Note to S.D. Council: My Family Owns Two-Thirds of Land Under Lake Murray

Marlene Dawson: “This council cannot continue to look the other way as city officials defraud the public and our relatives with their false information.”

Editor’s note: The following remarks were made Jan. 25, 2012, to the San Diego City Council. The writer’s family contends that Lake Murray is not legally incorporated into any city park owned by the City of San Diego.

Merrilee Miller of Goleta, sister of the speaker, says: “There are no San Diego City Council minutes, city ordinances, city Planning Department reports or legal notices of public hearings that support or prove that any portion of Lake Murray was ever (at any date in time) legally rezoned into any city park, owned by the City of San Diego.”

Miller adds: “I know because my family is on title to two-thirds of the land that Lake Murray lies upon. This property has been in my family since 1887. My title report proves this as does the city’s litigation guarantee. The San Diego Superior Court also affirmed this in this 1971 court case.

Related documents are attached. The San Diego Reader detailed this dispute in this June 2007 article.

To the editor:

I am Marlene Dawson, and I reside ... in Ferndale, WA., and this is Patti Crow, my sister.  We are two of the title holders on the Murray Lake Properties.  The state Supreme Court and SanGis maps provide the boundary of our property parcels.  They, along with the city’s litigation guarantee and our title report, also prove our title.

We’re here today to protest the Master Development Plan for Mission Trails Regional Park and Murray Lake City Park. 

City officials continue to use a fraudulent deed, falsified zoning maps and falsified inundation maps to illegally lay claim to the two-thirds ownership we have in the lake beds and our approximately 24 to 40 acres of upland property, of which the 17th green of the golf course lies. 

Using these falsified records, which indicated all our property was flooded, 16 years ago, city officials tried to negotiate with a cousin to offer $30,000 for our title. Recently my sister Merrilee Miller provided the correct data to Google Earth and the California Division of Safety of Dams.  Their records now reflect the truth.  Google Earth personnel apologized for the obvious error wherein they had indicated our property was city park property.

This council cannot continue to look the other way as city officials defraud the public and our relatives with their false information. There are no city ordinances, no public hearing zoning maps, and no notice to any title holder, wherein the city conveyed an interest in incorporating our property into their park system.  

It is all an urban myth.  Moreover, we do not wish to be held liable for the city allowing pyrotechnic operators camping on our property and polluting the air and waters of Murray Lake with fireworks.

My question to you is this: “Is the city going to continue to prevent us from the use and enjoyment of our property, as well as our riparian rights, which were upheld in a 10-year court case against the city?” 

If so,  then you must properly condemn our property and compensate us.  In closing, we need to talk about the city providing us access, compensation or condemnation.  We don’t want to continue to be ignored.

I am leaving the assessor parcel numbers of our property with you. Please note that we are paid in full. APN: 674-010-04-00 and 674-010-09-00.

Marlene Dawson
Ferndale, WA

Komfort January 27, 2012 at 03:44 PM
Lake Murray residents are going to need a PBID to come up with a solution to this problem. They know all about parcel shenanigans.
F. Dunn January 27, 2012 at 10:55 PM
Could someone please explain this to those of us who are not lawyers and not real estate people? In simple terms, what is going on? Is the lake going to become private in the near future? I get the part about their not wanting fireworks.
Tanner February 02, 2012 at 06:02 AM
Great to the city taking land from taxpaying landowners! Hope they get what they deserve!!
Merrilee Miller December 21, 2012 at 06:14 AM
Tanner, It's been ten months since you posted your comments. I may be wrong, by my intuition tells me that the representatives of the city of San Diego will ultimately get what they deserve.
Tanner December 21, 2012 at 10:50 PM
Sounds good! Keep us posted!


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