Response to Allegations Made at an Informational Meeting Held September 26,2010 at RRLE


Compiled by the "Concerned Citizens at RRLE"


(Also Known As Protectors of the RRLE Covenants and the Planned Unit Development)


(001) For decades property owners at Rock River Leisure Estates have debated the language in the Covenants that govern the park.


(002) Some of the more controversial language concerns the restrictions placed on RV lots.


(003) Some property owners believe the RRLE Covenants allow the use of a recreational vehicle (RV) lot as permanent residence.


(004) While others, including the Concerned Citizen at RRLE, believe the Covenants prohibit this use.


Rebuttal:   Apparently, if you do not agree with the Authors, you are excluded from being a    Concerned Citizen at RRLE”.  It will be a sad day for RRLE when we all think and act alike. Progress STOPS.


(005) Numerous attempts to reach a common understanding have always resulted in failure.


Rebuttal:  See FootNotes


(006) So the RRLE Board of Directors decided it was important to resolve this issue using the legal system.


Rebuttal:  See FootNotes


(007) This is not simply a matter of intellectual debate, but goes to the very future of RRLE and our investment in it.


(008) On September 16, 2010 a lawsuit was introduced in the Rock County Circuit Court.


(009) Hopefully the court will issue its ruling sometime in 2011 and our internal squabbles on this subject can finally end.


(010) On September 26, 2010 a group of property owners that support permanent residence on RV lots held an informational meeting at the RRLE recreation center.


(011) Their purpose was to discuss this lawsuit filed by the Board of Directors.


Rebuttal:  See FootNotes


(012) Minutes from their meeting were then mailed to all the RRLE property owners, complete with half-truths and innuendoes.


Rebuttal:  Once again this statement is the Authors opinion. Where does the Authors get this power to decide what our intentions were????  Simply amazing


(013) The paragraphs below reiterate those Allegations made at this meeting and the following Truth statements allow you to view things from a very different perspective.



(014) Harold Estep said the Board did not give status of the Permanent Residence issue at the September 11 Board meeting.



(015) Per the tape of the property owners forum, at the September 11 Board meeting Harold Estep asked about the status of the Permanent Residence issue and if it was in the Circuit Court at this time.


(016) Bob Buckley told him that the attorneys were reviewing it and it was not in the courts at this time.


(017) The first time the Board saw the complaint was on September 14 and it was not filed until September 16th.


Rebuttal:  See FootNotes


2. Allegation:

(018) Harold Estep said Lucy and Gerry Gaffey invited two Board members, Bob Buckley and Diane Neff, to their property regarding the status of the Permanent Residence Committee.


(019) Estep said the Gaffeys were told by these Board members that the Permanent Residence issue was a “dead issue”.



(020) At the August Board meeting, the RRLE Board agreed to look into implementing the previous "deed restriction" form, which would let violators continue to reside permanently on an RV lot until they sold their property.


Rebuttal:   As of this writing, there is no such thing as “violators” on this matter, as I will explain later.   There is a weekly paper published in Dane County that says “deed restrictions” are illegal.   Look for link to this site on the Home Page.   The Web Site is called “Freedom Matters”.


(021) In a subsequent meeting with Bob Buckley and Diane Neff, Lucy Gaffey started the meeting by saying she had contacted an attorney who told her not to sign anything.


(022) Bob Buckley told the Gaffeys the use of the "deed restriction" form, as a viable compromise in enforcing the Covenants was a «dead issue".


(023) Bob also told the Gaffeys, per the Park attorneys, that this form would not hold up in court because the Board does not have the power to authorize or grandfather a violation of the RRLE Covenants.


(024) Neither Bob Buckley nor Diane Neff said that the Permanent Residence issue was a “dead” issue.


3. Allegation:

(025) Harold Estep said his place is for sale.


(026) Some potential buyers asked him if they could live at RRLE year round and about the sign at the front gate.


(027) He said he told them there were people who live at RRLE year round so they would have the right to do that if they so chose.


(028) He went on to say that the sign affects the values in the Park and although there are places that have sold, people drop their prices so low, it's really sad.


Rebuttal: This is true. Ask any realtor to run a survey over the last eight years and see for yourself that the greatest loss of selling your property in RRLE is because of the sign and the fighting about “permanent residence”.



