(This page will be updated whenever there is new local information)
The ONLY OFFICIAL source of information about how YLP is dealing with COVID-19 is yosemitelakespark.org and direct YLOA communications. The situation is dynamic as new information and governmental directives are released. Please refrain from speculation and unconfirmed rumors as that just leads to confusion and can contribute to panic and fear. Thank you for your cooperation — we will all get through this by working together!
OFFICIAL YOSEMITE LAKES PARK BUSINESS
July 10: Letter from the YLOA General Manager
For awhile it seemed that COVID was only a serious concern for large cities and densely populated areas. However, with the surge of cases across CA and the re-closure of in-person dining, bars, movie theaters and card houses in Madera County this week, it seems clear that the pandemic is far from over.
Today, CA reported the highest number of COVID deaths since the pandemic began and 41 states are reporting increases in average new cases compared to two weeks ago.
The number of active cases in Madera County has increased about 450% in the last month — since reopening began — and there are now eight COVID related deaths — about 1% of the total reported cases — which is expected to increase as the disease progresses among the newly infected and continues to spread.
Fortunately, there are only 42 confirmed cases in Eastern Madera County. However, the risk of exposure in YLP is greater today than at any point since the pandemic begin.
More concerning is that many of the recent hot spots stem from small social and family gatherings; situations in which we feel safe and relax social distancing.
In fact, I have four children that are currently in quarantine as a result of a family gathering two weeks ago. An extended family member, who is a nurse, tested positive two days later.
Fortunately, they (and their aunt) are doing fine and my children are COVID free — though I have not seen them since they were exposed.
These may seem like small numbers and a 99% survival rate may seem like good odds.
They may even be odds you are willing to take.
But if we pause to reflect that the population of YLP is about 5,500, that 1% translates to an estimated 55 deaths in our community if COVID continues to spread unchecked. That’s 55 people that are our neighbors, our friends, and our families.
None of this is meant to promote panic or fear — but as a reality check and as an encouragement to stay safe, be smart, practice social distancing and WEAR A MASK, especially in enclosed areas.
None of us like to wear masks — but they can and do help prevent the spread of COVID.
While the pandemic lasts and especially as infection counts continue to rise, the clubhouse and in-person dining at our restaurants will remain closed. This is prudent.
Our outdoor amenities will remain open in a manner consistent with safety and social distancing.
Residents who refuse to comply with safety and social distancing practices (other than those in the same households) and especially those that show a disregard for the safety of others will be asked to leave and/or may have their privileges revoked.
This is a stressful and uncertain time for all of us. Will we be our best selves or our worst? The choice is ours.
We are ALL in this together and we WILL get through it. Please let us do so with understanding, compassion, patience and concern for others.
Let’s all take Chef Dave’s advice to heart and ‘be nice’ — even when (especially when) we don’t quite feel like it.
June 12: Letter from the YLOA General Manager
As the Covid-19 lock down orders are relaxed and more business and facilities are allowed to re-open, we continue to evaluate operating hours and opening procedures for our amenities and services.
From the beginning of the crisis we have adopted the motto of ‘Prudence, not Panic’ and have made efforts to keep our amenities and services open; when we could do so in a safe and efficacious way that was compliant with Health and Safety Directives.
This requires balancing numerous factors, including: Public Safety, Employee Safety, Legal Directives, Operating Costs, Financial Risks and Liability, as well as Personal Liberty and Self Determination.
While those factors have shifted somewhat with the latest directives from the Governor’s office, the Covid Crisis is not yet over.
In fact, according to the County of Madera statistics, the number of confirmed Covid cases in Madera has increased by almost 100% in the last two weeks – from 95 to 188.
While this is still a small number, that is more NEW cases in 2 weeks than in the FULL 10 WEEKS following the first confirmed Madera case on 3/7.
So, while the shelter in place rules are being relaxed across the state, the risk in Madera County is greater today than at any other time since the crisis began. And it is reasonable to assume it will continue to get worse before it gets better.
Our motto is STILL ‘Prudence, not Panic’. HOWEVER, it is more important than ever to practice behaviors to keep yourself and your family safe.
As ready as we all are for this to be ‘over’ it is a long time yet before things will be ‘normal’.
