Looking back


Here’s looking back on events, stories and news in March over the last 45 years in Canyon Lake.

45 years ago

In March 1973, a group of Canyon Lake homeowners attended the Riverside Board of Supervisors meeting expressing their concern regarding the development of Treasure Island. The group presented the board with approximately 190 signatures protesting the density of population, 2-story buildings were unacceptable and the plan violated deed restrictions set up by Corona Land Company.

The POA Board of Directors changed the rule for golf balls landing in the rough. Going forward, a ball that is moved in the rough must be declared an “unplayable lie” and must be taken as a one-stroke penalty. Another new ruling the board passed was golfers could no longer post their score after playing in a club-sponsored best-ball tournament.

Twenty-one residents submitted their resumes as candidates for the POA Board of Directors.

Canyon Lake had 183 homes completed, another 31 were under construction and Fairway Estates had 74 mobile homes. A lakefront lot on Bass Pl. was being offered for $23,450 and a lot on Giant Fir Place was listed by the owner at $5,900.

40 years ago

In March of 1978, residents were complaining that the heater in the pool at the lodge was not operating. An expert from Valley Pool Supply checked out the heater and determined it was unrepairable. A new heater would cost approximately $3,000. The expert added it would cost $1,000 to bring the pool to the desired temperature and $500 per week to maintain the heat.

A grand opening was held for the Canyon Lake Mall, now known as the Canyon Lake Towne Center. Green Stuff, The Medley and Canyon Lake Interiors participated in the event.

POA General Manager Floyd Fiddler reported recent storms caused a great deal of damage throughout the community, including the north causeway, golf course, stables, campground and Sunset Beach. Due to the damage, plans to build a new snack bar at the lodge was put off in order to make approximately $53,300 in repairs.

A mobile home was purchased and to be placed at the campground for the facilities manager to reside.

POA assets were $3,000,000 and the annual budget was over $1,500,000.

In March 1983, storms raised the lake level to 1386 ft. flooding both causeways and peaking five feet over the dam. File photo.

35 years ago

A grass-roots campaign by a group of Canyon Lake citizens was formed to urge the City of Lake Elsinore to upgrade Railroad Canyon Road. The only road connecting Canyon Lake to Lake Elsinore was closed for varying periods during recent storms. The group circulated a petition asking Canyon Lake residents to boycott Lake Elsinore businesses if the City of Lake Elsinore did not improve its portion of the road.

A questionnaire was published in the Community News Publication by the Canyon Lake POA Parks and Recreation Committee seeking feedback from residents regarding new or improved facilities within the community.

The Travel Club hosted a day trip to Santa Anita Race Track. The trip included bus fare and an unlimited buffet in the clubhouse on the finish line for a cost of $30.

After completing a feasibility study, the POA Board of Directors acted to lease a computer system that was expected to “Revolutionize the way the POA does business.”

Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District Board of Directors approved the construction of the Railroad Canyon Wastewater Treatment Plant. The controversial plant was to be constructed two miles west of Canyon Lake and would have a capacity of 750,000 gallons of sewage a day. The estimated cost to Canyon Lake property owners was $6.7 million, with the average lot being assessed $1,298. The assessment would be added to Canyon Lake property owners tax bills and would be paid off in 15 years.

Jim and Terri Coffron of Coffron’s Auto, Boat and Golf Cart Repair donate a new gas golf cart to Golf Pro Gabe Hrab. File Photo.

30 years ago

In March of 1988, the POA Board of Directors voted to implement non-smoking sections in the lodge dining room and country club.

Equestrian center barn fees were reduced from $200 to $160 per month, outside paddock fees from $130 to $110 and pasture fees from $110 to $90.

A restroom location for Sierra Park was approved and construction was to begin immediately.

A resolution was adopted to set the annual assessment for 1988/1989 at $740 per lot.

The Presidents’ Council undertook a recycling effort to collect newspapers and aluminum cans as a fundraiser for the community’s 4th of July fireworks show. As of March, almost 20 tons of paper and 900 pounds of aluminum had been donated, bringing in a total of $900 in three months.

The community had grown to 2500 homes occupied full-time, increasing the number of guest call-ins and swamping POA receptionists. The POA advised residents to call in guests at least two hours in advance of their arrival.

The POA announced it would soon be installing computer terminals at each of the three guard houses so that security guards could access guest lists placed into the computer file at the time the receptionist receives calls from homeowners.

A new Toastmasters Club was being established for the Canyon Lake area to help men and women develop skills in communication and leadership.

A new “Marshal’s Cart” was donated to Golf Pro Gabe Hrab by Jim and Terri Coffron of Coffron’s Auto, Boat and Golf Cart Repair. The $3,800 gas cart would enable Gabe to provide ranger service on crowded days and to circle the course in just 15 minutes.

With more than 1,000 escrows closing in the past 12 months, the Canyon Lake community was growing at an ever-increasing rate, with hundreds of families moving into the area each year. To greet these new neighbors, the Home Owners Club reinstituted its Welcoming Committee, which called on residents who have just moved in and offered them a packet of information about their new “hometown.”

