Racist Language Found in Housing Documents Can’t Be Removed Without Majority Vote

EL DORADO HILLS -- Whites only. It's there in black and white, on home ownership papers still in effect some places in El Dorado Hills.

The clauses calling for segregated neighborhoods are relics of an America now 50 or 60 years in the past.

Still, they are hard to get rid of.

"Me? I'm embarrassed as an El Dorado Hills resident," said one angry resident at a meeting about how to address them.

The revelation of the racist rules isn't welcome in homes here.

"Among other things: inappropriate, illegal, reprehensible," said Kevin Loewen of the El Dorado Hills Community Services District.

Loewen says the El Dorado Hills Community Services District didn't write the racist rules, and they don't enforce them either, even though enforcing home owner agreements is the districts' task.

Still getting rid of the racist rules isn't as easy as getting out an eraser.

"Challenging. Definitely challenging any time you want to get some sort of change in any community in day and age when people may not be voting in a high turn out," Loewen said.

You read that right; to legally amend this illegal agreement on their own documents, residents would still need a majority votes of the homeowners who have the same documents.

"Oh come on. Come on here!" was the reaction of Lieselotte Foster.

She and her husband Cameron are new residents in El Dorado Hills, who just discovered the discriminatory language in their own home ownership documents.

They first called attention to the Caucasian clause in a FOX40 report -- called attention to it, and called for it to be stricken from their documents.

They just learned Monday night, they'll have to get at least half of their 300 home-owning neighbors to sign off before the rules are changed.

"I actually have a lot friends and family that have said 'oh yeah, I'll petition with you.' And they're not even living in El Dorado Hills," Foster said.

Her husband Cameron is hoping the district can put a system in place so signatures can be collected electronically, something the district says it will work on.

But the couple is still planning on a shoe-leather campaign.

"Sometimes people going door-to-door knocking works out great. Luckily for us the media has helped out in this case in calling attention to this matter," Loewen said.

If the rule does get changed, it likely won't erase the racism in the document. Instead, in most cases a new page would be added to previous documents, decrying the previous, whites-only clause as no longer valid.