1) Maintain social distance of at least 6 feet
2) Wash your hands regularly
3) Avoid touching your face
4) Where possible, avoid social interaction or congregating with people outside your immediate household.
IMPACT ON OUR AMENITIES:
The Governor’s office has released new guidelines that will allow us to open the pool.
I have reviewed the new rules and am working on a compliant plan to submit to the County of Madera for approval.
I do not have a definitive date yet, but I expect it will be only a short time before we are able to open the pool in a limited capacity.
BL has been closed primarily due to lack of resources to comply with our usage conditions. This is expected to change shortly with reopening imminite. We will provide a definitive date next week.
The CL is open to residents for fishing (with a license) and boats with electric motors or manual power.
We have recently treated for algae which should dissipate as the weather stabilizes.
According to current guidelines, meeting facilities are not yet able to reopen. The clubhouse remains closed at this time and we do not have an ETA for reopening.
While the Heron is legally allowed to reopen and Chef Dave has developed a reopening plan, the additional costs (2-3 additional staff for safety compliance) combined with unnecessary additional health risk to our members and staff make it unwise to reopen for in-person dining at this time – especially with limited seating capacity.
We will continue to be open for take out service while evaluating all other factors.
We do want things to ‘go back to normal’ but we are just not there yet. Though we miss you too!
For similar reasons, there are no changes to current service at the Cafe at this time.
The EC will continue to be closed to any who do not live in the park (unless they currently board horses there), however we will be making some changes for park residents which will be announced next week.
The GC is open and will continue to operate under current conditions, including the restriction that carts may only be shared by members of the same household.
If you haven’t played the course, this is a great time to do so. The course is in great shape and golf is a great activity that can be social while still being safe.
The RC is open for use by residents who observe social distancing. It is not open for team sports.
The playground is required to remain closed at this time.
Tennis Courts also remain open to residents for use consistent with social distancing.
Our trails remain open. Please observe and maintain social distancing.
These are certainly unprecedented times and I know many of us continue to experience heightened levels of anxiety and frustration. This is totally understandable.
Recently, we have seen an increase in this frustration being taken out on staff. Please remember that we are ALL doing the best we can in difficult circumstances. AND our admin staff continues to operate with 30% fewer labor hours than before WHILE there is more to do.
Please be patient. Please be nice.
We are ALL in this together.
April 24: Letter from the YLOA General Manager
To all homeowners,
*** IMPORTANT COVID-19 UPDATE ***
As we all continue to work through the impact and implications of COVID-19, we know there are many questions and concerns. Our mantra throughout this crisis has been and continues to be PRUDENCE, NOT PANIC.
There has been a tremendous amount of speculation in the news and on social media which fuels uncertainty and exacerbates anxiety.
I know we are all eager for answers and a resolution to this crisis. It is natural to be concerned and I want to assure you that we take the situation seriously and that it has our thorough attention.
The best place to get current information about our response to COVID-19 is our official website: yosemitelakespark.org.
We have several informational resources available, including (this) dedicated COVID-19 page, our weekly electronic newsletter (YLP Life), and a text alert system (YLP Alert).
We have also instituted a weekly video/voice meeting on Tuesday nights at 6 PM where we respond to community questions and provide updates. You can find the gotomeeting link on our website or dial in to the following:
1 877 568 4106
Access Code: 948-563-413
Printed information will also be included with YLOA and YSPUC invoices. At this time, we have elected NOT to send separate mailings, as information changes rapidly and each dedicated mailing would otherwise cost an extra $3,500.
Please be aware that information from other sources should be considered to be the personal opinion of the poster and may not accurately or completely represent association policies, actions or direction.
We have found that even well-intentioned commentary from individual posters can increase confusion and raise concerns that have already been addressed.
In this time of uncertainty, it is more important than ever that we have full, open and accurate communication.
What we are doing about Covid-19
On a daily basis, we carefully evaluate new information and the potential impact on our community and association operations, including: health and safety, temporary procedural changes and financial impacts.
In fact, we began this process before the governor’s announcement on Sunday, March 15th with a weekend manager’s meeting and held an emergency board meeting two days before the shelter-in-place order was announced on Thursday, March 19th.