The POA researched replacing street signs in the community in 1993. File photo.

25 years ago

In March 1993, Canyon Lake was 80 percent built. Of the 3,722 homes, 2,576 were owner-occupied, 444 leased and 50 rented on a month-to-month basis. There were 555 weekenders, 97 spec homes and 1,008 vacant lots.

Annual POA dues were $1,140 per lot, with an additional $180 per lot for special assessments for a total of $1,320.

A petition signed by approximately 400 members to overturn a recent POA decision to cancel the contractual agreement with the publisher of The Friday Flyer was received by the POA President Donald M. Miller and General Manager Don Drake.

POA Board of Directors were researching new street signs for the community. The two signs being considered were fiberglass at a cost of $595 per unit and aluminum at a cost of $195 per unit.

Three seats were up for election to the POA Board of Directors. Vying for seats were Stan Brodecki, John Zaitz, Lori Ziegler and Doug Warr.

A three bedroom, two bath waterfront home was being offered at $319,000 or trade. A 3100 sq. ft. three bedroom, three bath golf course home was being offered at $375,000.

The Travel Club hosted a three-day trip to Las Vegas. The club traveled via bus to the Excalibur Hotel. Full price was $80 for members per person double occupancy, $85 for non-members. The club also hosted a day trip to Santa Anita Race Track at a cost of $32 for members, $34 for non-members. The trip included bus fare and buffet lunch.

The Twirlers held a “Wearing of the Green” dance at the lodge in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. Refreshments were served and donations were $3 per person.

The POA Board of Directors authorized the general manager to proceed with RFP to install additional boat docking spaces at the lodge.

Under construction, the old guard house at the north gate is dwarfed by the new one. File photo.

20 years ago

In March 1998, the POA Board of Directors were considering whether to renovate the lodge or build a new facility. A large crowd of members attended a meeting of the Facilities Planning Committee to suggest that a new lodge would be preferable to remodeling the existing 6,000 sq. ft. building. It was thought that a new 14,000 sq. ft. facility could be constructed for less than $3,000,000.

Despite the inclement weather, construction of new guard houses at the east and north gates continued. Construction was expected to be completed by Apr. 5, weather permitting.

The community’s annual “Coot Shoot” came under attack from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), even though the Canyon Lake POA was provided a special permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to shoot and kill the pesky birds on its grounds. PETA suggested that the POA consider alternatives such as frightening the birds away with scarecrows, water spray devices or repellants to discourage the waterfowl from damaging parks and the golf course.

A four bedroom, three car garage Victorian home with a pool, spa and sports court was being offered at $327,000. A 1940 sq. ft. three bedroom, two bath golf course home on Calcutta Dr. was being offered at $224,500.

Canyon Lake Association of Men (CLAMS) donated $600 to Hospice of the Valleys and another $600 to the Friends of Canyon Lake Library.

The Lady Titans basketball team won the Sunkist League Division II championship. Coached by Canyon Lake resident Cari Strange, the team had an overall record of 19-7 and a division record of 10-0.

Three candidates threw their hats in the ring for two POA Board of Directors seats in the upcoming election. The candidates were Tom Flecky, John McNamara and John Zaitz. Tom Flecky later pulled out of the race.

15 years ago

In March 2003, there was a great deal of controversy within the community over the Board of Directors decision to remove the 35-year-old pine trees in the median of the main entrance. Some directors stated they do not like the way the trees look at Christmas and thought they looked “ugly” and “outdated.” Some board members said they would like to see queen palms replace the pines.

Seventeen young people signed up for the Red Cross Lifeguard Training Program.

As of Mar. 5, the ACC reported that 3,381 of Canyon Lake’s 4,203 residences were owner-occupied, 421 were leased and 26 were rented on a month-to-month basis. Weekend homes numbered 281 and spec homes 94. Fourteen homeowners had second lots with improvements and 496 lots remained undeveloped.

The lake was closed due to bacteria flowing into the body of water from Salt Creek and the San Jacinto River. One of the causes cited was illegal dumping from the north.

Canyon Lake resident USMC Gunnery Sergeant John F. Collins was injured in Iraq when he stepped on a landmine and sustained major injuries.

A fire department engine from Quail Valley Station 5 rolled from the parking lot in front of Canyon Lake Market and damaged the entrance to the Urgent and Family Care Center. No one was hurt in the incident.

A three bedroom, two bath cul-de-sac home overlooking the main lake and dam was being offered at $398,000. A new 2200 sq. ft. waterfront home on Clearwater Dr. was being offered at $575,000.

The Canyon Lake Fine Arts Guild announced 250 tickets had already been sold for the Gary Bonner Concert on Mar. 22.

The Wakeboard Club held a tournament on Mar. 15, at the north ski area. The entry fee was $20 for club members, $30 for non-members.

The Travel Club hosted a day trip to see “Music Man” at the Welk Resort Theatre in Escondido. The cost of $59 included bus fare, a hot lunch buffet and the show.

