Save Our Neighborhood
Dear Donors, Neighbors and Friends: November 27, 2018
The image above is yet another 2nd story going up to block the view of the 2-story behind it, and the 2-story behind that. Above them all on this hill on Dickens is a one story house, which lost its view with the first 2-story. This is what we have to look forward to if Dr. Wendt succeeds in violating the height restrictions in Fleetridge 1 & 2.
The “courtroom drama” on November 16 was very brief. More will be posted when the transcript is available, because it’s difficult to explain. In summary, the judge described his belief that anti-SLAPP motions apply to situations involving the first amendment rights of grocery workers protesting at Vons, and Vons trying to silence the workers with a retaliatory defamation counter suit. And not to suits and counter suits like ours, so he denied the motions. Many non-grocery worker anti-SLAPP cases were cited in our motions, and many have been decided by the courts.
In any case, this puts us back to where we were in August, before the anti-SLAPP motions were filed. Dr. Wendt is still counter suing (in his original cross complaint, and first amended cross complaint and second amended cross complaint) the Architectural Review Committee, the individuals on the ARC, and has reserved the right to sue 100 ROES (neighborhood residents) whom he claims have violated the height limit for their lots.
In other news, a case management conference has been scheduled for March 2019 to decide when the trial will take place. And Dr. Wendt has placed a For Sale By Owner sign on his other property, across the street at 3611 Fenelon St. Please keep an eye out for changes to the 2nd story at 3612 Fenelon St., as construction is prohibited there.
As always, thank you for your concern and support. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for questions, with suggestions, or if you need a sign!
Dear Neighbors, Donors & Friends: November 2, 2018
You did it AGAIN! Thank you so much to those of you who contributed to make the $5,000 MATCH a success! Thanks to you we raised $10,000 during the last two weeks of October!
And that sounds like a lot of money, and it is. However, thanks to the antics of Dr. Wendt’s no-longer-engaged and not lamented attorney, we have had to spend approximately 6X (yes six times) what it should have cost to get to this point. We still don’t know much about the new law firm Dr. Wendt has engaged. They have acted appropriately during the period since our anti-SLAPP motion was filed, holding off until the hearing on November 16, which seeks to reduce the scope(s) of Dr. Wendt’s Cross-Complaint, First Amended Cross-Complaint and Second Amended Cross-Complaint.
Here’s hoping we have better luck with his new law firm. Even very generous $1,000 donations provide roughly 2 hours of attorney time (attorneys have been paid for waiting in court for Wendt’s previous attorney’s frequent ex parte hearings, for generating responses to his almost daily demands, etc.). Coming up we may still have depositions, which require attorney time, court reporters, transcription services, etc.
We are so fortunate to have all of us sharing the burden of combating Dr. Wendt’s blatant disregard for the regulations which govern our community! We will report back after the hearing on November 16, and we welcome your comments, questions, or sign requests at email@example.com.
Happy start of the holiday season and thank you for your support!
Dear Neighbors, Friends and Donors: October 22, 2018
Many of us have noticed that Dr. Wendt has recently totally enclosed the second floor of 3612 Fenelon, adding new opaque white plastic on two previously open sides. Please help us keep an eye on this, as the Preliminary Injunction, still in place, prohibits any construction on the second floor or the new structure supporting the second story. Please take photos of any construction activity, trucks or personnel and forward them to firstname.lastname@example.org! And if you happen to be walking by, please note if there are lights on, activity inside, or any construction noise emanating from the second floor. Thank you!
PS. We still have until Halloween (9 days) to raise funds for the latest $5,000 match - please help if you can!
Dear Neighbors, Donors and Friends: Oct. 10, 2018
DOUBLE YOUR DONATION BY HALLOWEEN!
We are thrilled to announce another $5,000 MATCH made courtesy of a NEW donor for donations made before November 1! And thank you all for meeting the most recent $3,000 match in record time!
