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Road Update
August 5, 2005


  • Gate Combo Change
  • Regular Road use Reminder
  • Road Cost Analysis
  • Proposed Dues Increase
  • Road Association Election

Gate Combinations

The gate combinations will change on Sunday August 19, 2005. The new combinations will be as follows:

Front Gate: ****
Big Iron Gate: **** call for combos

Please make a note.

Regular Road Use Reminder

The Front gate continues to experience minor abuse. It has been found unlocked on several occasions.

Additionally I found the lock on the second gate discarded on one occasion and replaced the lock myself.

It continues to puzzle me as to how, in such a small community as ours, vandalism can occur. It is unfortunate and makes the task of dealing with the road that much less desirable.

For all of us who use the gates properly, thanks and please remind your neighbors and guests that these rules are not negotiable.

When we cross the lands of others, those owners have every right to ask us to keep gates locked. Both the front gate and the second gate are located on lands that are not part of the Road Association. Each of these owners has requested that the gates remain locked at all times. This is not a matter for debate among the Road Association; it is a simple fact of life out here in the country.

Additionally, many members of the road association prefer to have both the gates locked as a means to further ensure that strangers do not inadvertently (or otherwise) wander back into the ranch. The following is the regular reminder about use of the Road. Please share this with all guests and vendors.

  • Always lock the gate; regardless whether it was unlocked when you got there.
  • Make sure the combo is NOT left on the lock or the lock will not lock. Spin the numbers before locking and test the lock to make sure it is locked.
  • Please advise all of your guests regarding the importance of locking the gate.
  • If you wish to leave the gate open for a car that may be following, please wait at the gate while it is open.
  • Please advise your guests regarding Road Etiquette including basic driving methods for rural roads and basic courtesies such as saying Hello and identifying who they are and whom they are visiting.
  • Please advise guests not to litter the area around the gates. (I pick up trash there almost every time I enter. This is not road trash but it came from people using the gate.)
  • Please pick up litter and debris that does not belong on the road.
  • Please remove rocks or trees that have fallen onto the road. (If you remove a large tree or perform other substantial work in keeping the road open, please advise the Committee so we can say thanks.)
  • Please advise guests that they are traveling over private property and that they should respect the privilege to do so. It is not appropriate to stop for sightseeing or personal relief on other's property.
  • Please get permission from the owners of the front ranch to park cars inside the front gate.
  • Contact: Dean and Kelly Falkenberg (707) 431-1517 dktfalken@aol.com

    For those who do keep the gate locked, the road clean and always have a smile when passing, thanks from the Committee and from the owners at the front ranches.

Road Cost Analysis

We have prepared a review of current road costs for your review that reflect not only actual costs but the value of services rendered on a volunteer basis by the Road Committee.

This information is provided to make clear the potential costs to the association should the annual road maintenance be fully funded and managed as an expense to the Association. We are NOT proposing this, it is provided for clarity only. It is the intention of the Road Committee and , we assume, the association, to run manage the road on a volunteer basis as this is the most effective way to ensure that the interests of the Owners are being addressed.

Projected Road Maintenance costs are shown to reflect the two primary needs that have been addressed over the last several years:

  • Adequate Annual Maintenance
  • Adequate Long Term Maintenance (Capital Improvements)

Current resources do not adequately cover a full compliment of regular tasks as well as a reasonable long-term strategy to maintain the structural integrity of the road. As always our goals for the road include the following:

  • Maintenance of the road for easy access to properties while retaining the roads (and the ranches) rustic character. We are not trying to build a super highway out here.
  • Availability of the road at all times of year commensurate with the increasing demand to use the road in the wintertime by owners, farming interest and residents.
  • Protection of the adjacent habitats from severe erosion, siltation and physical degradation. This includes management of runoff, reduction of silt producing conditions on the road and stabilization of watercourse crossings.

To help clarify the magnitude of Road Maintenance costs we have prepared several supporting documents for your review. Some of these items are provided to each parcel and sent to the Primary owner only. If your packet did not include these please contact the primary owner of your parcel, as we do not have resources to publish maps for each owner. Enclosed please find the following:

  • Updated Map of the Wickersham Ranch Road (primary owner only)
  • Overview of Current Annual Road Expenses " Overview of current dues status for each parcel.

Past Due Amounts

We have provided an overview of current resources by Parcel indicating past due amounts which are affecting our ability to complete adequate maintenance on the road.