Firefighters assess the damage after a fire destroyed the Animal Friends of the Valleys shelter. File Photo.

10 years ago

In March of 2008, Canyon Lake City Council authorized City Manager Lori Moss to proceed with further research and communications regarding the possible expansion of city boundaries, as well as creating a sphere of influence that would stretch beyond the community’s gates. The area considered was a parcel of 400 acres immediately outside the North Gate and north of Greenwald was being considered for annexation.

The Canyon Lake community, as well as the surrounding areas, came forward with support and donations when the Animal Friends of the Valleys shelter burned down in late February. Donations came into the shelter faster than they could handle and communications director Beck Reeb said one of the best ways for Canyon Lakers to help was to become a foster parent to the animal shelter.

Residents, Randy Bonner and Guy Kestell stepped up to run for two open POA Board of Director seats.

The POA Board of Directors approved a property assessment increase from $2,160 a year to $2,340 with the new fiscal year beginning May 1, 2008. Those that took advantage of the CLPOA’s Automatic Payment System (APS) had an increase of $15 per month, bringing the total to $200 per month ($195 plus $5 installment charge). At the time 800, members were signed up on the Associations APS program.

Construction on the Longhorn Dr. Sewer Replacement Project caused a waterline to rupture under Longhorn Dr. causing flooding and a loss of water service to area homes.

The Canyon Lake Campground Club kicked off its 2008 Membership Drive at Happy Camp. According to club president Alex Cook, some of the club’s long-term plans included new playground equipment, adding a privacy screen, utilizing trees or shrubs along the campground property line bordering Tuscany Hills and making the entrance to Happy Camp more appealing.

Over 400 children and their families celebrated Easter at the annual Easter Carnival at Holiday Harbor. Sponsored by the Junior Women’s Club and Canyon Lake Men’s Golf Club, the event included sack races, rock-climbing wall, games, bounce house, food and pictures with the Easter Bunny.

Following the March 1998 storms, the Anglers Club collect trash from the lake. The pile of trash pictured was taken out of the lake near Indian Beach. File Photo

5 years ago

In March 2013, six candidates submitted their applications to run for three seats on the POA Board of Directors. The candidates were Lawrence Neigel, Bruce Yarbrough, Paul Chenette, Harold Larson, Dawn Haggerty and Erik Spitzer.

Twenty new signs were installed throughout the community reminding residents not to park on curbsides between the hours of 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. on street sweeping days.

A 1,252 sq. ft. two bedroom, two bath condominium on Treasure Island was being offered at $375,000. A 3,141 sq. ft. three bedroom, three bath waterfront home was being offered at $579,000.

Approximately three dozen residents participated in the Fitness and Triathlon Club’s third annual Tour de Canyon Lake. The event, a fundraiser for Animal Friends of the Valleys, raised $123 cash, a travel kennel, dog beds and dog food and treats.

The POA Board of Directors approved a one-year contract with Securitas Security Services USA, Inc. The company base of operations in Canyon Lake became Blue Bird Hall, forcing several clubs and committees to move their meetings to alternate locations.

1 year ago   

In March 2017, 13 new benches were installed at the golf course by members of the Tuesday Work Group. The funds for the new benches were raised from the Canyon Lake Beautification Golf Tournaments.

At the Mar. 7 meeting of the POA Board of Directors, it was announced that an agreement had been reached between Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District and the POA regarding the lake lease.

On Mar. 9, EVMWD’s Board of Directors voted to move from Stage 3 of its Water Shortage Contingency Plan to the less restrictive Stage 2. Stage 2 called for mandatory waters savings of six to eight percent.

Eric Kazakoff was appointed to the POA general manager position.

The Canyon Lake Arts Guild hosted its first 2017 tribute concert in the Holiday Bay Room at the lodge. The sold-out concert featured singer Kenny Metcalf as Elton John.

The Fiesta Day Committee announced that the 2017 Fiesta Day Grand Marshals would be longtime residents Nancy Carroll and Al Van Beenen.

Canyon Lake Quilters presented Quilts of Valor to veterans Bill Allen and Al  Barr in honor of their service to the country.

Winter rains brought brilliant colors to the hills in Canyon Lake and surrounding areas. With wildflowers in full bloom, many residents took the opportunity to photograph the beautiful displays of colorful flowers and green hillsides.

The Canyon Lake Men’s Golf Club held its Spring Kick-Off Tournament, the Women’s Golf Club held its 44th annual President’s Cup Tournament and the CLAPPS held a two-day tournament at Indian Palms Country Club.

The Twirlers  Square Dance Club celebrated its 43rd anniversary with a “Mardi Gras Mania” themed square dance at the lodge.

The POA made a changeover to DwellinLIVE software for guest call-ins. The new guest passes included a barcode that could be scanned by Community Patrol.

Bassmasters Club monthly tournament winners were Jon Evans and Brian Hoffman with 20.84 pounds of fish.

Members of the Tuesday Work Group prepare to install new benches at the golf course. Photo provided by Jim Magill.