While we’ve enjoyed a period of relative calm leading up to the November 16th hearing date, we must be prepared for that hearing and a trial in Spring! It seems our opponent underestimated this neighborhood’s will to maintain the character that we all value, paid for, and continue to pay for through this lawsuit. All of us would be adversely affected by the destruction of the Declaration of Restrictions that have been in effect for almost 70 years. Please look at the crowded, overbuilt areas that surround ours, and give to our legal efforts if you can! Thanks to all donors for your support! Please contact us at www.fleetridge1arc.com with questions or comments.
Dear Donors, Neighbors & Friends, October 1, 2018
More good news! Another generous donor is making a new matching offer. Our new donor has offered to match the first $3,000 donated by October 15th.
Dear Donors, Neighbors & Friends, September 18, 2018
Great news! A very generous donor has offered to match the first $5,000 donated by September 30th. Please donate now if you can.
Dear Donors, Neighbors & Friends: August 26, 2018
This is a somewhat technical update on the legal work in process in our case. Apologies if it is too detailed, but it’s your DOR, ARC, neighborhood and lawsuit, and your support continues to be critical!
It is alarming to see and hear work going on at 3612 Fenelon when there is a Preliminary Injunction in place. And it was troubling to watch Dr. Wendt complete the second story roof while under the Temporary Restraining Order, sheeting it with plywood. Dr. Wendt is permitted to work within the existing ground floor of the house, and he is permitted to weatherize, although his attorney has said several times (recorded in court transcripts) that the weatherizing is complete. Work on the second story addition (including the first floor addition supporting the second story) is not permitted. If you see or hear prohibited activity, please record the sound and take pictures on your phone, and send to email@example.com .
There is, however, some good news to report! We filed an anti-SLAPP motion on August 17, 2018, challenging half the causes of action in Wendt’s Cross-Complaint, First Amended Cross-Complaint and Second Amended Cross-Complaint. Our position, in summary, is that Dr. Wendt’s cross complaints are intended to censor, intimidate and silence us by burdening us with the cost of a legal defense until we abandon our criticism or opposition. We’ve used the David v. Goliath metaphor before.
California’s anti-SLAPP statute provides for a special motion to strike a complaint where the complaint challenges activity exercising the rights of petition and free speech (i.e. filing a lawsuit). If this motion is successful at a hearing on November 16, 2018, half of Wendt’s Cross-Complaint, First Amended Cross Complaint and Second Amended Cross Complaint will be stricken, and he will owe us attorney’s fees for preparing our anti-SLAPP motions.
The anti-SLAPP motion also stops depositions, discovery, document production, etc. until the hearing in November. This will slow down the spending rate and hopefully defeat Wendt’s efforts to burden us with time consuming and expensive litigation.
On Monday, August 19 (two days after our anti-SLAPP motions were filed), our attorneys received notice that Mr. Harmeyer had been substituted out as Dr. Wendt’s attorney. Coincidence? You be the judge. Currently, all activities are stayed during the pendency of the anti-SLAPP motions.
We have prevailed in obtaining the TRO and the Preliminary Injunction, and will have a brief respite from the constant activity the previous lawyer generated. However, there is still a hearing in November, and a trial sometime next year (we’ll know the trial date after the November 16 hearing too). You have been wonderful about supporting the DOR, the ARC, and our neighborhood. Please enjoy this quiet period but remember what we are facing in defending the anti-SLAPP motions, hopefully collecting from our legal fees from Wendt, and the upcoming trial on our complaint and defending against any remaining cross-complaints. The anti-SLAPP motions, if successful, would reduce the scope of Wendt’s cross-complaints, but we still have to win at trial.
Thank you for your continuing generosity and support! Scroll down to see the history and updates or please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions, comments, or to request a sign.