(029) What Mr. Estep is advocating here in effect is that he wants the ability to commit a fraud on unsuspecting and uninformed potential buyers.


Rebuttal:  There is no “fraud” committed by anyone exercising their rights as property owners.   Whether you agree with him or not doesn’t make him wrong and you right or the opposite.  This is why we are in the Courts.  


(030) It is unfair not to disclose the legal restrictions placed on those buying a RV lot or any property at RRLE.


Rebuttal: By “legal restrictions” do you mean State, County and Fulton Township Legal or RRLE Legal.  It has never been proved

                  otherwise.   Deeds to property in RRLE state “See Covenants”.    We have the power to change our Covenants at any time  with a 3/4 vote of the Property Owners.    Nothing in the Original Covenants says what we reasonable decide as a HOA must be approved by any outside governmental body.


(031) It is unethical for a current owner, like Mr. Estep, to dump his problem on someone else.


Rebuttal: Mr. Estep doesn’t have a problem, the Authors and their supporters do.


(032) The sign at the front gate is intended to deter this unfair practice and avoid the problem as much as possible.


Rebuttal: Once again it is only an “unfair practice” to the Authors and their supporters.


(033) See RRLE Covenants Article I, (i), Page 1, Article IV, (c), Page 9, Article V, Section 1, (b), Page 10, Article V, Section 4, (i), Page 13 and Article VII, Section 3.


(034) Also see Wisconsin State Statute 66-0435 (HM).


Rebuttal:  This State Statute has to do with license for a “Mobile Home Park”. Seeing as we are a PUD, this does not apply to our Park.  Nice try, Authors.


(035) It is not what is on a lot but how it is used in relation to the Covenants and the PUD.


Rebuttal:  Our Covenants read: “Any lot smaller than 9000 square feet shall not be used for a permanent residence”.   When this was original written the majority of the lots were vacant lots.   Now the question arises, “How does one use an empty lot as a permanent residence?”  Answer: Research.   A  “permanent residence” is almost always a structure, meaning a house, condo, apartment, hotel room or suite and the like.  In the state of Wisconsin that little room that you see attached to the cab of a semi-trailer has been classified as the owners “permanent residence”.  The owner has the same rights as the rest of property owners have.   Check it out for yourself, it is on the Internet.  Wisconsin cited when New York State was defining the term ‘Permanent Residence”.    Our Covenants state that only non-dwelling buildings are allowed on RV lots.   Where does this leave us with Park Models?????   Please read the Tax lawsuit of 2003.


(036) The Board's responsibility is to enforce the Covenants.


Rebuttal:  This is the Authors opinion only.   Our Covenants says it is the responsibility of the HOA, not the board.


(037) The entire Board simply wants property owners to abide by the Covenants, Rules and By-Laws.


Rebuttal: Once again it is the HOA responsibility.  If there is controversy about what the term “Permanent Residence” means, who decides what it means.  Whoever coined the terms “permanent livers”, “year-round living”, “year-round residency” and “permanent living” must not understand what a permanent residence is.   These people should research the term.


(038) They do not want anyone to have to move but they do not want anyone else to make this his or her permanent residence.


Rebuttal:  You could not prove this statement to the property owners who are so-called “violators”.


(039) Although permanent residency is against the Covenants, property owners have access to their property 365 days a year.


Rebuttal:  This in one of the few statements that is partly correct.   This means that any property owner may and can be at their property any time they wish.   There is not and never was a time restriction about this statement.   How much time you spend on your own property is of no concern to anyone else.  Plus, there is no mention in our Covenants about “permanent residency being illegal”, nor any mention about “permanent residency”.


 (040) As to the lessening of property values because of the restriction against permanent living, the opposite is likely more true.


Rebuttal:  Speculation on the Authors part.  There is no “restriction against permanent living”


(041) Without this restriction, RRLE development becomes more attractive to people that are primarily looking for low income housing.


Rebuttal:  Speculation on the Authors part.  There is no “restriction against permanent living”


(042) That is what will negatively impact property values.


(043) Mr. Estep also seems to have ignored the fact that real estate values since 2009 have been plummeting all over the United States.


(044) Did he expect RRLE to be any different? HELLO!


