrowhead Development Company. The suit covered a number
of issues including access and use of the lake, the number of docks on the lake and
who gets a dock and who doesn’t, also the maintenance of roads, private roads, within
Arrowhead Woods that were not maintained or dedicated to the County. It was the 1964
Agreement, a class action suit and the settlement of it that required the development
company who owned these roadways to get the County to take them over. So it was a
legal action that did it. That is often times the case.
SE: That is really interesting that the citizens themselves were organized and willing.
Things must have been pretty bad before that?
RW: I wasn’t here permanently in 1964, so I don’t know all of the details, but they had
to be pretty bad.
SE: By 1962 they must have been horrible. To organize, we are talking about
haphazard citizenry, because they weren’t up here all of the time, they were up here for
a weekend; you can sort of ignore it.
RW: But they finally got organized in a class action.
SE: Do you know very much about that whole thing?
RW: No, I don’t, just the outcome of it. Things had to be pretty bad to get that kind of
unified reaction against the development company.
SE: We need to talk to Putty Henck about that.
RW: He was here, yes.
SE: He was here and he may know some of the movers and shakers of that,
organizers. That would be fascinating. We just glossed over that in the first interview
and that is a big deal that they organized.
RW: The 1964 Agreement and Settlement and Compromise is a major factor in how
this lake and its surrounding lands are operated and maintained. Without that, the
community really didn’t have that much say so in what went on.
SE: And by 1964 they recognized the danger of just joining the County, they
recognized that they needed to keep it a private lake; they had that body of knowledge.
That didn’t happen with the Boise Cascade thing that was already a body of knowledge
that they knew. Got to have all of these pieces to make. . .
RW: Oh it’s really kind of fascinating when you think about what took place in 1964; it
changed everything on how this lake and its surrounding lands were operated and
maintained. It is a major thing.
SE: And I am curious to hear if we hear some of the same names that were in
leadership with the next decision.
RW: Most of them are dead and gone.
SE: I believe that, but were they able to convince the next group, when you needed to
get organized to buy it from Boise Cascade?
RW: The 1964 Agreement of Settlement and Compromise, the class action was
brought by the Lake Arrowhead Property Owners Association. Once they prevailed in
that class action, and there was an Agreement of Settlement and Compromise, then
that group representing the property owners remained in place and remained very
SE: They were an organization?
RW: They were a monitor of Lake Arrowhead Development Company, and
subsequently, Boise Cascade. They monitored how those two development companies
carried through on the requirements on the 1964 Agreement. They had a body and it
remained in place.
SE: The former body encouraged the next body, and they underpinned it, or whatever
you want to say.
RW: Lake Arrowhead Property Owners Association, the group that brought the class
action that resulted in the 1964 Agreement of Settlement and Compromise; that group
remained in place until the early 1980s. It was in place at the time that Arrowhead Lake
Association was formed in 1974 and bought the lake in 1975. Now you have a property
owners association, not mandatory, and you have Arrowhead Lake Association
representing all of the property within Arrowhead Woods, so you now have two
organizations that essentially have the same job.
SE: How did they work that out Ralph?
RW: Well, easily, I was the president of both.
SE: Ralph, is there any organization that you weren’t the president of? (Jokingly)
RW: No, I can’t think of any. But at any rate. . .
SE: Now when did you begin that, the property association?
RW: Oh the Lake Arrowhead Property Owners Association was formed probably
about 1954 or thereabouts. It really wasn’t well organized to start with.
SE: Why did they start?
RW: Because of dissatisfaction with the development company.
SE: A general dissatisfaction or was it a particular issue?
RW: Yeah, largely having to do with how they could use the lake, the lake being the
centerpiece. That’s why they were here to begin with.
SE: I assumed it would be more over building regulations, and I don’t mean building
regulations, to tell the developers that you can’t build shanty’s up here, you’ve got to
build within. . .