For purposes of public safety, we closed the bar and the clubhouse and canceled all clubhouse events. Non-essential employees were furloughed, and we developed a plan for takeout food service and changed the rules for amenity use to be consistent with public health and social distancing guidelines.
(At this time, based on recent food sales and labor costs, our restaurants are making a positive contribution to cash flow.)
For employees engaged in government-defined “essential services,” our staff agreed to reduce work hours (and compensation) by 10-15% and we enrolled in California’s work-share program to help make up the difference in wages.
We also applied early for the federal Payroll Protection Program (PPP) and will continue to evaluate available options for other assistance that will help our community.
YLOA is very aware that many members of our community have been and will be impacted financially by these circumstances. We are always willing to work with homeowners who find themselves in financial distress — and we will continue to do so.
As a special accommodation, we will be waiving interest and late fees for March and April dues payments, and waiving credit card processing fees for March, April, May and June. Unfortunately, the association is not in a position to waive actual dues; it is just not financially feasible.
This is the most economically challenging time of the year as we near the end of our budget cycle and cash flow becomes tighter. Additionally, with the shelter-in-place order leading to the cancellation of events and the likely postponement or cancellation of Friday night concerts (YLP Live), our events revenue will be down significantly.
COVID-19 effects on 2020/2021 budget
As with all homeowner associations, we rely on dues for our functioning and operations. While we have made significant improvements to our financial position in the past two years, addressed our large backlog of deferred maintenance and improved the collection of delinquent assessments, the fact remains that our reserves are still significantly underfunded, our cash flow remains tight, and we face continuing financial pressure from state-mandated increases in minimum wage (7.7% this next budget year).
We also face other inflationary challenges including increasing costs of electricity, health insurance, and the costs of other products and services (largely driven by the pass-through costs of minimum wage increases in our vendors’ businesses).
None of these challenges are insurmountable, but they are certainly more complex today than they were last month!
In a world where a part-time minimum wage worker is paid the equivalent of $65/hr to NOT work (which is far more than we pay ANY of our employees), the rules are different indeed.
That said, there will likely be significant stimulus incentives that could greatly benefit our association and community, IF we are prepared to take advantage of them.
The PPP program is a strong motivator to keep employees working and, as the shelter-in-place orders are lifted and people get back to work, I expect to see very generous government incentives to encourage spending and stimulate the economy, especially in infrastructure — which is what YLP needs the most — and is historically where such measures are focused.
If we play our cards right — if we are prudent and do not panic — there will be programs, financial assistance and opportunities that will significantly benefit our community, association, and membership.
However, if you are experiencing ongoing financial distress due to these circumstances, please contact our office BEFORE May 15th so we can work together with you on a plan.
In the meantime, a careful analysis of the current government stimulus packages shows that a large majority of our residents will not be severely affected financially, at least in the short term.
Statistics show that about 70% of those not working will actually be making more for the next four months than they did when working, those of us who are still working are essentially in the same financial position as before, and for those in our community who are retired or on Social Security, monthly income should change little. (Although the stock market is highly volatile and the DJIA is down for the year, it is actually close to where it started the year in 2019).
Additionally, most of us have received, or will receive economic stimulus checks of $1,200, or more.
It is always a challenge to balance the hundreds of priorities that go into developing a budget – especially in unprecedented times like these. A budget is essentially an effort to predict the future; and when the future is particularly uncertain, it is more critical than ever to be prepared for the unexpected.
It is my responsibility to make the best recommendations I can, based on diligent research and a thorough analysis of all the information presently available. It is the Board’s primary responsibility to provide for the long term financial health of the community.
Based on the above considerations, I have recommended to the Board that we ‘stay the course’ with our current plans.
This will actually give us more flexibility for dealing with what happens next in these uncertain times, and also puts us in the best possible position to work with our homeowners who are in significant financial distress.
2020/2021 budget meeting
The 2020/2021 budget will be discussed in detail at an open board meeting on Tuesday, April 28th at 6:00 PM.
You are welcome and invited to attend and listen to the board discussion and debate. The GoToMeeting link can be found on our website on April 28th, or you can call in to:
1 866 899 4679
Access Code: 756-936-541
All owners will receive a copy of the approved budget in May.