4. Allegation:

(045) Harold Estep said that at every Permanent Resident Committee meeting he wanted to make sure that whatever agreement came out of the Committee that the final approval would be put in front of the property owners and that three-quarters of the property owners would have to approve this before we implement it.


(046) He said Diane Neff, Chairperson said she agreed.


(047) He went on to say, however, it never went in front of the people for such a vote.


(048) It went from that Committee, to the Board, to the attorney's, to the Rock County Court Systems.


Rebuttal:  This contrary to the statement by the Board in the June ReView of 2010, Page 5, last paragraph.



(049) The RRLE Covenants prohibit permanent residence on RV lots.


Rebuttal:  This is correct.  But what exactly is a “permanent residence”?  Just the way it is worded implies it is a structure. 


(050) Both Harold Estep and Diane Neff were wrong. Diane Neff has since indicated that she now knows she was wrong, but Harold Estep has never so agreed.


(051) Further, it should be clearly noted that Committee members, Harold Estep, Bob Sarto and Marilyn Wirt, all in favor of allowing permanent residency, initiated a request to dissolve the Committee and to take the matter to court.


Rebuttal:  This is incorrect.  Those of us named above, as well as the Town of Fulton were stunned at the dissolvent of the Committee, as we and the Town of Fulton Board felt we did not reach a satisfactory conclusion.   Please don’t just take my word for it, find out for yourselves.   The request for the Courts were initiated by me, and me only, as I will explain later in this article.


(052) The Board voted in favor of both requests.


Rebuttal:  If this is true, where are our signatures to support this statement.  Since when did the Committee or the Board ever pay any attention to what we had to say??????  Goto the ReViews Page and look at the June Review of 2010, Page 5, last paragraph and see for yourself if the Board voted in favor of both request.  I don’t think so.


(053) The purpose of the Permanent Residence Committee, per the previous Board, was to negotiate with Fulton Township to develop a plan for coming into compliance with the permanent residency restrictions on RV lots and submit a recommendation to the Board.


Rebuttal:  There is no “coming into compliance with the Fulton Township”.   The Fulton Township stated at several of our Committee meetings that there is nothing in their ordinances preventing “year-round living” or “permanent residency” or “permanent residence”.  Our lots have been classified as R-1 since the Park started.  Only the Park recognizes RV lots as RV Lots.  The Committee never officially stated this to the Board, nor did the Board relay these statements to the Property Owners at a meeting.


(054) It needs to be clearly remembered that until any change in the existing Covenants was adopted by the necessary membership vote, no permanent residency could occur on RV lots.


Rebuttal:  Speculation on the Authors part.


(055) The burden of change to the Covenants and the PUD was and still is on those wanting to allow permanent residence here.


Rebuttal:  Speculation on the Authors part.


(056) Final approval of any Committee recommendation could not be put in front of the property owners unless the Township approved the recommendation.


Rebuttal:  Speculation on the Authors part.   In our Covenants there is no Rule, Order or any references that we as a HOA has or have to report to the Town of Fulton for any guidance to the running or operations of our Park, outside of common courtesy.   If this were true, then the Town of Fulton has control of RRLE, not the HOA.


(057) Even then, the Committee's recommendation, no matter what it was, could not change the Covenants, as the existing Covenants' effectiveness can be changed only by a three-quarters membership vote.


Rebuttal:  This is Incorrect.   Read the Original Covenants of 1975.   The very same people that proclaim to uphold the Covenants do not understand what they read.   They read one thing and say another.  The Covenants of 1975 reads (Line 097)  ‘Covenants can be ADDED or REMOVED by a ¾ vote of the Membership. The Covenants of 1975 reads (Line 130) ‘The Covenants can be CHANGED in whole or part with 2/3rd membership voting. 1982 Covenants (Line 079) and (Line 126).

                   2005 Covenants (Line 075) and (Line 120).


(058) If a change in the Covenants and thus the PUD were recommended, the Township would have to approve the change.


Rebuttal: This is Incorrect.  This was explained above on Line (056)


(059) The Township has indicated it will not approve permanent residency on RV lots and will not approve that change in the Covenants.


Rebuttal: This is Incorrect.  This was explained above on Line (056). Any statement by the Fulton Township representatives were their opinions and nothing more.   No statement was ever approved or disapproved by the Fulton Township Board.


