A dispute between a company that manages a timeshare resort in Stallion Springs and the community services district there is expected to go to trial later this month.
The Resort Association of Stallion Springs, a California corporation, filed suit against the Stallion Springs Community Services District on Nov. 13, 2020. According to the complaint, the resort is a residential dwelling area for families in duplexes and triplexes that are deeded and recorded to separate homeowners. Stallion Springs Community Services District provides sewage disposal for the 10 buildings that comprise the compound.
Stallion Springs Resort is promoted as a 21-unit timeshare resort offering one- and two-bedroom units. On its Facebook page it publicizes things for visitors to see and do while visiting the Tehachapi area. And its website provides information about check-in and check-out time similar to a hotel.
The association claims that the district has incorrectly classified the units as commercial units rather than as residential units and that “the sewer fees on the homeowners are disproportionately high and that the district has been overcharging for services.”
Vanessa Stevens, general manager of the CSD, said the district does not comment on pending litigation. The attorney for the resort association, Douglas Gosling, did not respond to a request for comment.
The district charges a flat rate for residential hookups but fees for commercial hookups are based upon the number of fixtures (toilet, dishwasher, garbage disposal and washing machine) with an additional charge if total flow exceeds a certain level.
A comparison the resort association included in a court filing showed a difference in charges of $5,259 for the period of June 14 through Aug. 16, 2022. At that rate the difference would be around $31,500 per year.
The resort association challenges classification of the units as commercial for purposes of determining sewer fees. It asks the court to declare the district’s sewer charge in violation of the California constitution, to stop charging the units under the commercial fee schedule, refund what the association believes are overcharges and pay legal costs.
In an answer to the complaint filed on Jan. 19, 2021, the CSD stands on the actions its board has taken to establish sewer rates within the district as being lawful. It asks the court to judge in favor of the district and award costs of defense of the lawsuit to the district.
The case is BCV-20-102678 in Kern County Superior Court. More information about the resort is online at stallionspringsresort.net.
Claudia Elliott is a freelance journalist and former editor of the Tehachapi News. She lives in Tehachapi and can be reached by email: email@example.com.
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