Hi Donors, Neighbors and Friends: August 12, 2018
Although the reporting is sparse these days, there is legal work going on, thanks to Dr. Wendt’s attorney’s near constant activity! After filing a Cross-Complaint against the ARC and all members individually, he proceeded to amend it, not once but twice, known as the FACC and SACC (First Amended Cross Complaint and Second Amended Cross Complaint). And he found time to get us back into court to move up the meeting to set the trial date from December to November, and to request that the judge order the ARC to meet with Dr. Wendt to go over his list of “weatherizing” requests, which include “hardscape removal and planting of trees”. The judge did not order the ARC to meet with Dr. Wendt.
We are very grateful to the almost 100 neighbors who have donated close to $115,000 in just 4 months. Thank you to the very generous Fleetridge 2 neighbors who have recently added their contributions and comments, as well as the dedicated repeat donors in both communities. ARC members who went out last weekend to hand out information and meet many of you were met with interest and support. Please feel free to contact us at email@example.com with sign requests, questions, and feedback.
Thank you for your continued support and donations! It shows how many of us value our community and want to maintain it. Signs are a tangible display of our concern-get yours now!
A MATCHING OFFER July 14, 2018
A generous donor has offered a $5,000 match! Please give now if you can, and the first $5,000 in donations by July 31st will be matched! Thank you for your donations and support!
Dr. Dan Wendt has accused the ARC and the individual members of intentionally, willfully, discriminatorily, and maliciously denying his request for a variance.
Shown below is the first of the letters that Dr. Wendt received from the ARC in 2013, after it reviewed several “schemes” (his description) that he presented, and was apparently considering for modifying his home at 3612 Fenelon St. We thought you might like to see the feedback he received from the ARC after his meeting to review drawings. After a second meeting in which he had ignored the ARC's letter and presented the "two story" plan as his final selection, he received another similar letter. After that he did not contact the ARC again.
Stay tuned here to learn more about his accusations.
Dear Neighbors, Friends and Donors: July 1, 2018
While we were successful in obtaining a Preliminary Injunction on June 15th to halt the second-story construction on Dan Wendt’s house at 3612 Fenelon St., our communications with you have been hard to maintain because of the constant legal activity since. There have been things that needed to be done (like post a $50,000 Bond to activate the injunction on the day it was granted), and many that are just responses to the constant barrage of requests, threats, and legal documents coming from Wendt and his attorney. Read more to see how it affects you.
Some of it is low-level stuff, like continuing requests to weatherize his structure, when his attorney has stated numerous times before and after the TRO that the structure has been weatherized. When the TRO was granted in early May, his attorney requested, and we agreed to his request to weatherize to protect his investment during the TRO. His construction at that time was open framing with no roof. Weatherproofing or weatherizing is defined by construction pros as: wrapping framing in plastic, covering with tarps, or covering with felt paper. As many of you noted and reported, there was construction activity during the TRO, the roof was sheeted with plywood and covered with roofing paper, and other work may have continued out of sight. Wishing not to get played again, when the weatherizing requests came this time, immediately and repeatedly, we relied on the representations of Wendt’s attorney at several hearings that the work had been completed. We declined the requests to meet with Wendt to discuss weatherizing, and then were threatened with being called back into court for lack of cooperation, etc.
The more troubling news is that Wendt has recently filed a Cross-Complaint (a lawsuit), suing the ARC, and suing each member of the ARC individually. Also named in the Cross-Complaint are ROES 1-100 (people/entities he may add to sue later, based on his allegations). The Cross-Complaint is filled with untruths and inaccurate suppositions presented as facts. Here is where it concerns you directly:
Under the parties to the suit, Wendt states:
“Wendt is informed and believes, and thereon alleges, that at all times mentioned herein, the Cross-Defendants sued as Roes 1-100, inclusive, whether individuals, corporations, partnerships, trusts, or otherwise, are owners of real property situated in Fleetridge and are in violation of the Declaration of Restrictions, to the extent the Declaration of Restriction is enforceable.” (emphasis added).