5. Allegation:

(060) Harold Estep said that suddenly it was brought out that all you could be in the Park was 278 days per year and that it was never talked about in Committee meetings.



(061) On April 21, 2010, Diane Neff sent an E-Mail to Committee members scheduling the first 2010 meeting and reviewing the Agenda.


(062) The Agenda included reviewing status after the winter, discussing next steps and sharing a draft of an Implementation Plan to gradually bring the Park into compliance that she had developed and would distribute for comments.


(063) This draft was discussed at every meeting and revised each time based on input from Committee members.


Rebuttal: This is Incorrect.  Dave Brown did most of the revisions of the draft, but the results delivered to the RRLE Board did NOT reflect the revisions stated during the meetings.   I was criticized by certain members of the Committee for sending the drafts to a member of the Town of Fulton Board.   If we were all in agreement with the drafts (including the Town Of Fulton) then there should have not been a problem. 


(064) Was this sudden?


(065) Only for Harold Estep and Bob Sarto who were not trying to resolve the problem, would not participate in reviewing or revising the document and spent their entire time arguing and disrupting the meetings.


Rebuttal:  Speculation on the Authors part. You (Authors) were not present at any of the Committee meetings. You (Authors) only heard what you were told by certain members of the Committee.


 (066) Despite a promise by Mr. Sarto to provide additional information to be included in the Implementation Plan before submitting it to the Board, Mr. Sarto did not do so.


Rebuttal:  Speculation on the Authors part.   How do you present anything to a Committee when the Chairperson takes up 90% of the Committee’s time with his or her own agenda?  The Chairperson did not fully understand what the Chairperson role is.  It is the Chairperson’s duty to make sure that all sides or point of interest are heard and debated, not to dictate the outcome of the Committee.


(067) Diane Neff submitted the final proposal to the Board that was approved by the Committee.


Rebuttal:  Speculation on the Authors part. We were constantly left out of the Committee decisions. The decisions were made in private with Board members.  If you would listen to some of the monthly meetings, you would hear us protesting whatever the Board stated, not being accurate.  If you did not agree with the Chairperson, you were left out of all matters to be voted on.



(068) The Board voted to take the Permanent Residence issue to our attorneys.


(069) The Board has the power under the Covenants to make this decision and is not obligated to ask the permission of anyone or a group of owners in the Park.


Rebuttal:  Speculation on the Authors part.  The Board does not have the power it thinks it has. Read the Robert Elliot vs RRLE lawsuit.


(070) Wisconsin State Statutes require either a person or persons to be named and served.


Rebuttal:  This may be true only to collect money owed to the RRLE or stop or prevent violations of the Covenants, providing the violation is accurate.  It has not yet been decided by the Courts if any violation on my part exist.  It should have been decided during the Committee meetings the definition of “permanent residence”.  You can thank the Chairperson that a satisfactory decision was never met.  We had to decide on a punishment before we decided if a crime was committed.


(071) For financial and practical purposes, in order to not name every property owner, the Board made the decision, consistent with the Park's lawyer's recommendation to name one person who is in violation of the Covenants.


Rebuttal:  This may be true if this case happened outside of RRLE.   The RRLE Park is not controlled by the Board and their lawyer.  The RRLE Park is controlled by all of us property owners, HOA.


(072) This would make the necessary point of the need for all others violating the Covenants to come into compliance.


Rebuttal:  See FootNotes


7. Allegation:


(073) Harold Estep said the Board asked for property owners to respond to the request for a dues increase within 30 days and that after the 30 days they were going around asking people who did not vote to vote yes.



(074) In Board meetings and in three Review, the Board told the property owners the votes would be initially counted following the September meeting and property owners that did not vote could expect someone on their doorstep asking them to vote.


Rebuttal:  This is illegal.  Those of you who did not like the outcome of the last presidential election should go out and solicit votes after the election until you get your candidate elected.  Damn, we could have used this process of election anytime we don’t like who gets elected or what gets voted on.


(075) At no time did anyone ask property owners to vote yes.


Rebuttal:  Speculation on the Authors part.  Then what was the purpose of canvassing for votes?????


