Brain Dead in Canyon Lake, California; Who would want to live there?

Editorial by Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq.

Imagine buying a home in a gated city called Canyon Lake, in Riverside County. You move into your new home with your family; everything is great.

Then imagine jumping on your motorcycle to ride to work, no biggie right? Wrong!

In Canyon Lake, California, which is a gated city consisting of around 4300 single family homes; riding a motorcycle anywhere in the city has been banned by the Homeowners Association.

Yes, you heard me right; you cannot ride a motorcycle anywhere in this city. If you are caught riding a street legal and properly licensed motorcycle in this city you can face fines that start progressively up from $100.00, including possibly losing your home!

I recently read about Canyon Lake in a newspaper article here. The homeowners association will not let you ride your motorcycle to or from your home either.

Bikers must park their motorcycles outside of the city limits or trailer their bike in or out if the don’t want to be in violation of the law here.

Recently a group of bikers and their supporters attempted to change the homeowner’s association bylaws but failed. They say they will keep trying to change the rules.

I say that the homeowners association of Canyon Lake is Brain Dead! I am stating this as my own personal opinion.

This is an ominous development as far as I am concerned. Who knows, maybe the city of Riverside will outlaw riding motorcycles on city streets next.

Some people may say that since the majority of homeowners voted to ban motorcycles, that it is ok because it is democracy in action. Wrong; our Country and system of justice is set up to protect the rights of the few when the actions of the majority usurp the minorities constitutional rights.

Back in the 1960’s there were laws that allowed persons or establishments to discriminate against minorities just because of the color of their skin. The Court system, and eventually the Congress enacted laws to prohibit this type of discrimination.

In the case of Canyon Lake, I recommend that the bikers there get a good lawyer and take appropriate legal action against the city and its discriminatory practices against bikers.

It seems to me that the State of California and the vehicle code take precedence over the Brain Dead majority of Canyon Lake. It seems to me that so long as the State allows Motorcycles to legally ride on City Streets, that State law would take priority over Canyon Lake Law. I know that Canyon Lake will argue that they are a private city, bla bla bla. However, they are a quasi city for purposes of the law.

I sure would like to see how a lawsuit would pan out against Canyon Lake and their ban on motorcycles.

One thing is sure, I will never go there, I will never spend my money there, and I do not recommend that other bikers do so either. I feel sorry for the poor SOB’s that bought homes there. They cannot even ride their motorcycles home.

By Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq. , Copyright 2006

28 Responses to Brain Dead in Canyon Lake, California; Who would want to live there?


  2. Mark’s position is understandable, but regrettable. Many in our society are willing to allow the “powers that be” to roll over the rights of the individual. Even the “majority rules” mentality needs to be challenged from time to time. This is one of those times.

    I moved to Canyon Lake knowing full well that motorcycles were not allowed to be ridden within the gates of the community. Sounds crazy, no?

    Well, no. I knew that the rule would be overturned one day, and I wanted to be part of the force that was behind such a shift in this community. I was also aware that it would make me appear to be a heretic to some property owners, but those same people are the ones we must FIGHT with all our strength.

    So, you can be with us in our fight against discrimination, or dismiss us as Troglodytes that deserve it. Stand up for the rights of motorcyclists, or potentially let MORE communities pass laws restricting our passion.

    Your decision.

    Ride safe and proud!!!

  3. I would be considered a conservative by most people, but love to ride. I love the feeling of freedom that you get when you are on a bike, the thrill of the acceleration, the feel of the wind, the smells and temperature changes you miss in a car. I wish everyone could experience these things.

    I think this community is way out of line and something definitely needs to be done to protect our rights before other communities jump on this bandwagon. It seems it should be harder than this to make something perfectly legal illegal, and we should all be worried about what freedom they will try to take away next. I support you in your fight to overturn this ordinance.

    Fight the good fight, and ride safe and free.

  4. Let me get this straight…..They are banning tax paying citizens from riding federally and state legal mode of transportation on a PUBLIC road bought and paid for with state and or federal taxpayer funds? I would think that that type of ban would be illegal since the state paid to have those roads installed. And roads that were funded with tax payer dollars must be accessible to all citizens with out discrimination as to what the are riding/driving.

  5. Ever heard of pebble Beach and the 17 mile drive. it has been shut off to bikes for years and since it is private and not public there isn’t much that can be done about it. If this is really a private city and the roads are paid for by the people that live there, it is their right to allow who and what they want on their property. Dave

  6. Mr Fernandez. If you are an attorney I’m surprised that your post isn’t a little less emotional and more fact based. You state:

    Imagine buying a home in a gated city called Canyon Lake, in Riverside County. You move into your new home with your family; everything is great.

    Then imagine jumping on your motorcycle to ride to work, no biggie right? Wrong!

    In Canyon Lake, California, which is a gated city consisting of around 4300 single family homes; riding a motorcycle anywhere in the city has been banned by the Homeowners Association.

