As a new resident there are many things to do and know. Please go to the Association Office at 29541 Rolling Oak Drive to receive your Association issued amenity cards so that you can take advantage of our many recreational amenities. You can also ask any questions you have about submitting plans to change the exterior of your home or add accessory structures, fencing, etc to the Environmental Control Committee for approval.
The Bear Valley Community Services District, located at 28999 S. Lower Valley Rd. will help you with water service, mail service, waste management service, and gate pass information. Their website is www.bvcsd.com.
There are two governing bodies in Bear Valley Springs. The Bear Valley Springs Association (BVSA) is a private homeowner’s association governed by the Davis-Sterling Act and oversees the recreation & amenities within Bear Valley as well as enforcement of the C&R’s and Environmental Control Committee Rules on residential properties. The BVSA is funded through annual assessments/dues and leases the amenities from the Community Services District. A 5-person Board of Directors made up of property owners governs the BVSA. The Directors are elected for 2 year terms by fellow property owners.
The Bear Valley Community Services District (CSD) is a special district, similar to a county government. The CSD oversees water, road maintenance, mailboxes, waste management, gate operations, and the Bear Valley Police Department. The CSD is funded through special assessment line items on the annual county property tax bill, as well as water/wastebilling. A 5-person Board of Directors made up of registered voters is elected to 4 year terms by fellow registered voters of the district. The CSD's website is www.bvcsd.com.
An easy way to remember is that the CSD is responsible for “essential” services and the BVSA is responsible for the “fun” services.
With the addition of the loop, the walking path is .63 miles. This measurement does not include the street side of the lake.
As of 2020, there are 3,584 lots of various sizes that make up the community of Bear Valley Springs. The minimum lot size is .33 acres.
One acre of land or more is required to have farm animals including poultry, rabbits, goats, sheep, alpacas, horses, mules, donkeys, or potbellied pigs.
Per Section 1903 of the BVSA Rules, on lots of one acre or more:
Farm animals are not permitted to feed or graze within 50 feet of any residence or other structure where food for human consumption is prepared, served, or consumed.
Keeping animals for profit is considered an occupation and requires an Occupation Permit from the ECC.
If residents cannot resolve a situation that is a violation of the governing documents between themselves, you are able to turn to your Association. Should you have a situation that does not appear to be resolved through neighborly means, and you are willing to actively participate in the enforcement provided by the ECC Rules, you may complete an ECC Complaint form online (found on the ECC page on this site) or pick up a form from the BVSA office. The ECC Field Representative will then check on the complaint, and if found to be in violation, the ECC will send a Request for Cooperation letter to the Property Owner which will begin the violation process outlined in the ECC Rules. Unfortunately, due to the BVSA Confidentiality Agreement, we are not able to disclose to you the outcome of your complaint.
Yes, board meetings are open to property owners. Regular monthly Board meetings are held the third Tuesday of each month, starting at 6:00PM. Generally they are held at the Oak Tree Country Club banquet room. Notice of the time and place, along with the meeting agenda of any open board meeting will be posted at the Association office as well as other locations within the community, or accessed on this site under Meetings.
You can find a list of all committees and their members under the Governance menu. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact the Chairperson of the committee you are interested in.
Members/residents with a valid amenity card do not need a fishing permit. Members/residents will need to pay for a fishing permit for guests over age 16 at the Whiting Center prior to fishing.
Contact the Whiting Center at 661-821-6641 to make a reservation for the Town Center or Water Canyon Campgrounds. For the Equestrian Center Campground, call the Equestrian Center at 661-821-3960.
Contact the Whiting Center at 661-821-6641 to make a reservation.
A maximum of 4 guest amenity passes per property can be outstanding at any given time and are available for up to 2 weeks at a time.
Prior to visiting the range, all shooters must go to the Whiting Center to take a short quiz, sign the Release of Liability Form & all other acknowledgement forms. You will also want to check for the most up to date hours that the range will be staffed.
Should you have any further questions about Guest Passes, feel free to contact the staff at the Association Office at 661-821-5537 X222 or X211. The rules pertaining to guest passes can be found in the BVSA Rules Section 307 as well as under the Amenities tab.
The BVSA realizes that many of our senior members only utilize the amenities when their grandchildren come to visit. Grandchild passes are available only at the Association Office for up to 4 immediate family grandchildren who are between the ages of 6-17. The Grandchild pass permits free guest entry to the pool, Whiting Center, and tennis courts. A 2 week Grandchild Pass may be renewed once for a total of 4 weeks (28 days) per grandchild per calendar year. After this time period, regular guest fees will apply.
The pool is generally open Memorial Day through Labor Day. See the Pool page under Amenities for the most up to date hours of operation. The pool is available for off season lap swim & Aquafit after attending an orientation and paying a minimal off season fee.