The Board is elected by the community to set association policy and priorities and to provide direction to the General Manager.
The YLOA board is comprised of 7 homeowners who serve staggered 2-year terms. This year there are 4 board seats open for election.
If you are interested in serving our community and influencing association policy, please consider running for the Board.
Election packets are available online or by request from the association office.
Supporting each other and our community
These are scary times — unprecedented in our lifetimes. However, as the saying goes, “Every cloud has a silver lining.” If we have to shelter in place, what a beautiful place to be … we have walking trails, a fishing lake, a golf course, and great takeout food!
I encourage us all to take a few moments — even in the midst of uncertainty — to reflect on and be thankful for what we have, to support and encourage each other, to practice patience and demonstrate kindness.
We have numerous people in our community who are making masks and giving them away, who are picking up groceries and meals for those unable to do so, who are donating their stimulus checks to those more in need.
Let us be inspired by this.
The stress and anxiety evoked by the coronavirus affects all of us, and so much of what happens is out of our direct control.
This is all still so new and scary, so inconvenient and hard. We do, however, have the ability to direct our focus to what we can control — being our best selves.
We will all remember this season for the rest of our lives… what kind of memories do we want to create? As my friend and coworker Chef Pol says, “Be nice!”… and please also be safe.
A personal note
I was first introduced to YLP in 2013 when I met my wife. I was living in Fresno at the time and had no idea there was such a ‘hidden gem’ so close by. I fell in love — with her and with the community. I was amazed that home values were so low (compared to where I lived in Fresno on a “postage stamp” and couldn’t understand why the housing prices here had not rebounded after 2008 like they have elsewhere. To be honest, I’m still surprised.
The answer, I think, is largely due to the substantial deferred maintenance of our amenities and our roads. Once you look past the beautiful scenery, large lots and open spaces, you see facilities and infrastructure in need of repair and TLC. You see street signs (or did) that were unreadable with peeling letters. You see mismatched and faded stop signs of different heights, you see cracked and peeling paint and roofs that leak (on our horses and on our clubhouse guests). You see metal buckets hanging from the ceiling to catch the rain.
In short, you saw neglect and a lot of work to do. The appearance of our public spaces sets the tone for our whole community and if you see a community in decline, it depresses the real estate market and price of homes — and can lead to a negative downward cycle.
Last year I proposed a plan to “Fix Our Stuff.” This required a close inspection of our assets, of our amenities, of our work space and of how the community interacted with our facilities. We prioritized which facilities we needed to address, in which order. The board approved the plan and funding for the first year. We now face our second year of the plan, and while we must be prudent and wise, I believe that even in the current circumstances that continuing to move forward is both feasible and desirable.
In 2008, we essentially “hunkered down” and never fully recovered. We now have some forward momentum, which is important to maintain and something we can do, even in this present crisis.
My job can be challenging: there are many surprises, complex issues and the hours can be long. But I love our community and am excited about the many things we have accomplished and what we will accomplish.
We will get through this together.
General Manager YLOA/YSPUC
April 3: Message from the YLOA General Manager
As we enter the third week of the mandatory shelter in place order, those of us here in YLP are experiencing uncertain and unprecedented times. Speculation, misinformation and conflicting stories in the news and social media is abundant; which naturally raises anxiety and concern for all of us.
Early indicators are showing that swift action in CA will greatly mitigate the worst-case scenarios. However, as testing expands and more people develop symptoms, the number of confirmed cases is expected to continue rising rapidly for the next month, with projections currently indicating a peak rate of new cases in CA occurring in late April.
As numbers rise, this may be disheartening and elevate your personal fear and concern for yourself and your loved ones. This is a natural response.
However, be encouraged that social distancing is helping to mitigate the spread of the virus and lessen the impacts, even though it will take a few weeks for the effects to become clear.
In the meantime, I want to assure you that the association is taking COVID-19 seriously and we are following the directives to balance safety and the delivery of essential services.
All the scientific evidence I have seen shows that social distancing, hand washing, sanitization and self quarantine of those with symptoms are effective measures for slowing the spread of Covid-19.
