“Niguel Summit” HOA Board Member’s Wife BUSTED vandalizing property.

A Laguna Niguel HOA is in hot water for covering up yet another scandal involving the beleaguered HOA and its board members.

When John Davidson moved to Laguna Niguel’s Niguel Summit neighborhood in 2019, he thought it was a nice, quiet community, safe for his family. In other neighborhoods like Stevenson Ranch, the HOA would contact John for video forensic help fighting crimes caught on tape, so he assumed the HOA experience would be pleasant as before. He was wrong.

After a few months, strange things began happening. A neighbor’s tree had some fronds that needed to be cut and John was mailed a letter demanding that he cut them. John alerted his neighbor Daniel to the issue who promptly had the tree cut. Then John let the HOA know that the problem was handled and nothing further needed to be done. Instead of acknowledging the issue was resolved, the HOA sent threatening letters to Daniel about the trees that were already trimmed.

Later that same year, the HOA then persecuted Daniel for his ring camera above his garage. Levying fines up to $900 for not taking down the unapproved camera. John tried to help Daniel by getting signatures from all the neighbors around approving the camera – but the HOA refused to budge. Daniel was forced to remove his camera. This unusual camera situation continued with multiple other neighbors being forced or threatened to remove their cameras. When the HOA realized their bylaws didn’t have authority to enforce cameras, they changed the laws to grant themselves enforcement. In the meeting with Daniel that John helped Daniel attend, once the board thought Daniel had left the room to decide his fate the board members asked ‘Do we know him?’.

In the meeting with Daniel that John helped Daniel attend, once the board thought Daniel had left the room to decide his fate the board members asked ‘Do we know him?’.

Prices go up. Problems get worse.

Then the HOA started raising dues. While many HOA’s offer pools, clubhouses, and a bevy of immunities, Niguel Summit merely offers enforcement of landscape and housing rules to some neighborhoods, and then provides landscaping for recently burned Aliso Creek trail and other areas. Normally this type of public landscaping would be the responsibility of cities or counties, especially considering the Laguna Niguel city hall is less than a mile away, however the Niguel Summit HOA forces the community to pay what many see as an unfair secondary tax on services that should be provided with already paid tax dollars.

Complaints about the HOA kept pouring in to John. Over and over again neighbors bemoaned threatening letters for cameras and landscaping. No one knew who was making the complaints. The neighbors began to wonder if the complaints were being enforced down by Seabreeze Management, the company hired by Niguel Summit Community Association for its enforcement at the time. Some even wondered if one of their own was the culprit.

Then the HOA planned a massive overhaul in it’s enforcement capabilities, down to being able to dictate the type of light bulbs used in the neighborhood, all with egregious fine enforcement. At this point John began researching and documenting more issues by the neighborhood association, including it’s use of highly flammable pesticides against manufacturer policy that may have resulted in part of the coast file that erupted on 5/11/2022.

Scene from Niguel Summit Coastal Fire, 5/11/22

Some of the issues that residents have faced with the HOA are:

  • Changing approved colors of houses, preventing more affordable same-color repainting
  • Mandating a specific color of white for a pre-manufactured garage door
  • Removing cameras over garages and cars that were later robbed
  • Muting warnings of HOA fire hazards due to spontaneously combusting herbicides
  • Having a landscape “spy” team that signs Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDA)
  • Using liens to perform non-judicial foreclosures on homes
  • Making major changes to landscaping without city approval
  • Destroying slope foliage because OCFA recommended it that still won’t grow right
  • Raising dues by over 100% in 4 years with no added amenities
  • Control of mineral rights under the homeowners land
  • Demanding a homeowner remove a child swing from his front yard
  • Inability to prevent development of a landslide area, despite the risk to the neighborhood
  • Creating a complex application system for basic changes like gate or door replacement
  • Violating pesticide and herbicide warning laws

Seeing the Signs

The neighbors in John’s area were confused how this situation occurred. Who was reporting them? Were they turning on each other? Then John placed a sign in his yard and that’s when things got interesting.

While on vacation, John’s sister called and asked ‘Do you think the wind was strong enough to blow over your sign?” John quickly went to his camera recordings and discovered the truth. A woman walking in the area ripped the sign out of the ground.

After a few weeks of waiting John caught what appears to be the same person coming by again. This same person returned to the home of Don Ware, board member of the HOA. Other neighbors confirmed her identity. Suddenly it all made sense. Victoria Ware would have access to her husband’s HOA records and would know who had HOA approval for cameras and landscaping and who didn’t. This would allow Victoria to submit complaints indirectly to the HOA and create so much suffering for her neighbors. Unlike government which allows you to see your accuser, HOA’s don’t abide by such rules.

After filing a complaint with the local police, John went to the HOA with his evidence. During the meeting in late 2022 John attempted to show the video to board members James Kozel and others, but First Service Residential refused to allow the video to be played. John demanded that the HOA board member resign. Later, the HOA paid a law firm to tell John that nothing would be done and the member would not resign.

“They never called. Nobody ever apologized. I was willing to let it go if the Don Ware was going to leave at the end of his term, however he’s running for office in the HOA again. The neighbors don’t vote. They barely know what is happening in the HOA and the HOA is corrupt. I think they should all go for allowing this to happen.” John said.

Video of the HOA meeting and vandalism below.