This is a very small community and every parcel counts. Each parcel has full access to the road on an ongoing basis. Failure to pay maintenance dues is unfair to the other Owners, as Road Maintenance must occur over the whole road.

We would appreciate any help the membership can provide in reminding their neighbors that unpaid amounts only hurt the neighbors and reduce our ability to maintain the road.

For those who pay their dues regularly, thank you. If you have questions please contact: Martin Dreiling 650 696 1200 md@cssanf.com

Proposed Dues Increase

As mentioned back in March, we are seeking approval of the Association for an increase in annual road dues.

This increase is proposed for the following reasons:

Maintenance Strategy Shortfall

Annual income from current dues covers EITHER Annual Maintenance OR annual portions of Long Term Improvements. We have been favoring Long Term Improvements over Annual Maintenance for several years now in order to realize long-term gains rather than simply expending each year's income on repetitive expenses.

It has been our position that Long Term Improvements would slowly decrease growth in Annual Maint costs and this has been the case. The out sloping and rocking that we have done have relieved several areas of the need to grade annually.

There are still many sections of the road that need Long Term Improvements. We can easily spend $15,000 per year in changing grades, removing berms and rocking for the next 5 years.

Maintenance Demands

Additionally, we have been getting more calls for regular grading to improve the comfort of the road. This suggests that the membership would like to see expenditures both for Regular Maintenance and Long Term Improvements.

If this is the case, the current annual income of approximately $10,000 cannot cover both strategies.

Projected Increases In Costs

As mentioned in March, we should expect Maintenance requirements to increase with increased regulation of water quality and related environmental impacts over the coming years with the real possibility that we may be required to perform substantial improvements to the overall road system on a one-time basis. This could represent a capital expense of up to $250,000 based on my estimates. (Obviously such an occurrence would cause us to seek supplemental funding via grants.) Regular costs continue to increase as local vendors raise their rates. Based on our stricter review of vendor qualifications, fewer vendors are available for roadwork than were previously available. This has the potential to increase costs as competition is removed.

The Road Committee is recommending that we increase the annual dues to $500 starting with a retroactive assessment for 2005 of an additional $200.

This will allow us to continue with the current strategy while providing increased annual "comfort grading". Additionally this will better allow us to prepare for emergency expenditures in the event that severe winter storms cause substantial damage to portions of the road.

Under current funding we rarely have emergency funds available and have been very fortunate to have avoided emergency situations that would require funds. We can't expect that situation to remain indefinitely.

Reprinted From March 2005:

"The recent Road Work cost approximately $12, 000. This represented retained resources from 2003 as well as deficit spending for 2005 (funded by a short term, no interest loan from CSS Architecture.)

The expenses of this project alone exceed the annual resource income of the Road Association, which is approximately $10,000. As we have additional sections of road that need this kind of work next year, we will not have adequate resources to perform work of this quality or durability.

Alternately we will have to delay further Long Term work until 2006.

This circumstance also assumes that we will have little or no retention of resources for emergencies and that any emergencies will have to be mitigated through emergency funding and deficit spending.

Meanwhile, out Annual Road Dues remain comparatively low not only for the length of road we maintain (approximately 14 miles) but also in comparison to the surrounding ranches. Currently annual dues represent a cost to each parcel of $21.43 per mile of road. Even for the first owners who use only the Front Ranch road, this represents less than $55.00 per mile.

Since these small amounts are not currently covering the real costs of maintaining the road even at the minimum levels we experience, we are recommending an increase in annual Road Dues to $500 per year."


Based on this information and the consensus of the Road Committee, we have prepared the enclosed ballot for your consideration:

  • Ballot describing proposals before the membership (including pre-paid return envelope.) ... (One per parcel)

Road Committee Elections 2005 / 2006
Committee Elections

There were no nominations for new members of the road committee for the 2005 - 2006 period. Since each of the incumbent members had expressed interest on remaining on the committee, and no other members of the Association have expressed interest, the Road Committee will remain unchanged until the end of 2006. We have not included a ballot item for Committee membership election.

The Road Committee thus includes the current members:

  • Martin Dreiling, Parcel 8, 9 (current member)
  • Dave Schaefer, Parcel 5 (current member)
  • Gary Martinez, Parcel 6 (current member)


Ranch Mailbox wranch@cssanf.com

Ranch Website "http://www.wickershamranch.com"

Thanks to Tami Bobb for her efforts in sharing space on her personal ranch site for our benefit.