EL DORADO HILLS — An El Dorado Hills subdivision still has a “whites only” occupancy rule on the books.
The Lake Hills community’s shocking policy put in place in 1961 policy is not, and cannot legally be enforced, but some new residents are calling for its immediate removal.
The Foster family had barely closed the sale on their new home, when they were blown away by an old rule.
“I’m like, ‘You gotta be kidding me, that’s ridiculous,’” Liese Foster said.
Their move from Folsom to El Dorado hills was just a matter or miles but, as far the neighborhood agreement they’d just signed, they might as well have been worlds or decades away.
“It was kind of awful and racist and terrible,” Foster said.
Others who spoke with FOX40 used similar words to describe “Clause 13 Racial Occupancy” of the Lake Hills Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions, more commonly known as CC&Rs. They are similar to a homeowner’s association agreement.
“No person except those of the white Caucasian race shall occupy or reside upon any residential lot or plot in this subdivision, except when employed in the household of a white Caucasian tenant or owner,” the clause reads.
“You have to sign off that you agree to these things”, said Liese Foster incredulously.
She and her husband Camaron had no idea that the CC&R’s contained racist restrictions until they were signing the closing documents, preparing to move into their new home.
Some longtime Lake Hills residents tell FOX40 they were aware of that rule, but didn’t pay it any mind since there are non-whites in the neighborhood and there doesn’t seem to be any effort to enforce the law. However the Fosters say that’s not the point.
“Everyone knows you can’t enforce that, but it still sends a message,” Foster said.
So they’re sending one right back.
That’s not the world we want our kids to grow up in,” Camaron Foster said.
Taking their outrage to community networking site Nexdoor.dot com, they’re raising awareness among neighbors. Some of them, like new resident Dwight Dennis, didn’t realize what they’d signed when they moved in.
“It should be reversed just to get it off the record”, said Holkko.
The motivation for the whites only policy according to the CC&R, is letting non-white residents would lower the property value of the community.
These rules have been on the books since the community was founded in 1961. And the person in charge of enforcing it says he had no idea.
“That’s really quite embarrassing”, Brent Dennis, general manager of the Eldorado Hills Community Services District, told FOX40.
Dennis has been with EHCSD, which handles rule enforcement for over 30 communities, four years and says he can’t explain why the rule was put in place.
However he tells FOX40 it’s not enforced, violates federal law, and his staff will correct the problem promptly. Dennis also says he’ll review the CC&Rs for the other El Dorado Hills Communities to make sure there are no other disturbing oversights.
The Fosters say they’ve gotten mixed messages about what it will take to change the CC&R’s. They say one long time Lake Hills resident and candidate for county supervisor told them they needed to circulate a petition and get more than half of the resident’s signatures. Another person told them to request the change through the county records office.
However Dennis tells FOX40 he will bring the issue to the CC&R committee’s meeting Monday, and he expects it will be removed at that time.