Guest passes are NOT required if an adult member (18 and over) will be accompanying your guest(s) to an amenity. Make sure that you have your amenity card with you - a photo of the front of your card on your phone is also acceptable. Therefore, guest passes are only necessary if your guest will be using an amenity without a member. Note: Guest passes for amenities are NOT the same as the Road Use Pass to gain entry through the gate.
Guest passes may be requested at the following locations during their business hours:
You will need to present your amenity card and sign that you are responsible for your guest(s). If you are unable to pick up passes in person, requests can be made in writing via email or fax (821-5406) to the Association Office. The guest pass request form can be found on our websit Guest passes cannot be requested by phone.
Guest use fees will apply at some amenities (swimming pool, golf course, Whiting Center, tennis/pickleball courts, fishing, campgrounds, equestrian riding on trails, and shooting range). Most guest fees are less if you accompany your guest (in which no guest pass is necessary) than if they are unaccompanied by a member. Additionally, if your guest will be riding horses on the horse trails, you and/or your guest must visit the Equestrian Center to pay the daily trail fee and complete a liability form prior to riding. If you will be accompanying a guest to the shooting range, you will need to bring them to the Whiting Center prior to use of the range to complete a short quiz, sign the release of liability form and other acknowledgement forms as well as pay the applicable guest fees.
Click here for our Amenity Fee Schedule
Escrow demand requests should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Unfortunately, even if you merge two lots with Kern County, you will still be required to pay two assessments with the BVSA. While this was the practice in the early years of Bear Valley Springs, in 2003, the Board of Directors realized that this practice was incorrect according to the C&R's. The impact of merging lots for one assessment was resulting in a reduction of assessments and made it difficult to budget for the future since the number of lots assessed was constantly changing. Although merging two lots will not reduce your assessment with the BVSA, there are benefits for doing so. This may include possible property tax savings as well as the ability to build on the unimproved lot including adding a garage/barn or install fencing. You may also de-merge lots in the future as long as they are split back into the original configuration and any improvements are removed before selling.
Transfer Fee - $300
Document Preparation Fee - $100
Amenity Card Charge - $125 per unreturned card
Any other balances associated with the account
The maintenance and management services incurred by the Association are dependent upon timely receipt of the assessments due from each homeowner. Late payments will result in a late charge as assessments are due by July 31 of each year. In addition the C&Rs allows the Association to charge late charges and interest, and proceed with a lien on your property or foreclosure proceeding for non-payment of assessments.
The assessment is an annual fee due from each property owner to cover the operating expenses of the amenities, administration, and Environmental Control, as well as provide reserve funds for replacement of facilities and assets in future years. Assessments are due in July of each year. Statements will be mailed to the address on file.
For 2022-2023, the assessment fee is $1776 per property. This fee can fluctuate from year to year because the expenses of maintaining/operating facilities, employee wages/benefits, etc. can increase. The amount of an increase cannot exceed 20% over the previous year’s assessment. Each year, the finance committee meets for several days to review the proposed budget for the next year line by line. These meetings are open to property owners and once approved by the Board of Directors, a financial budget disclosure is mailed out to all property owners each May.
Based on our C&R’s each property is assessed the same amount, regardless of the size of the lot or whether the lot has been improved (i.e. a house has been built).
ECC stands for Environmental Control Committee. The ECC’s goal is to preserve, protect, and enhance the
quality of life in Bear Valley Springs by ensuring that all residential lots are compatible with the C&R’s and
other governing documents. The ECC reviews any changes being made to the exterior of your lot including:
We also approve permits for Garage/Yard Sales and Occupation Permits. Lastly, we do send out Requests for Cooperation (aka violation notices) if there is something on your property that is not in compliance with the ECC or BVSA rules.
The goal of these responsibilities is to keep the properties in our valley blending in with the natural beauty of the surroundings, enforcing the rules of our governing documents, and maintaining a standard of living reflective on the value of all properties. The ECC Rules are available in the Association office or can be found on this site in the Document Library under Governing Documents.
Complaints can be made by filling out a complaint form and turning it into the Association office. The online ECC Complaint form can be found on this page or you may pick one up at the Association Office. The ECC Field Representative will then check on the complaint, and if found to be in violation, the ECC will send a Request for Cooperation letter to the Property Owner which begins the violation process outlined below.
Unfortunately, due to our BVSA Confidentiality Agreement, we are not able to disclose to you the outcome of your complaint.
Submittal forms can be picked up at the Association Office Monday through Friday from 8:30am-5pm and can also be found on this site under the Document Library under ECC Documents. Forms must be signed by the Property Owner and turned in with detailed plans, paint swatches, and plot maps, depending on the nature of your project. Our staff is always willing to assist you either in the office, or by phone at 661- 821-5537 X222 or X 211 or via email at ECC@bvsa.org.
Submittals received by Friday will be reviewed by the ECC the following Wednesday. Property Owners can call on Wednesday afternoon for the status and a letter will be mailed out the following day.