RW: Well that has always been in force. Because when the original owners who
subdivided, started subdivisions in Arrowhead Woods, when they did that in the 1920s
they also attached to those subdivisions CC&Rs (Covenants, Conditions and
Restrictions). In those CC&Rs there were requirements on the size of house you could
build, the minimum size, there were requirements on the architectural style, on the
materials of construction, at least from the exterior of the house, colors and they had an
SE: And those were a group of citizens?
RW: The architectural committee was composed of two representatives from the
development company and three appointed representatives of property owners,
anybody that wanted to volunteer to represent property owners.
SE: Now have the regulations changed a lot?
RW: No. We still have an architectural committee, independent of anybody now. They
are a self standing corporation now.
SE: Can they enforce things?
RW: They have the power to go to court to enforce. They try through persuasion of
course to begin with, but they have gone to court, particularly over tree cutting. They
have quite often prevailed the over cutting of trees on a property in order to build
something on it. You can’t cut without their permission.
SE: Any development that is, I mean a developer comes in; he’s got a big lot and he’s
going to subdivide it into 20 lots, he’s got to leave the trees in place?
RW: He’s got to leave most, as many trees in place as possible. Things change over
time, the architectural committee when it first started out way back in the 1920s, was
very conscious and aware of trees. There weren’t as many trees at that time, so they
took positions wherein they tried to foster the leaving of trees and removing as few as
possible. What that did over a long period of time was cause this forest in an urbanized
setting. . . (tape pause) The architectural committee, we were talking about the
existence of the Arrowhead Lake Association and Lake Arrowhead Property Owners
Association at the same time.
SE: But the architecture committee started first?
RW: The architectural committee was the first to form and that was really required by
the CC&Rs that the original subdivider, owner of the properties around Lake Arrowhead,
attached to each of the subdivisions.
SE: As a way to control them?
RW: As a way to control the type of construction that occurred in Arrowhead Woods.
Yes. I mentioned earlier there are many controls size, color, architectural style, etc. as
well as trees.
SE: Oh that’s right, we were talking about trees.
RW: We were talking about trees and I was saying that there weren’t that many trees
in those early days as time went on then. . .
SE: Because they saved so many.
RW: Because they saved so many that the forest became really overcrowded. That’s
one thing that led to the devastation that we recently went through with the bark beetle
attack. Now we’ve lost a lot of those trees and the focus is not as nearly as strong now
by the architectural committee on the preservation of trees, because we still have kind
of an overcrowded forest. The architectural committee has become much more relaxed
on tree removal.
SE: Did they ever disallow certain tree types?
RW: Yes, but the rules and regulations say that all trees shall be native to this area.
You can look across the street right now and you can see that there are a lot that aren’t
native to this area.
SE: This committee was, pretty much, to advise the developers? They could take
them to court? The developers were part of it, they weren’t separated from it?
RW: That’s right; they were part of the procedure and process.
SE: They then had some control over what was being built as well.
RW: Yes. That was good.
SE: So early on we have a citizen’s group that is somewhat organized.
RW: Yeah, somewhat organized.
SE: Around a topic that they cared about.
RW: Yes that had nothing to do with the lake itself, just the properties around the lake.
SE: Right, so then the next group that comes up is the Lake Arrowhead Property
RW: Lake Arrowhead Property Owners Association that was more involved by all of
the owners of Lake Arrowhead, particularly improved property. They were more focused
on how the lake itself was being operated and maintained.
SE: So their focus was the lake, not the properties?
RW: Not necessarily the properties, more the lake. The architectural committee
remained in place independent of Lake Arrowhead Property Owners Association. They
are really part of the developer.
SE: And do they still exist?
RW: They still exist, but in a different format.
SE: Have they had much power? Does it ebb and flow or serve as a quite voice?
RW: They accomplish almost everything they do as far as regulation is concerned
through persuasion, except when it comes to trees. Trees are still important so they
take an active role, more so now in the preservation of trees, formally more in
controlling the removal. Maybe they are one in the same by the way.
