Neighbors, Drainage, AirBnB and Guns: Part 2

The last post detailed some of the craziness that has to do with living up here: namely a particular resident and the drainage issues they have caused but then blames upon others. This post is the follow-on and is about a particular event at another parcel. (Parcel is the term for a “tract of land” up here which range in size from just shy of an acre at the start of the main road to 25 acres or more as you travel further up the mountain.)

Let’s get that reference image back up….

Right….so the next story of the crazy times up here takes place at the property circled and labeled “Party House”.

The long story made very short is this:

The house/land were purchased in late 2018 by people who also have a home in Southern California. They told several residents that they purchased the house because the father of the family had a job up here and a daughter was a recent graduate looking for work in the tech sector.

Ignoring some pointed advice from several long-term residents, the new owners continued to allow the existing land tenant to use the bottom of the property (the section labeled “overgrazed and gross pens”. That guy got them into trouble with county has he had a huge shanty stables setup. He demolished the single super-shanty-structure and has since sought to get around the code restriction by having lots of small shanty animal pens each under 120sqft. Most of the residents up here find the land tenant annoying because a lot of strangers end up coming up the road to visit. In one such case two guys speeding down one section of the road took some fencing and nearly put themselves down into the creek. They abandoned the car and fled back up towards that property and the car was towed away by CHP. (You can just make out the flat bed way down the road in the image below.)

In the last year a chemical toilet and scruffy RV have shown up at the animal pens and there have been a few raucous parties. Parties are not inherently a bad thing, but when they run past 11pm and the band gets so drunk they can’t keep time let alone stay in key….well you get the idea.

But that is not the worst of it. It turns out the new owners may have lied about their intentions, as they started renting out the house proper via AirBNB, and not just for people wanting a quiet place to stay. They rented it out for large parties. This was all happening during the height of the pandemic. We live a good quarter of a mile away and were rarely bothered by the noise, but their “guests” would often park on our driveway, blocking not just ourselves from getting out, but our Nearest and Next Nearest Neighbors, the latter of which were not at all happy since they were just 50 or so yards away from the parties.

Then this past February they rented the house out for another party, only this time things went very badly.

Watch the video below: it was shot from a security camera on our Next Neighbor’s house and they gave me permission to use it here.

Feb Shooting

Yep, those are gunshots….over a dozen at least, as after the initial rounds go off several other shots are fired throughout the duration of the above video.

A few minutes later the entire hillside was alive with flashing lights and the sound of sirens as law enforcement arrived followed soon after by EMS crews. At least two people were loaded into ambulances and taken away and we had a helicopter circling the area for well over an hour.

I posted about it on my Instagram: but here is the un-squared video of what was going on at the end of the driveway.

Eventually the chopper flew off and we had told the fire truck crew to back up and then come down our driveway to make use of the courtyard to turn about, as there is no proper turn around further up the road (which will be a key point in a future story.) A little after 2am things finally quieted down.

The next day the Sheriff’s crime team were at the house documenting things — they were there the entire day and later in the week the owners of the property came north and we saw them working to clean various stains out of some carpets and rugs.

But the kicker is that this story NEVER hit the news. Why? Well a couple of weeks ago I read this article in Bloomberg: and now it all makes sense. AirBnB covered it all up. They did remove the property from their site, but it’s only a matter of time before the owners of this property, or another property starts renting for parties and the same thing happens.

All I can do is encourage residents up here to make use of law enforcement; to report suspicious behavior; to seek help when there are problems; and to talk to one another. Which brings me to a interesting side note and something I have never mentioned: after moving here I obviously transferred from the Nextdoor Potrero Hill SF neighborhood to the one for this area, and then after being pretty active and trying to keep attrition rates low, the founder and sole-lead for the neighborhood made me his co-lead. This means I’m now someone the rest of the residents (and not just those living off our private road, but also the 150 or so others who are part of the larger ‘hood) now look to for information and guidance. I’m hoping that in the coming weeks that helps me get that giant boulder I’ve mentioned (the one involving road drainage issues and repairs) a few inches further along, as I’ve managed to get all but seven or eight of 46 developed parcels up here to join Nextdoor.

Still given all the bad apples, it’s no wonder I have a bunch of residents expressing their concerns about the new Buddhist center to me. We have new comers who want to bring enough non-resident people to regularly fill a 5000 sqft building but who have yet to make any meaningful effort to join the community, ie our wee little group Nextdoor group. I did however recently purchase a sign for the start of the road and we got it installed last week. It replaces the old chalk clapboard I had found in the stables as an erasable message surface, but now I won’t have to scale the rocky embankment to get the rickety clapboard in place.

Although one nice closing thought: I’m responsible for all three of the signs in the pic below!

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