I urge everyone to PLEASE BE DILIGENT IN FOLLOWING THESE GUIDELINES. Even if you are not particularly concerned for your own personal safety, these are simple measures that also help protect others.
If you are in a high risk category, have a compromised immune system or are over the age of 65, please consider self quarantine.
Ultimately, we all have the right to make a personal decision for ourselves and our families how to navigate these uncertain times, but please be mindful of how our personal choices in this crisis could impact others.
1) Practice Social Distancing
2) Wash your hands regularly
3) Sanitize common surfaces
4) Self quarantine if you are sick or exhibit signs of coronavirus.
PRUDENCE, NOT PANIC.
COVID-19 Association Action Plan
YLOA and YSPUC take the threat of coronavirus seriously.
Even before the governor’s advisory on Sunday, March 15th, we had instructed our staff on precautionary measures, had sent an employee for testing (which was negative) and held a manager’s meeting on the weekend.
Following the announcement, we immediately closed the bar and scheduled an emergency board meeting, where the board closed the clubhouse, canceled clubhouse events and suspended public gatherings at our facilities.
We held a companywide meeting (outside and via teleconference) to provide additional guidance for our staff and to provide resources for those who could be affected by reduced hours, furlough or the need to be absent to provide child care. We also provided direct assistance to employees with EDD (unemployment) filings — mostly beating the rush that ensued following the governor’s ‘shelter in place’ directive on Thursday, March 19th.
It is shocking to realize that was only 2 weeks ago!
We are constantly monitoring the situation with an approach of PRUDENCE, NOT PANIC, maintaining essential services as outlined in the governor’s and County of Madera’s directives.
We continue to adjust our response as new information becomes available. This includes issues that could affect safety of our staff and community, the potential impact of the stimulus regulations and financial assistance that may be available to the association and/or staff.
YLOA and YSPUC have nearly 100 full and part time employees. Approximately 1/2 of our employees are engaged in ‘essential services’ and continue working. The others have been temporarily furloughed due to reduced work availability or need to stay home to provide child care due to school closures.
This occurred during our budgeting cycle, which has been delayed for a few weeks as we evaluate the potential impact of the current situation.
At this time amenities and facilities that can be used in a manner consistent with maintaining social distancing for our residents and staff remain open. HOWEVER, the association, at its discretion, may suspend member privileges or close amenities in the interest of public health.
PLEASE BE COGNIZANT OF YOUR HEALTH AND THE HEALTH OF OTHERS
Current Status of Services and Amenities:
1) YSPUC – will remain open and operational.
2) YLOA admin – currently open at 50% staffing level. Closed to walk-in or in person service except by appt.
3) SECURITY – remains open with reduced staffing and a social distancing directive in place.
4) MAINTENANCE – currently open
5) ROADS – currently open
6) PIPELINE – currently open
7) BLUE HERON – currently open for pre-ordered family meals. WED to SUN from 4 PM to 8 PM
8) YOSEMITE GRILL – currently open for takeout only. WED to SUN from 4 PM to 8 PM
9) FAIRWAY CAFE – currently open for takeout only . FRI to TUE from 10 AM to 2 PM
10) BAR – closed
11) CLUBHOUSE – closed
12) GOLF – open w/ restrictions, pro-shop closed. OBSERVE SOCIAL DISTANCING
13) TENNIS – open OBSERVE SOCIAL DISTANCING
14) REC CENTER – open, with restrictions. Playground closed. OBSERVE SOCIAL DISTANCING
15) TRAILS – open OBSERVE SOCIAL DISTANCING
16) EQUESTRIAN CENTER – open for boarders only, closed to public.
17) BLACKHAWK LAKE – closed
18) CLUBHOUSE LAKE – open OBSERVE SOCIAL DISTANCING
Stay Informed. Stay Connected.
While we are unable to hold public events or meetings at the clubhouse, we are working hard to provide information and connection in other ways.
For the latest YLP information and updates, please check our website, yosemitelakespark.org. You can also sign up for our weekly e-newsletter and text alerts at yosemitelakespark.org/subscribe.
On Monday through Friday from 12 to 1 p.m. (beginning April 6th) we will be hosting an online social reading hour, We will start by reading Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien.