He later states:
“Wendt is informed and believes, and based thereon alleges, that between 1950 and 1999, the Architectural Committee was never “activated” and never enforced the restrictions in the 1950 Declaration. The Architectural Committee, to the extent one existed, acquiesced to numerous material violations of restrictions contained in the 1950 Declaration, including each and every home violating the height restrictions contained in Schedule “A”, construction of “multi-level homes”, construction of two story homes, and other material violations.” (emphasis added).
He has reserved the space, in ROES 1-100, to add any owner in Fleetridge to the suit, and then states that everyone who lives in Fleetridge is in violation of the height restrictions in the DOR.
Wendt’s attorney has already informed ours that he intends to subpoena and depose 18 “violators” (as defined by Wendt), several neighbors, and all of the ARC members. This is 25 depositions so far, at significant cost to us.
Above are just two of the many unbelievable claims he makes in this document, including stating that the “The ARC Members intentionally, willfully, discriminatorily, and maliciously denied Wendt’s request for a variance.”
Those of you who have had plans or proposals turned down or modified through work with ARC have apparently kept your hostilities towards the ARC under control, or cursed us under your breath. Thank you for not accusing us of such behavior. We are a volunteer organization empowered by the Declaration of Restrictions to enforce those restrictions in Fleetridge 1. It often is not a “fun” job, but this is ridiculous!
Please donate now to help us keep fighting Wendt, who apparently wants to run us out of money and forever change the character of the neighborhood we invested in and love! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with comments, suggestions, and ways to donate by check if you so desire. Otherwise, you’re already here at GoFundMe/SaveOurNeighborhood, and we are extremely grateful for your thoughtful and generous support!
Dear Friends and Neighbors: June 11, 2018
As many of you have noted, unapproved construction at 3612 Fenelon has continued in spite of the Temporary Restraining Order issued by a judge in early May. Anyone can see that the 2nd story roof, which didn’t exist on the day the TRO was granted is now sheeted with plywood and covered in tar paper. Inspections have occurred regularly for this construction during the TRO.
Sorry we had to go quiet, it certainly affected fundraising. Hearings will be held on Friday June 15th on this and more. PLEASE NOTE: There will be multiple motions heard on a packed court calendar, there is limited space, and timing is uncertain. PLEASE DO NOT ATTEND THE HEARINGS. You will get a full report the next day, and can attend the trial in the future, though hopefully it will not come to that.
There isn’t much appropriate to say about the legal activities right now, so instead please ponder this: Would the look and/or character of the neighborhood be diminished, your views impaired, your light and air reduced, or your privacy affected, by the addition of two-story houses?
Run2SDRun2SD (“Run”) AKA the owner of 3611 and 3612 Fenelon St. has authored several pieces on GoFundMe with $5 donations. He complains about:
· The SaveOurNeighborhood signs “littering our neighborhood”,
· “lack of harmony”, supposed “discrimination”, “harassing only one family”,
· “are we now allowing Short Term Rentals (STR)?
And refers to “the minimal visual impact” HIS 2-story house would have!
Stating in this post ~May22nd that “this might turn into a lawsuit that could backfire and cost many of us more than we anticipated” is a threat. And misleading -- by then he’d already been involved in the lawsuit, violated the TRO and finished his roof. He alone is in control of whether this legal action continues. He wants to remove the restrictions in the Declaration of Restrictions that run with all Fleetridge 1 properties, including his. Without the DOR, our neighborhood could soon look like any other, with larger and larger homes on our large lots, two-story homes popping up, and then the next one, and the next one, and the next… Please see below for to help in visualizing how much a few houses could impact YOU.
Many of you have applied for and been approved for remodeling projects. We know from working with you that sometimes compromises were required to fit your project within the parameters of our DOR, and we appreciate the efforts and how the community works together to maintain our neighborhood character. “Run” somehow believes he deserves an exception that others have applied for and been denied, and that no one else has been granted, and threatens to go to trial. This will result in added expense for all of us, but the stakes are very high. Scroll down to see some examples of what we could expect with his success. It would not be limited to the two-story he’s advocating for at 3612 Fenelon.