SE: That is very interesting though, it was about the trees really. As long as the
house is up to a certain standard then they turn their attention to the trees.
SE: And the trees were sort of sacred?
RW: Oh yeah and they still are, maybe in a little different way now, because the forest
SE: Yeah. But first it was all about saving any pine tree then that would come up or
RW: Oh yeah, they’d make you redesign a house, change the footprint of the house to
save a tree.
SE: A tree?
RW: A tree, yes. At that time they also would allow you to build a deck around a tree
rather than remove the tree so the deck could be installed. In other words you’d have a
tree growing through a deck. Then they finally learned that that tree grows and therefore
has a tendency to destroy the deck and then too when the tree dies it is really difficult to
remove because it is growing through the deck. They no longer allow you to build a
deck around a tree; you can take that tree out now.
SE: Oh really, that’s interesting, so you can remove trees to build a house now.
RW: Yes, but sometimes if they see an opportunity for you to change the footprint or
orientation of the house and in so doing it will save a tree, particularly if it is a grand old
tree, then they’ll persuade you to do that.
SE: So when you go down to pull your permits you actually have to put down where
each tree is?
RW: Yes, they and building and safety too, now require a topographic map of the
property showing all of the ground contours as well as all of the trees larger than six
inches in diameter.
SE: Can you remove smaller than six inches?
SE: Really regulated. Do you know what colors you can paint?
RW: Primarily the earth tones, no red. They discouraged for many years purple.
SE: How about green?
RW: Green, depending on the shade is O.K., as long as it is not a bright green it’s
SE: Forest green is O.K. Now how about that decking red, is that O.K.?
RW: If it’s not a bright red, yes.
AC: There was a blue house; it’s no longer that deep dark blue.
RW: Yeah, blue is a real, deep dark blue, is a prohibited color. A light blue is fine.
SE: Will they take people to court over that?
RW: I don’t think they’ve ever had to, they just persuade, but if they have had to they’d
go to court. I don’t know of any case that they’ve ever lost in court over any issue.
SE: So they are pretty sure when they go to court.
RW: Yes, but they’d prefer not to go to court to begin with.
SE: O.K., so I think we’re done with the Architectural Committee, but it is very
interesting though, because I don’t know too many communities that are like this that
have an architectural group.
RW: No, we have, I think, a strong architectural control in Arrowhead Woods.
SE: And that has been that way from pretty much the beginning.
RW: Yes it has been, yes.
SE: But that suited everybody. O.K., then the next group to organize was the
Property Owners Association.
RW: That was in the 1950s someplace.
SE: So they are concerned with the lake?
RW: Primarily about the lake, yes.
SE: And it’s about docks and. . .?
RW: Docks, how they’re assigned and handed out, how they’re used, how boats are.
SE: The condition of the lake?
RW: Yes, certainly although Lake Arrowhead, very surprisingly, has always been in a
very healthy condition. It’s an amazingly forgiving lake, but I think people also who
owned property around the lake are aware that they have to be somewhat careful. They
use their own common sense; they don’t pitch stuff into the lake and throw trash in it or
anything like that.
SE: And having that strip that really doesn’t belong to them really helps?
RW: That’s right. The Reserve Strip and the Reserve Strip Addition are very
SE: O.K., so the association basically organized. Whoever the owner was at any of
these times wasn’t very responsive to the needs, the citizens’ felt, to the needs of that
RW: Yes, and you’ll notice that those groups, the property owners association came
into being as the community developed. In other words, more people, more concern, so
they formed groups.
SE: And early on, I mean truth be known, early on there weren’t that many boats. A
lot of them would be hand powered boats I mean canoes, slower motors, not like the
boats they have now. They really do need some control; they really do need some rules.
RW: Yes, that’s exactly right. As we have made progress, I guess as a society, there
is a need for more and more regulation. We have a tendency to be very self centered, in
my opinion, and we do things without giving it a lot of thought.