On Tuesday from 6-6:30 (beginning April 7th) our GM will host an online Q&A, to provide YLP updates and answer community questions. Please email your questions to QA@YosemiteLakesPark.org by 12 PM on Tuesdays.
GO TO YOSEMITELAKESPARK.ORG for LOGIN INFORMATION
Board elections are coming. We have 4 seats open. If you are interested in more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 559-517-3499
The board will have a budget meeting at 6 PM April 28th, with a vote on the YLOA 2020-2021 budget at 7 PM.
Memo from YLOA General Manager Jonathan Penrose:
As the spread of COVID-19 continues, YLP is taking proactive steps to protect the health of our employees, their families and our community.
While there are currently only 3 confirmed cases in Fresno and Madera counties, those numbers will undoubtedly rise. The situation is changing rapidly and we will continue to adjust our response in accordance with governmental direction and prudent policies.
WE URGE EVERYONE TO PRACTICE PATIENCE AND PRUDENCE – PREVENT PANIC. WE WILL GET THROUGH THIS TOGETHER.
By taking action to minimize exposure to COVID-19, we also help to slow the spread of the virus and preserve limited medical resources for those most at risk.
We know this is a trying and confusing time – especially as the situation is changing day to day. Be assured that we are closely watching developments and will continue to adjust our response as the situation changes.
At this time, we are following governmental directives to provide a safe work environment, while striving to stay open and provide service to our community.
At this point more than 80% of COVID-19 cases are mild; however, for those in high risk groups exposure can be very serious.
As a close-knit community, we are choosing to proactively help prevent the spread of COVID-19, especially to the vulnerable portion of our population. Some small inconvenience in the short term could help preserve the health of our neighbors – even if we are not at high personal risk ourselves.
We ask all residents to be patient and understanding as we navigate this short term disruption.
We will continue to update the community as the situation evolves.
YLP RESPONSE (3/18 12:00 PM)
FOLLOWING GOVERNMENTAL AND HEALTH AGENCY DIRECTIONS:
- Limit meetings and gatherings to fewer than 10 people (Fed 3/16)
- Close the bar (Fed 3/16/State 3/15))
- Limit Food Service at our restaurants to pickup/takeout only (CDH 3/17)
- Encourage those in high risk groups (over 65 and/or with compromised immune systems) to self-isolate (State 3/15)
- Avoid Water Shutoffs for those experiencing economic hardship due to present crisis (CWA 3/17)
- Assist employees with reduced work hours or COVID-19 concerns to qualify for aid/financial support.
- Allow use of accumulated sick time to offset reduced work hours
- Unemployment/Under-employment assistance
- Family Leave assistance
- Grants for bartenders
- Provide adequate space for employees to social distance where possible
- Library closed until further notice (to allow employee use of space)
- Close office for public visits, except by appointment
- Provide credit card slips by drop box
- Facilitate online/telephone meetings for committees/Board of Directors
- Admin Office: OPEN by Phone or Appointment. Walk-in office will be closed.
- Blue Heron/Yosemite Grill/Fairway Cafe: OPEN for TAKEOUT with new dates and hours. Blue Heron serving Family Meals only for takeout.
- Clubhouse: CLOSED
- Clubhouse Bar: CLOSED
- Security: OPEN
- Hot Tub: OPEN (CDC Reports no known risk of water transmission – observe social distance)
- Tennis Courts: OPEN
- Golf Course: OPEN on honor basis, rental carts not available
- Equestrian Center: OPEN to boarders – NO PUBLIC ACCESS (observe social distance)
- Rec Center: Playground closed and no social gatherings or team sports
- Trails: OPEN (observe social distance)
- YSPUC: OPEN
Keeping “in touch” with our neighbors — even at a 6-foot distance — is more important than ever at this time. If your neighbor lives alone and/or seems unaware of this developing health emergency, we can still be a good neighbor without an in-person visit.
In YLP, the way is through the NextDoor online community. If you haven’t already joined, it’s easy. Just go to the site, plug in your street address and email address and join. The YLP group has been going strong for years and now has nearly 1,900 members.
• Madera County Department of Public Health COVID-19 page with many resources to answer questions from personal to business situations.