You all have been very generous in getting us this far. “Run’s” attorney has stated that he will go to trial. We are definitely David to his Goliath, but we’ve gotten along with your support and favorable rulings so far! Unfortunately, he thinks he can drain our legal funds and win by default, changing our neighborhood forever. So keep your fingers crossed and please dig deeper and donate again if you can. You will receive an update after the hearings next week. And please continue NOT trespassing on or harassing anyone at 3612 Fenelon! Thank you very much!
May 20, 2018
Dear Friends and Neighbors:
Thank you so much for responding to the Matching Gift provided by an Anonymous Fleetridge 2 donor! Many of you are repeat contributors, and we are extremely grateful for your generosity!
This will be the last news you hear from us until mid-June, although efforts are underway to prevent the unauthorized construction at 3612 Fenelon St. Please be advised that we have been accused of harassment and trespassing by Dr. Wendt’s attorney, and the judge at the hearing below requested that our attorney “control your clients”. To our knowledge, no one has harassed or trespassed upon Dr. Wendt or his property --- please keep it up.
The TRO was issued on May 2, halting further construction. Last week, Dr. Wendt’s attorney scheduled an ex parte hearing to dismiss the TRO and to move the injunction hearing to an earlier date. None of those requests were granted. However, that very afternoon a flurry of activity ensued at 3612 Fenelon St., with contractors arriving talking of an inspection, mentioning of plumbing and electrical contractors arriving the next day, and work, as you know, continuing through the week. This is being addressed through the legal process. We appreciate the phone calls, photos and videos you have provided, and the signs all over our neighborhoods!
As we prepare for the June 15 hearing on the injunction, please be aware that we still need to raise funds for legal expenses. The recent matching gift made a difference, and we hope you will continue your generosity as things go quiet while we work with the attorneys.
It has been unpleasant for all of us to watch the violation of the DoR, and to hear threats of ending the Declarations that have preserved our neighborhood for so long. But the community support has been amazing, and it would be that much more difficult to be an individual homeowner taking this on, instead of all of us!
And in answer to your question: YES, concerned neighbors are cordially invited to attend the June 15th hearing, currently scheduled for 10:30 AM in Courtroom 66 in the new section of the Superior Court building at 1100 Union St. San Diego 92101 with Judge Medel. We will notify you via email if there are any changes with court time or location.
Dear Neighbors & Friends, May 13, 2018
It has been exactly one month since reports of Dr. Wendt’s unauthorized construction surfaced and were responded to, first by the ARC, then by our attorneys. Thanks to the community support, we were able to obtain a TRO (Temporary Restraining Order) on May 2, which halted the fast paced construction at 3612 Fenelon.
While the work on the addition is stopped, Fleetridge 1’s work is moving fast. There is a lot of information and preparation required for the hearing scheduled for June 15, 2018. We hope to prevail and obtain injunctive relief which would result in 3612 Fenelon ceasing to violate several provisions of the Declaration of Restrictions.
Our attorneys were hired, brought up to speed and filed a successful TRO in less than two weeks! And, our first week of attorney’s fees amounted to over $12,000. There is reason to expect that the fast legal track we’re on will require more than we’ve raised so far. A generous donor, who has already contributed, is offering a $5,000 MATCH. This means that all money donated to the GoFundMe/SaveOurNeighborhood site will be matched and doubled, when we hit the $5,000 GOAL.
Look at what all of us accomplished in 2 weeks! Let’s accomplish this GOAL in the next 2 weeks! The first $5,000 donated will be matched, dollar for dollar, if we achieve this GOAL by midnight on May 31,2018. Thank you again for your support, posting signs, volunteering, and keeping our neighborhood the place we all want to live!
This fundraising campaign is being conducted by Fleetridge 1 neighbors FOR Fleetridge 1 neighbors!
