The Rancho


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Tree Farm

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2023 Upgrade

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Adjacent 40-Foot Strip

The property adjacent to the east side of this 6-acre parcel is a narrow strip of land (APN 096-431-05), reaching from Summit Road along the full length of the Rancho property.


The current owner was thought to be an attorney in Pacific Palisades, named Lawrence Damm, who has kept the property tax current, but we learned recently that Damm is not the current owner. I had previously tried unsuccessfully to contact him at least twice in the past several years. He has also ignored requests from at least two real estate brokers.


This is what we know about Damm.
15200 W Sunset Blvd Ste 209
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
16742 Bollinger Dr.
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272

Instead, the legal owners are;
Kristine H. Wyatt
58 Laurel Dr.
Corte Madera, CA 94925
(or possibly)
16742 Bollinger Dr.
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
(same as Damm)
Mark W. Wyatt
3350 Midway Dr.
Santa Rosa, CA 95405

The long-narrow shape is curious, likely a utility easement or driveway. Using the Santa Cruz County Recorder’s office and the California Digital Newspaper Collection, I researched its history in order to expose any easements or other encumbrances. This summary shows a clear title going back to the mid-1920s when it was first sold as a separate parcel. The ownership tracings can be seen here.

Much damage was done by recent storms, including to my fence, to my tenant’s cars and trucks, and to my neighbor’s property. There are several more dead trees that could easily fall in the next storms, potentially hitting houses and properties on both sides of the subject property. In the process of clearing the trees that had fallen onto my property, destroying my fence, we discovered an abandoned well. We cleared the undergrowth that had been camouflaging its existence so proper warnings could be posted and advised the owner of the problem, including the property damage his fallen trees had caused. In its current condition, his property poses a serious risk to people and property. What happened earlier this year could easily have killed occupants of dwellings on either side of the subject property, adding to the fact that the neglected underbrush poses a serious fire hazard to the neighborhood.

I sent Damm (attorney) this email on 6/17/23. I have not received a response, even though he opened the message the same day I sent it.

I have indicated to him that I am not seeking compensation for my loss at this point but I need to guard against future liability. I am concerned that, (a) more trees will fall, causing even more serious damage, (b) the property presents a substantial and immediate fire hazard, and (c) a hiker could easily fall into the well and be killed.

To abandon a well, requires having a licensed well driller decommission it, which is very expensive (chlorinated sand, bentonite, and two concrete plugs). The cost to clear the underbrush and remove the dead trees also amounts to many tens of thousand dollars.

If the current owner is reluctant to make those investments, I would propose to buy the property and clear the fire hazard, remove the falling tree danger, and resolve the well issue, all at my cost.

By: Jim
Written: July 2023
Published: August 2023
Revised: August 6, 2023
Reader feedback always appreciated