(076) Because of the questions regarding this issue, it was referred to the Park attorneys who advised the Board, in writing, they could "canvass".


Rebuttal:  RRLE is run and controlled by the RRLE HOA, Not by the Board and their private Attorney.  Read the “Articles of Incorporation”.


8. Allegation:

(077) Harold Estep said he was in the office last year going over the records of the expenditures for the back pool.


(078) He was critical of how much was spent and for what reason.



(079) You would think they would have found that the fence post should not been billed to the pool repairs, along with the chemicals, parts and labor for showers and sinks, covers for the front pool and a bill for $7000 for repairs in 2007.


(080) Not to mention Bob Sarto and Bob Tirjer who on their own called the state for licensed plumbers to do the job, even after they were told the Park could do the repairs.


Rebuttal:  Speculation on the Authors part.  Once again the Authors and their supporters do not understand or acknowledge the State of Wisconsin Laws. 


(081) And what about the $3500 for new drawings and a $200 state approval fee, both of which were not needed.


(082) This resulted in a required update to the back pool, which cost another $4000.


Rebuttal: Once again the Authors still do not understand the Law.  This was required by law because of the Virginia Graham Baker Act.  The pools must be inspected and correct at that time or the pools could not open at the beginning of the season. Please check this out for youselves.


9. Allegation:

(083) Harold Estep said the courts seem to frown on something that's been allowed for 30 years and all of a sudden a few people want to stop it.



(084) Mr. Estep is not mentioning Article VII, Section 3. which provides, "Enforcement of these Covenants shall be by any proceeding at law or in equity against any person or persons violating or attempting to violate any covenant, either to restrain violation or to recover damages, and against the land to enforce any lien created by these covenants; and failure by the Association or any Owner to enforce any covenant herein contained shall in no event be deemed a waiver of the right to do so thereafter".


Rebuttal: See FootNotes


(085) This has been in the Covenants for over 40 years.


(086) All of a sudden a few people want to stop it?


(087) Previous boards over the years had taken some measures to stop or slow it down, but in recent years the problem was becoming worse as word spread among some that one could violate the Covenants with no worry.


Rebuttal:  Speculation on the Authors part.


(088) Harold Estep and others (like Bob Sarto, Krist Enger, Jon Strang, Nancy Schlenz, Bob Tirjer and the Gaffeys) are at best misinformed or are intentionally misleading innocent people.


Rebuttal:  Speculation on the Authors part.



(089) The Park is paying for the lawsuit that was requested by Harold Estep, Bob Sarto and Marilyn Wirt.


(090) The Park is paying for the lawsuit because it is the Board's responsibility to enforce the Covenants, Rules and By-Laws and there are property owners not abiding by them, and they have refused to accept any compromise that has been offered over the last five years at least.


Rebuttal:  Speculation on the Authors part.



(091) This Board is still well under the budgeted amount of $8000 for 2010, unlike the previous Board that spent $12,658.10 on legal fees trying to figure out how to violate the Covenants and the By-Laws with an $8000 budget.


Rebuttal: Speculation on the Authors part.  This is just the present Boards opinion.  It has not been proved. 


(092) That is why some of its members were removed from that board.


Rebuttal: Speculation on the Authors part.  More unproven words.


11. Allegation:

(093) Bob Sarto said the Town of Fulton has nothing on its' books to prevent anybody from staying fulltime or permanently in this Park.


Rebuttal: This is true. Contact the Town of Fulton Board’.


(094) He said there are lawyers going through the Covenants and there is nothing that prevents you from living at RRLE permanently.


Rebuttal: This is false. I said the Town of Fulton Board said this at the Committee meeting.



(095) From the Town of Fulton - Any person or entity violating any provision of this Code or any ordinance that may be enacted or amended by the Town shall forfeit not less than $50 nor more than $1,000 for each violation, together with the costs of prosecution and other Court costs and penalty assessments permitted by law, except where a penalty is otherwise specifically provided for.


Rebuttal:  Speculation on the Authors part.  Does not apply to RRLE.  The Town of Fulton never said this during a Committee. If it were true, why did they not fine us, the “Violators”.


(096) Each separate day shall constitute a separate violation of the ordinance, if the ordinance is one in which a continuing situation is possible.