Dear Neighbors & Friends, May 2, 2018
We couldn’t have done any of this without you! Thank you so much and here’s an update:
Our GOALS remain the same: to stop and remove the unauthorized and noncompliant second story structure at 3612 Fenelon St. and to preserve the Declaration of Restrictions for our neighborhood.
YOUR DONATIONS AT WORK: today a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) was granted against Dr. Wendt, meaning he had to immediately stop work on his addition. Any violation of the TRO will send him back to court.
ACTIONS: You have made many offers to help, and beyond your generous donations and information sharing, please keep your eyes and ears open for any construction activity at 3612 Fenelon St., and take photos and/or videos if you see anything-including construction workers, trucks and material deliveries. The upper structure has been draped so it is difficult to know what is going on inside. Please walk by as often as you can, and contact the ARC at email@example.com with any observations, photos and videos, or other information and comments.
NEXT STEPS: As we left court today, Dr. Wendt’s attorney said that he plans to immediately appeal the granting of the TRO. If so, further legal work and court time to provide information to counter that effort would be required. A trial date of June 15, 2018 has been set, and trial preparation will involve more legal effort.
We were hoping that Dr. Wendt would respond to the ARC’s notices of violation and requests to stop work. Or that he would respond to our attorney’s offer of mediation. Or to our attorney’s requests that he stop work. Or that we could come to agreement without a trial. But it looks like the fight will continue, so we are raising our goal to $80,000 to cover the next steps. Thank you very much for your overwhelming support and generosity. Donations of any amount are gratefully accepted!
Background - our story
We chose to live in our area because we appreciate having one story homes and carefully designed view corridors, NOT having mini-mansions, crowded lots, second stories, and new obstructions placed in our views. The Declaration of Restrictions (DoR) maintains the continuity of architecture thereby protecting the property values. These restrictions were created when the neighborhood was laid out almost 70 years ago to protect and set standards for the area and are enforced by a volunteer group of elected homeowners-the Architectural Review Committee (ARC). This works because our neighbors respect the deeded restrictions we all agreed to when we purchased our homes in this area. We have all seen the results when the restrictions have been allowed to lapse in nearby neighborhoods!
Now, one of our neighbors, who had been turned down for a second story addition 5 years ago, at 3612 Fenelon St., has decided, despite letters, calls, and meeting with ARC members, to go ahead with a second story construction without approval, and with explicit notice that he’s violating the DoR.
It is critical to preserving our neighborhood, property values and the future enforcement of the DoR that this violation of the DoR be stopped. Construction is proceeding very quickly as the owner believes the faster he goes the less chance we have to stop him, and the more he builds the harder it will be to remove it. As this homeowner has bought the home across the street from the construction, at 3611 Fenelon, who knows what he would do next if his efforts to defeat our restrictions succeed?
All funds collected will be disbursed by an individual (as required by the terms of the Go Fund Me agreement) to law firms and other providers in support of legal action to stop work and remove 2nd story addition. In the event funds remain at the conclusion of the legal action, those funds will be returned to all donors on a pro-rata basis. Prevailing in this action will further validate the DoR. Neighbors will continue to work together respecting the DoR and utilizing the ARC. Doing nothing virtually guarantees more of what is now happening at 3612 Fenelon, and your view, light and air, property values, etc. will be adversely affected.
We are all in this together, and we will all benefit from this effort. Please give as much as you are able to (suggested donation $1,000 or more). Thank you very much!
You did it! Thank you for donating again and again - your generous contributions allowed us to unlock the $5,000 match! We are grateful for your consistent support, and understanding of the importance (and expense) of holding on to our community standards in the face of constant legal attacks!
5/20 Update: We made the match --- thank you! We’ll be going quiet for a while. You’re invited --- June 15 court hearing. See Story on our GoFundMe webpage for full details.
Hearing will be on June 15. New matching opportunity
for $5,000. Go to the "Story " on our GoFundMe/SaveOurNeighborhood site for details.
for $5,000. Go to the "Story " on our GoFundMe/SaveOurNeighborhood site for details.