SE: Just for our own benefit.
RW: Yes, that’s right.
SE: O.K., so the property owners association is mostly concerned about the lake. . .
RW: And then Arrowhead Lake Association comes into being in 1975 and the only
concern they have is the lake, which formally the property owners association was
concerned about. So now we have kind of a conflict.
SE: I still want to go back to 1964 though. Sorry, the whole road thing, because I
think this is just a very interesting thing. The agreement that happened in 1964, that was
brought mostly by the homeowners association?
RW: By the property owners association.
SE: Property owners association concern about the roads; what other things were?
RW: The lake and how it was used.
SE: That had never really been written down?
RW: Never had been. In other words the owners of property in Arrowhead Woods,
prior to the 1964 agreement, had no procedure or no rules or regulations to determine if
they could have a dock on the lake, where it could be located, how they could use their
boat on the lake. It just kind of happened.
SE: Yeah, so that agreement was a really big deal.
RW: It changed everything in Arrowhead Woods, yes.
SE: It did, because before that, it was totally the say of whoever owned the lake at
RW: That’s absolutely correct, and they could do it any way they wanted to with any
kind of favoritism, any kind of payoff.
SE: A group of wealthy citizens could have said for instance, at that point, before that
point, we don’t want any more motors on this lake, it’s going be strictly sailboats or
paddles. And they could have made a deal with the owner and that could have been so.
SE: Because the owner had the ultimate say. So this agreement puts that power back
into the hands of the people, a little bit.
RW: That’s correct, of the owners of property in Arrowhead Woods, yes.
SE: So how they used the lake, what went on, at least they had a procedure. . .
RW: And what rights and privileges those owners had in the lake or to use the lake.
SE: So that was a pretty big deal. Who owned the lake in 1964?
RW: Lake Arrowhead Development Company.
SE: Lake Arrowhead Development Company did they see how ultimately bad this,
they were loosing some power over this?
RW: I don’t think it made a lot of difference to them as long as they were able to
continue to sell property. It may have occurred to them, I don’t know this for sure, it may
have occurred to them that we can actually get a little bit more from our properties
because there are some rules and regulations that better control the operation and
maintenance of the lake and there is now a procedure or formula for people to acquire a
dock site on the lake. If you have that right, I’m going to charge you more for your
SE: So it was a mutual benefit?
RW: I think it was. I think that Lake Arrowhead Development Company soon
recognized that they could use this to their financial advantage.
SE: Was it ever a big fight to have this thing pass?
RW: No, that’s why it’s an Agreement of Settlement and Compromise. It never, it went
into court, but it was never heard by a judge. They made an agreement amongst
SE: I wonder what they compromised on, because before that they were going to
RW: I think that was it, the compromise we’re not going to court and let a court tell us.
We are going to agree among ourselves something that is satisfactory, as a
compromise, to both sides.
SE: Wouldn’t you want to know what the property owners association really wanted?
Do you suppose they wanted more power?
RW: Oh, well I’m sure, yeah. For instance in the. . .
SE: A compromise is a compromise.
RW: A compromise is a meeting at some sort of middle happier ground. Everybody
gains something and everybody looses something in a compromise.
SE: Exactly, from our viewpoint it is very easy to see what both sides gained. It’s
harder to perceive, what they perceived as what they lost, I think.
RW: Well the development company lost absolute control, certainly, but by the same
token they retained some control because the numbers of docks that could potentially
be located on Lake Arrowhead were controlled or limited by that agreement. The
development company might have wanted more than the property owners were ready to
settle for. But on the other hand, the property owners got a formula which said that there
can be a certain number and there was a procedure then to hand them out. The
development company didn’t loose complete control, but they retained some, but the
property owners didn’t get complete control, but they got some.
SE: It seems to me that what the agreement really does is allow both sides, for the
first time, to really converse about issues that both of them were concerned about.
RW: It certainly helped, yes.
SE: Yeah, because there is this assumption by an owner that they can do willy nilly
whatever they wanted to do.