Rebuttal:  Speculation on the Authors part.  Does not apply to RRLE.  The Town of Fulton never said this during a Committee. If it were true, why did they not fine us, the “Violators”.


(097) This section shall not be construed to abrogate minimum and maximum penalties prescribed by the laws of the State of Wisconsin.


Rebuttal:  Speculation on the Authors part.  Does not apply to RRLE.  The Town of Fulton never said this during a Committee. If it were true, why did they not fine us, the “Violators”.


(098) According to the Township, this includes violations of the PUD and thus our Covenants which are the basis of complying with the PUD.


Rebuttal:  Speculation on the Authors part.  Does not apply to RRLE.  The Town of Fulton never said this during a Committee. If it were true, why did they not fine us, the “Violators”.


12. Allegation:

(099) Bob Sarto said everybody who'd opposed him living at RRLE refused to give up their right to move into this Park.


Rebuttal:  This statement is false. I said only those at the Committee meeting, not everyone who opposes me.


(100) He said Buckley, Neff, the whole group, all refused to give up their rights.


Rebuttal:  Speculation on the Authors part.  We, the accused, are part of this “whole group”, too.


(101) He said Permanent Residence is for everyone.



(102) Bob Buckley and Diane Neff did not refuse to sign anything in this regard, nor do they ever intend to live here permanently.


Rebuttal:  Speculation on the Authors part. 


(103) When one buys property in the RV section of this Park, by law you imply agreement to comply with the provisions of the RRLE Covenants against permanent residence on a RV lot.


Rebuttal:  Speculation on the Authors part.  It should be noted here that only less than 7% of all RV Lots actually have a RV on them or are vacant.   That leaves 93% that have, according to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, are classified as Real Property, not RV’s.   Why do we have Real Property on RV Lots????     Read the Tax Lawsuit decision of 2003.


(104) This is true in any community where you live and is no different in RRLE.


(105) It should be noted that the same group of people making these allegations continue to do so as of even the last Board meeting and have given no indication of trying to work with the Board other than to stop or disrupt all Board efforts at achieving compliance with the Covenants and addressing the modernization needed.


Rebuttal:  Speculation on the Authors part.





     As of this writing no one in RRLE has violated any Covenant pertaining to “Permanent Residence”.    The pending lawsuit is about having the Court define the term  Permanent Residence” as it appears or used in our Covenants.   Until the Courts define it, I am not guilty of breaking a Covenant.


     I am fully aware of what the term “Permanent Residence” means. In my opinion, by law it means I cannot build or install any building that is designed for human habitation, whether it is for temporary or permanent use.


     This is not allowed by our Covenants. To quote, “The only buildings allowed on RV lots are non-dwelling, such as sheds, garages, boat sheds and the like.”  I was told by certain members who oppose “permanent residence” that this clause in our Covenants was a mistake, this is not what the developers intended.    This is why they (Authors) say only one (1) shed per lot.    What happened to their (Authors) claim to defend and uphold the Covenants, Rules and By-Laws.


    Previous RRLE BOD’s had ignored this Covenant and allowed us to install Park Model Units and stick built room additions although the Fulton Township advised them against doing so. They said it would increase “permanent residence”.    RRLE BOD’s replied, “We will worry about that when it happens”.   There is plenty of paperwork to support this.


     The RRLE Tax Lawsuit of March 2002 is now used as a precedent for taxing Park Models, manufactured homes and Mobile Homes for the State Of Wisconsin as Real Property..

Click the underlined text to go to  Page(6)


     Yet the Authors and their supporters still claim our units as RVs and disregard the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling.       


     What makes a “permanent residence” a ”permanent residence” is the owners intention to return to his or her residence after being away.   In my opinion this means as long as I use my unit as my “permanent residence” it will remain my “permanent residence” no matter how long I am away, whether it was 1 day, 2 weeks or 4 months.   The status as “permanent residence” stays the same.     Does your “permanent residence” in your home town stop being your “permanent residence” while you are enjoying your lot here in RRLE?????.


     Our “Articles of Incorporation” states “A member cannot be expelled for any reason”.    I think we all know what it means to be “expelled”.    Forcible vacating of any lot for any given time in RRLE by the BOD or the HOA is against our “Articles of Incorporation”.