    Now if this happened to you, many of your neighbors would be mocking and having fun at your expense, because when you purchase a house in Canyon Lake, before you close escrow, the CC&Rs require your signature. And being an attorney, I would hope that you would read before you sign. And guess what, you’d learn that your motorcycle is not welcome in our fine city.

    Sorry—go buy elsewhere–the people have spoken.

    • let’s build other communities, better than that lake something, that allow only motorcycles and ban cars

  7. There’s a place like that in Tallahassee,Florida.They prohibit bikes. They are not gated. The moron who pushed for it owns a restuarant. Bikes are allowed there, but not where he lives. He is part of the home owner association. I haven’t eated at his restuarant since I found out this information.

  8. Norm, You missed the point entirely. When someone buys a home in Canyon Lake, they are told that they will not be able to ride a motorcycle. They are shown the appropriate law in the CC&Rs and they sign their acknowledgment. With me so far? Simple enough?

    As for testing it in court, that’s already been done, twice. Motorcycles lose every time. The citizens of the city have voted many times on the ordinance and every time the motor cyle ban is upheld with voting results like 90-10 in favor of the ban.

    As for spending money near Canyon Lake, sorry, no impact of consequence whatsoever.

    • the point is, such a requirement that “they will not be able to ride a motorcycle” should never be presented. it is like saying that you won’t be able to have blue skin or any other color of your choice. simply put it is a discrimination in its pure form. …and deadly dangerous pitbulls and such can still freely walk on the streets and terrorize people with their tough(i mean pussy) owners smiling.

  9. Of course our property values have decreased, like just about every other community in this country.

    How is the homeowners association discriminating when 90% of the community supports the ban? Again, if you want to buy a house here, fine, but up front you’re told you can’t drive your motor cycle.

    And we all know that living in a community that bans motorcycles is a huge asset and something very desirable. We don’t care about the small market segment who own Harleys, or any other bike. Banning increases property values and keeps the community much more quiet.

    90% of the community don’t want motor cyles and that’s the way it is. Nice to see democracy working for a change and people not having to live by the ruling of some judge. Laws made by people, not judges and attorneys. Imagine that.

  10. In this case PC14 you are wrong with your percentages. You state there are 4300 homeowners in your community. The vote was taken with 90 to 10 voting for the ban then then only 1 in 43 residents voting for the ban. What happened to the other 4200 people?? Only 2.09% of the people voted for ban not 90%. I think a vote has to be 50% of the residents or greater to be deemed a majority to pass the ban. It looks like we have a 2.09% majority here! Not likely to stand up in federal court

  11. they are only hurting their property values by not allowing bikes/motorcyclists into their utopian society. I say they can go fuck themselves… just saying. I bet thats a real fucking fun community… grass grows an inch and you don’t cut it you probably get a letter in the mail. If i ever win the lottery i will move there and drive the HOA crazy. Swear on my life i will buy every dirtbike, go kart motorcycle, let them boot me and then sue the fuck out of em.

  12. True. However, the point of the article is that the actual covenants and restrictions ban residents from riding motorcycles which are a legal form of transportation in California. It’s one thing for condominum’s or a small community to have reasonable restrictions, but banning a legal form of transportation is not reasonable. Canyon Lake is an actual private city.

    I have seen many voluminous C&R’s over the years. I have seen some C&R’s which require a lawyer to interpret!

    C&R’s which are patently unreasonable and discriminatory should be challenged in Court. That is my opinion.


  13. Ha Ha, actually my post is fact based. You have in fact banned persons who own motorcycles from riding in your gated city. People who own a motorcycle cannot even ride it to or from their home. Seems to me that you are the emotional one.

    I would say that you people are brain dead. I for one would never, ever waste a dime of my money anywhere near Canyon Lake because of your discriminatory practices which may in fact not be legal. I would love to challenge your Association in Court! If I were to prevail, you would be paying a portion of the judgement.

    Because of my article, many bikers now know about your asinine CC&R’s restricting them from riding motorcycles in your BS community, and will look elsewhere to purchase. How many of your 4300 single family homes are now vacant?

    Your case is a good example of the many discriminating against the few. If I were you, I would be ashamed.


  14. No I did not miss the point. I understand that buyers are given and read the CC&R’s when purchasing. I have gone up against many homeowners associations like yours who violate the law and/or discriminate against certain homeowners all over Southern California. I know the drill.

    Just because the homeowners vote on something, or the board makes some kind of decision, does not make it legal. In 100% of the Homeowners cases that I have taken on, I have won for my clients.

    I will not discuss any impending legal action against your HOA.

    I have read the previous Court papers against your HOA. Fortunately for you, in my opinion the previous legal actions were done all wrong.

    I would do them in Federal Court, under theories that have not been argued in your previous cases because there are constitutional issues involved. I would not do my case in State Court.

    You don’t seem to realize that in some cases a majority cannot violate the constitutional rights of the minority, even if it is voted on. That is why we have a constitution, to protect the rights of the minority when people like you would usurp those rights.