RW: And that’s the way owners up to that time, had conducted their business here.
SE: And suddenly we have a citizens group, that’s not only are they concerned and
willing to take them to court, but they’re watching.
RW: Another thing was changing too. When the turf club for instance owned the lake
and the properties, prior to the development company, there wasn’t as much demand
for facilities on the lake, because we hadn’t gotten to that point yet. I guess the progress
that our society has made has increased the pressure on how this lake is used.
SE: It’s the same as the roads. When the roads were first developed one family had
RW: And a trail would do.
SE: A two lane track is fine. But families, I bet, have a paddle boat, they have a
speed boat for junior, and they have a boat that momma wants to take to the grocery
store, exasperates everything bigger. . .
RW: Bigger and better, yes, and more.
SE: And you need some regulation at some point to say, “You know what it’s not O.K.
for the Earps to bring all six boats down to the dock.”
RW: Correct. It’s exactly what happened. Progress has brought about regulation.
SE: We cannot loose sight of asking Putty about this big agreement, because it is a
big, big deal.
RW: Yes. There’s another person too that might be able to shed some light on that
and his name is Clark Hahne. Clark Hahen was a real estate person, and still is, back in
1964 when that agreement was entered into.
SE: He would be more on the development end?
RW: Oh yes, because he worked for the development company as a salesman.
SE: I would be very interested to hear his point of view of that compromise. He would
know what he gave up.
AC: Do you have a copy of that compromise?
RW: I do.
SE: I would love to have a copy of that, it is big and fat?
RW: It’s about that tall, that wide and that thick.
SE: And how many times has it been amended, I’m curious?
RW: It has never been amended.
SE: Never, so you’re still back to the 1964 decision?
RW: Now, you have to look who, what parties are the successors to the parties in that
agreement. Who were the parties? The parties were Lake Arrowhead Property Owners
Association on one side, and on the other side Lake Arrowhead Development
Company, neither which now exist. The property owners association, I believe, was
succeeded by Arrowhead Lake Association, because we represent all of the owners of
property in Arrowhead Woods not on a mandatory basis nevertheless that’s what we do.
Then the other party the development company that was succeeded by Boise Cascade
and then who took over, there’s no developer now, but Arrowhead Lake Association
bought the lake from Boise Cascade. I believe that Arrowhead Lake Association is the
sole successor to the parties involved in the 1964 agreement and therefore I believe
that Arrowhead Lake Association has the power to enforce it and the responsibility to do
it. However, there are provisions in the agreement of 1964 that says that any three
property owners within Arrowhead Woods can bring a legal action for the enforcement
of the 1964 agreement, that has never occurred, never occurred. In my opinion that’s
because Arrowhead Lake Association, in large measure, has continued to meet the
obligations of the 1964 Agreement of Settlement and Compromise.
SE: Do you think anybody in 1964 realized what an important document it was?
RW: I’m sure that there must have been some people who did but then it was soon
forgotten about. It wasn’t forgotten about, in 1975 when ALA was formed and acquired
the assets of the lake assets of Boise, we knew we were the successor. As time has
gone on and people change, people forgot about the 1964 agreement. Everybody forgot
about it except for me, for one.
SE: I totally agree, I mean the 1964 agreement has everything to do with everything.
RW: Yes it does, very important document. Arrowhead Lake Association now
recognizes the fact that they are responsible for upholding and carrying out and
watching out over the terms of that agreement. Finally, the board now recognizes that
and they don’t loose sight of it.
SE: Yeah, that’s a pretty big deal, and it’s never been amended?
SE: Which means it’s either forgotten and nobody is paying any attention, which is
fine with everybody and maybe it is. Or maybe it is time to dust it off and say “Hum, look
at this. We maybe want to revisit this.”
RW: We’ve done it, and I say we because I’m very close to Arrowhead Lake
Association, in the last three years we have done that. The association has and the
management of the association now completely recognizes the role that the ALA has to
play in the enforcement of the terms of that agreement. Now the management knows
and the management is dedicated to that proposition.
