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The whos, whats, and hows of Bear Valley Springs


The American author Henry Miller once wrote, “Confusion is a word we have invented for an order which is not understood.” In Bear Valley Springs, as in any community, a certain amount of confusion is to be expected, yet too much is never a good thing.

Sir Francis Bacon is attributed with the phrase “Knowledge is Power”. It dates back to 1597, and in 420 years that quote has stood the test of time.

So, in an effort to create a more ‘powerful’ Bear Valley Springs (BVS), here are a few tidbits of knowledge that are often sources of confusion in our community. Read on, and become a more informed, more powerful, citizen.

What does our CSD do and what is it responsible for?

Think of the CSD (Community Services District) as “the City” of BVS. They own and run the infrastructure that makes BVS a functioning and safe place to live. Their areas of responsibility are; the Gate and Police protection, Fresh Water Delivery System (with nearly 30 wells), Road Maintenance (which includes 110 miles of roads and snow removal in the winter), Wastewater Treatment, and Solid Waste Disposal, as well as owning all of the Amenities. It’s a big, big system, and they do an excellent job with it.

While the CSD owns all amenities and common areas in BVS (9-hole Golf Course, Mulligan Room & Golf Pro Shop, Driving Range, Tennis and Pickleball Courts, Swimming Pool, Oak Tree Country Club, Saloon and Restaurant, Equestrian Center, 55 miles of hiking and equestrian trails, Cub Lake and 4-Island Lake, Beaubien Field, Dog Park, Nature Path, RC Model Field, 3 campgrounds and 1 historical preserve, BVS School, and the Whiting Center), they lease these facilities to the Bear Valley Springs Association (BVSA). The BVSA has responsibility for operation and maintenance of these amenities and common areas.

The CSD’s services to our community are funded by our property taxes, special assessments and standby charges collected by Kern County on the regular property tax bill. Some funds are collected through user fees such as water, sewer and refuse charges and capacity fees for new water connections.

So, if you call the CSD to inquire as to the pool schedule or the start time of the Moonlight movie -- you’ve called the wrong place.

What does the BVSA do and what is it responsible for?

The BVSA is the “Homeowners Association” of BVS. When you become a homeowner in Bear Valley Springs, you automatically become a member of the BVSA.

The Association’s areas of responsibility are typical for any Homeowners Association and include; the Association By-Laws, the adopted rules and regulations as authorized by the Covenants & Restrictions (C&R’s), in addition to rules adopted by the Environmental Control Committee (ECC), which is an autonomous committee established in the C&Rs to enforce the architectural integrity of the community. The Association is a “Mutual Benefit Not for Profit” organization incorporated in 1970 under the laws of the State of California which currently consists of 3,582 home sites.

They staff, operate, maintain and manage all of the afore-mentioned amenities that make BVS a fun and fulfilling place to live. Each amenity is like a small business in itself and the BVSA has responsibility over all of the amenities and common areas at once.

They also handle all of the related business of a large-scale Homeowners Association. Most of what they deal with can be found in the Association By-Laws, the C&R’s and the BVSA and ECC Rules manuals. So, as you can see, there are a lot of different things going on that are under their management, and they do an excellent job with all of it.

The Association’s services to our community are funded by annual assessments that are budgeted by Staff, approved by the Board of Directors, and billed on June 1st. Assessment payments are due on the first day of July each year.

So, if you call the Whiting Center to ask about a water leak, or the Country Club to ask about snow removal -- you’ve called the wrong place.

One last tidbit, outside our gate...

In my 16 years here I have heard much ‘spirited discussion’ as to the speed limit on Bear Valley Road between the Gate and the stop sign at Cummings Valley Road. (Or the inverse of that, depending upon your direction of travel) That roadway belongs to the County of Kern beginning where the pavement changes color, about 8 feet east of the bear statue outside the gate. As an “unmarked County road” the speed limit is 55 miles an hour. However, there is a school zone at the southern end where Cummings Valley School is. There it is 25 miles an hour “when children are present”. That phrase is usually interpreted, as “when the school gates are open”, since that is truly when children are present near the roadway. Drive safely!

Thank you to Jay Carlyn of the BVCSD, Kathi Chattin of the BVSA and to the CHP for their gracious assistance in providing information and fact checking for this article. Hopefully, with this knowledge comes greater power and less confusion. Thank you also to Miles Coverdale who recently wrote an article for the Bear Tracks publication, parts of which are restated herein. Your clarity of expression and knowledge helped this article greatly.


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