    You know full well you are being impacted monetarily. Your property values have gone way down, you have substantial vacant houses, and after motorcyclist read my article about your ban on motorcycles, they will probably not be buying houses in your community. You have shut out an entire affluent market of home buyers. Have you read the income demographics for Harley Davidson owners?

    In any case watch your vacant houses increase, and your home values decrease, as you ban a whole sector of potential buyers from Canyon Lake. If it were my equity on the line I would probably be more reasonable.


  15. Well it is analogous to the majority of voters back in the 50’s- early 60’s here in Southern California that allowed laws prohibiting people of a certain race to be excluded from purchasing real estate via covenants. Such covenants were struck down as being unconstitutional even though the majority of voters supported them.

    You see, the constitution exists to protect the few from the many when they seek to violate the minorities constitutional rights.

    Good thing there are judges to protect us from the many, when the many want to violate the constitution. You should maybe try going to school and learning about the United States Constitution and why it was enacted.

    You are buying too much into that conservative line of bullshit that has almost destroyed our nation.

    You forgot to mention the vacant houses that dot Canyon Lake!

    In my area, the prices have remained the same, imagine that. We don’t discriminate against anyone. Imagine that!

    I am going to have the last word with you via this post. Let’s agree to disagree until a Court or common sense changes the discriminatory practices of Canyon Lake.


  16. I’m looking to move out to Canyon Lake after my youngest graduates high school and have several friends who already live there. I think the issue comes from the noise that most motorcycles create. Given that I haven’t seen any posts touting the success of any lawsuit, I’m guessing the HOA’s banning cycles are still in effect. They also ban personal water craft, i.e. jet skis, on the lake. Seriously doubt any negligible effect on property value. Lake Elsinore doesn’t have CCR’s and values are about half that of Canyon Lake.

  17. I bought a home in here, July 2014, and knew they didn’t allow motorcycles on the streets. They also have an equestrian center for owners/residents to keep their horses at. NO horses are allowed on the STREETS, therefore you can’t take your horse to your home, yard, etc. You can trailer them in and take them straight to the equestrian boarding facility/riding arenas/trails.

    They DO allow gasoline AND electric golf carts to be driven on the roads, and while they allow water skiing and jet boats, they don’t allow jet skis ( we sold ours).

    IT’s a private community, and we each have ONE vote at the POA( Property owners association). The speed limit is 35 on the main thoroughfare, and 25 on the side streets. The HOMEOWNER also gets the 200.00 speeding ticket, on ANYONE they call through the gates, carpet cleaners, tow truck, pizza delivery boy. It’s amazing but 4300 homes are here, lived in, cared for, and sought after. One also has to have a “sticker” on every car and golf cart they have in here, AND carry a POA card to fish, use the pool, lake, tennis courts, golf course, etc.

    Since when is riding a horse, motorcycle or jet ski a “fundamental right”? Motorcycles OFTEN make enough noise to be in competition with a jet at take off and I don’t miss them. When the homeowners who WANT motorcycles outvote those who don’t, I’m certain they will be allowed. Same with the horses. Same with the jetskis. They also have restrictions on the length of the boats allowed on the lake.

    I don’t see the constitutional argument FOR riding a motorcycle in a private, non public street community. Enlighten me.

    Alida Marie Betts, Juris Doctorate of Law…

  18. I’m looking at buying a house in Canyon Lake right now and as a MC owner, this is a pretty big deal breaker. Unfortunately, personal transportation choice isn’t a federally or state-protected class, so I can’t see a lawsuit being successful.

    Federally protected classes include race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, pregnancy, citizenship, familial status, veteran status, disability status, and genetic information. California adds a few additional protections such as sexual orientation but nothing about MCs.

    Maybe I’ll move there and use a golf cart to get from the MC parking area to my house… a golf cart with an LS-1 swap with straight pipes!

  19. I can understand the ban based on my visit there yesterday. It has the feel of a retirement community. Outdated country club and lodge, kind of had a ghetto fabulous feel to it. Sorry, I don’t get it. Small little lake with 4800 homes crammed around it. No thanks, keep your ban suckers! I suggested riding on past this podunk farce for lake front property!

  20. As a homeowner of many homes and rentals in Canyon Lake, let me just say that while I love riding motorcycles, I don’t love the noise they make and liability they create for the rest of us. Due to the wreckless and irresponsible driving habits of previous motorcycle/homeowners, we decided that we would all be happier without them in our community. We do enjoy our beautiful lake, golf course, lodge, swimming pools, many parks, amazing activities, equestrian center, parades and dozes of events each year, just to name a few. Say what you will about this community, but we love it, it is unlike any other and we are blessed to call it home. Rarely does a weekend go by that we don’t run into a famous celebrity.

    • There is no way I would live in a place that would tell me what I can and cannot drive. When I purchase a home, and I am operating a licensed California vehicle, I should be allowed to drive to and from my home with that vehicle. I can only imagine the other restrictions that are put on you guys. Do not buy a home in Canyon Lake.

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