SE: It could be that before you made those compromises and promises, but you’ve
never had to enforce them quite as harshly as you do now, or as strongly. But now it is
becoming important because you are running out of dock space, you’re running out of.
RW: Yes, it’s all gone.
SE: So you’ve bumped against the limits of many things. O.K., 1964 agreement, you
RW: We got better maintained roads, yes.
SE: Better maintained roads. I don’t know, you came in 1968 is that correct?
RW: I first came up here in 1964, but I wasn’t involved in the community at all. When I
really came up here and acquired property was in 1972.
SE: Well here’s what I’m curious about. In 1964 they got some of their roads taken
care of. I’m guessing at least the worst ones, because that was one of their big points.
Does that solve some of the complaints or some of the things that they were organizing
for in the first place? I mean it’s one thing to have a compromise and agreement, but
quite another if nothing changes. . .
RW: The situation of roads definitely changed. That no longer was an issue as time
SE: And did it cause big problems? Everybody was happy?
RW: No it didn’t cause problems, everybody was happy. They continued to have
disagreements over how the lake was operated and maintained. That’s one of the
reasons that a community corporation, Arrowhead Lake Association, came into being,
was to try to, in the place of the developer Boise Cascade, was try to return some
fairness and sensibility to the operation and maintenance of the lake.
SE: O.K., so the road problem was solved with that agreement, but still the attention
that they had originally turned on the lake, nothing was happening there?
RW: Yes, well particularly with respect to docks.
SE: Well could this group, early on, could they enforce things?
RW: Not without going to court.
SE: And were they willing to go to court?
RW: I don’t think so, no. Although they did go to court in 1972, they filed another class
action suit against Boise Cascade having to do with of the developer’s failure to uphold
some of the terms and conditions of the 1964 agreement. That was in the court at about
to come to trial when Arrowhead Lake Association was formed and one of the
conditions under which Boise Cascade sold the lake to Arrowhead Lake Association
was that Arrowhead Lake Association would intervene in that legal action and go into
court and say “Well now that we’re in control, we intend to uphold all of the terms of the
SE: Because they felt like they inherited that.
RW: That’s exactly right, and we did that. I appeared in court and talked to the judge
and said “Hey, we formed Arrowhead Lake Association a community corporation. We’re
going to uphold the terms of the 1964 agreement.” The judge said “O.K., under those
circumstances I’ll dismiss the case without prejudice,” and that’s what happened.
Arrowhead Lake Association has been trying to uphold those terms ever since. They
lost track of it for a while but now they are firmly back on track to uphold it.
SE: It would be very interesting to have. I would like a copy of the document. It would
be very interesting to talk about some of the issues and say “How about this one, did
you do this?” The citizens right away saw the conditions of the roads improve?
RW: Right away, yes.
SE: Still problems with the lake and they tried to solve in a little, a lot of different
ways, but it wasn’t getting solved very quickly, the lake problems.
RW: That’s right, it wasn’t. There were still reticent on the part of the development
SE: And still their focus is on development, their focus is not the lake, they could care
SE: They care only because it will sell property. But their ultimate goal is to sell
RW: Yes, that’s right.
SE: O.K., so there are some problems with the residents of the lake. The logic is who
cares, but that exasperates to the point of organizing once again, by 1969, no 1974?
RW: 1974, yes.
SE: So another ten years, exactly. But that’s interesting because you’re not full-time
residents, I mean many people weren’t. You know what I’d like to get from you Ralph if
you have these kinds of figures, and that is full-time population counts. Do you think that
RW: Not over the years, nobody kept any track of it.
SE: How about houses?
RW: No, nobody cared about that either, because there weren’t that many.
SE: It would be really interesting to say that we had 200 houses until 1950.
RW: Ah, I know what I can do. I can tell you the number of water connections from
End of Tape #4