Because of the nature of the violation process, there are several reasons why it may seem like nothing is happening. It could be that the Field Representative could not find anything in violation of the ECC or BVSA Rules. It could be that a Request for Cooperation has been sent and the Property Owner has yet to respond, resulting in additional notices and ultimately Board Hearing, disciplinary actions, fines, etc. It could be that the Property Owner has requested and been granted an extension to comply. Due to the BVSA Confidentiality Agreement, we are unable to disclose if and at what stage another Property Owner is in this process.
When you receive a Request for Cooperation, you have several options.
The short answer is that we cannot tell you as complaints are filed anonymously. However, as an Association, we only average about 5 complaints per month. With over 3,500 lots and an average of 40+ violations per month, the majority of violations are written because of routine checks from our ECC Field Representative.
In short, yes! All of the above structures are considered accessory structures and do require approval from the ECC before construction.
If the structure will be 120 square feet or less, you will fill out the General Submittal form available in the Document Library under ECC Documents.
If the structure will be over 120 square feet, a Kern County Building Permit is required, as well as a deposit with the ECC in addition to the submittal. The deposit is $500 of which $200 is refundable upon completion and receipt of a signed off Kern County Job Card.
Submittals received by a Friday will be reviewed by the ECC the following Wednesday. Submittals can be turned into the BVSA office or emailed to email@example.com.
Accessory structures must be painted to match the primary residence. They must also be at least 5 feet from the property line and at least 6 feet from any other structure. Accessory structures that will be used to house farm animals must be at least 50 feet from any residence, including your neighbors. A plot plan showing where the structure will be placed on the property is required as well as a photo/picture/plans/drawing of the accessory structure must be included with your submittal.
Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 661-821-5537 X222 or X211.
As Fall and Winter approach, we could experience storm and wind damage to not only our oak trees but other varieties as well. You do not need a permit to trim the excess branch that has broken off. If you wish to do any other oak tree trimming apart from the storm damage, you will need to submit for an oak tree trim approval. If you are just trimming mistletoe, no submittal is needed. However, if you will be removing major branches or an entire tree, you will need to complete a submittal form and receive approval from the ECC. These forms may be obtained at the BVSA office and are available in the Document Library on this site under ECC Documents. Of course, take any safety measures necessary. For emergency action tree trimming, approvals can be processed in 24 hours or less. For further information, please call the ECC Staff at 821-5537 ext. 222 or 211 or email us at ECC@bvsa.org.
Subtle earth tone colors that blend in with the natural surroundings are the goal. White, blue, gray with blue undertones, yellow, intense reds, oranges and some greens are not approved colors. Colors must also have a light reflective value (LRV) of 60 or less. The LRV has to do with the brightness of the color.
The ECC staff is happy to help you in determining the LRV of your desired color. We also have a book available in the Association office with a list of the colors that were approved from recent years if you would like help in narrowing down your color choices.
Our ECC Field Representative’s responsibility is to regularly monitor properties for compliance. It’s not a popular job, but a necessary one. There is a regular schedule that is followed so that over the course of regular intervals each area of the valley is checked. For most violations, the violation is documented with a photograph. The Field Representative verifies if Property Owners have complied with previous Requests for Cooperation. Inspections are completed for houses that are in escrow to make sure they are in compliance before an ownership change is finalized. Lastly, the Field Rep monitors and finalizes larger projects that require a deposit such as new home construction, remodeling, or building of accessory structures over 120 square feet to determine if the deposits are ready to be refunded. You will recognize the Field Rep as a white vehicle with the BVSA logo on the side.
The goal of the violation process is not to impose discipline in the form of fines or suspension of amenity privileges, but for compliance to the ECC and BVSA rules.
The ECC is comprised of volunteer Members in good standing. BVSA ECC staff members also sit in on the weekly meetings. This combination of volunteers and staff has helped the ECC to strive for consistency, increased knowledge of our governing documents, the ability to research previous ECC decisions, and effectively communicate with Property Owners.
There could be several reasons for a house that is painted an unapproved color. The rules on colors that are approvable have changed over the years and different Committees have interpreted the rules differently.
Due to the BVSA confidentiality agreement, we are not able to let you know exactly what is happening with any property except for your own.
Once you have closed escrow, come to the Association office with a copy of your recorded grant deed to prove ownership. You will be asked to fill out an application.
Amenity cards are issued to one family unit residing together on a permanent basis at a single address per property, even if there are multiple names listed on the grant deed. A government issued picture ID is required for persons over the age of 18. Anyone over 18 who is not on the grant deed will need to show proof of residency with the property owner such as a driver's license, or vehicle registration. Your information will be input, a photo will be taken, and you & your family members who permanently reside with you will be issued an amenity card.
Amenity cards cannot be issued to both owners and renters concurrently. Renter cards may not be issued on a property until:
1) All owner cards or prior tenants' cards have been turned in to the Association office,
2) The property owner (or designated property manager) has signed a form assigning amenity privileges to the tenant
3) A copy of the lease agreement is submitted. In addition, renters/tenants must pay a non-refundable fee of $100 per card.