How Sun City Changed to a 55+ Community

On yesterday's edition of Menifee Valley Talk Radio, Therese Daniels and Mieke Jacobs spent a portion of their show talking about property values in Sun City Core, and how the 55+ age requirement has worsened the situation.

Therese was asked if Sun City Core was always a 55+ community, to which she said, "no". Here's her answer, as transcribed from the show...

Therese: No. This has been my beef and my debate for sometime now. When Del Webb founded Sun City in the 1960s, mid-1960s, he founded it as an 18+ community. It was an adult-only community as age 18+, not 55. It remained like that until 1997. In 1997, one of the board members, Jean Loberge, I think that was her name, started a project called "Project 55". In order to... You see this is in the CC&Rs. In order to get something changed in the CC&Rs, one has to get a petition of at least 250.

Then after the petition is signed, then it goes to a ballot and then it's taken to general vote. What happened is, there was a little chicanery there. After she got her 250 signatures, I don't know what she was thinking, probably sitting around thinking, "Oh God, it's so much work to take this to the ballot, they're going to approve it anyhow. Why don't I just save them time and money." She took, and went over to the County Recorder, and recorded that, that there was a majority approval, and that we are now a 55+ community.

Nobody at the County Recorder's office challenged that. Now that is about as corrupt, and about as dishonest as you can get. But by golly let somebody grow verbenia, and if they don't like those flowers, those verbenia, they will literally fine the people and say you can get rid of those, they're weeds!

You know, they want everbody to conform to their arbitrary ways, but yet they wanna break every law and get away with it.

Now, and for the last, uh, since 1997 or 98, when they did that and recorded that, there was only one signature, ONE SIGNATURE, and that uh, filing. By the way not all seven board members, just her signature. Now, I just can't begin to you tell how outrageous that is. I hope that answers her question.

Mieke: In the um, Hi Therese, in the History of Sun City, which is kind of a proud, published item, how is that justified? How is that recorded, that in 1997 they moved to a 55, was that for convenience sake, or how is that looked at now?

Therese: Well that's a good question, and there's a mix. Some people just love the idea of a 55+. They hate the idea of families, they don't want children skateboarding in front of their house, and uh, they like to think that, you know, this is just a nice quiet little place for little old people to live.

Uh, but other people, and a large percentage of them, resented for one thing, it keeps their property values down, their opportunities to sell are less, because it's a limited market, because your buyers... Well a buyer could be younger than 55 to own a home in Sun City, but you must be 55+ to live in Sun City. Most buyers, if they're buying retired homes, are buying homes to live in. So this limits the buyers by as much as 60%. And in a slow market like this one, that's like you know, bringing it to a stand-still.

The market has just about come to a halt. And yet we have the best buys around. We have some of the best buys around today. And they can't even give them away!

Mieke: There are actually some nice homes in Sun City right now, for under a $100,000.

Therese: Yeah! You know, this is really truly a buyer's market. Not only are the homes available under that price, the interest rates low, very very low, the sellers are desperate out there, they'll do almost anything to make a sale. A buyer could come in and take advantage of this market. And as the real estate market pendulum swings, which as we've talked about before, it always does, they're going to have a very nice little investment for themselves.
Therese went on to explain that Sun City Core can change the community back to 18+, by running another petition and putting it to ballot.

Albeit the entire real estate market in Southern California is still in the dumps, Sun City Core's market is even worse because the 55+ requirement makes it very difficult to find buyers. That in turn made property values fall even further.


  1. I can only imagine who would swoop in and buy those "under 100,000 dollar homes" in Sun City should the age be changed. I have always feared that could happen. I do not live there. I do not qualify right now but if the age is changed we are going to have a very low income, low standard situation on our hands ie. inner city mess. That would ruin Menifee.

  2. INTERESTING INDEED ! I must say, and its wonderful, that after living here five years we are learning so much about the areas, why-how-and-when things happened to get us all where we are. I also heard that Menifee Lakes started out to be a seniors 55+ development too; is this right? It would be interesting to see a time-line of when each little development appeared; i.e. Canyon Lake, Ryland Oasis, Rustlers Ranch, Menifee Lakes, etc. Before you jump on me: yes, I know the new ones that came after I did.

  3. I'm curious...what is considered "Sun City Core"? My husband and I and our 3 kids live in Sun City. We are not 55 and I know that there are a lot of single family homes. Even some newer developments. What would happen to us if they changed it back to an 18+ community? I would also like to respond to the person who posted a comment on June 15th. We are ALL facing low property values in this real estate mess. Be it Sun City or Menifee. I have see some homes foreclosed in Menifee and selling in the low 100s as well. Any place that has home prices that low will attract the "low standard" & "inner city mess" as you said...not just Sun City.

  4. Therese Daniels' statements, as quoted, on June 13,2008 are untrue.

    She is accusing a deceased former SCCA board member of chicanery involved in the recording of the Sun City Civic Association's First Amended & Consolidated Declaration of Restrictions. She even accused her of doing something illegal.

    If Ms. Daniels would do a little research she would see that Mrs. Roberge did not sign any recorded documents in 1997.

    The documents were in fact signed by Glen L. Roark President of the SCCA on 03/07/1997 and filed and recorded in Riverside County on 03/11/1997. As the separate tracts in the core approved the amendment requirements they were consolidated under the Consolidated Declaration. The process took a couple of years. The last annexation was dated and signed by Glenn L. Roark 2/1/1999 filed and recorded in Riverside County 2/22/1999. Most of the tracts required an approval vote of 2/3 of the total lot owners.

    Jean Roberge, President and Betty Jo Adney Secretary of the SCCA signed an amendment to the First Amended & Consolidated Declaration on 08/23/2001. The signing of this amendment was authorized by a majority vote of the Board of Directors of the SCCA at a meeting on 08/16/2001. It was filed and recorded on 9/17/2001 in Riverside County. This amendment was required to maintain compliance with the current requirements of State and Federal law applicable to housing for senior citizens.

    It is my opinion that Ms. Daniels has self-interest in her desire to open the core to all ages as she is a real estate person, and her primary concern is her pocket book and not the welfare of the homeowners in the core.

    We are allowed to discriminate based on age as a Senior Community in fact, it is encouraged by State and Federal laws.

    There are no laws that would allow us to lower the age limit to 18, 25, or 45. This would be illegal discrimination and we would be in violation of the Federal Fair Housing Act of 1988.

    Tom Thurman

    SCCA Member

  5. I moved to Sun City because it was a 55 and over community. I wanted a peaceful place to live out my old age. It's a quiet community and well kept homes. I don't want to live next door to people who party all weekend. If the age limit would change, we will turn into Hemet. A City with a lot of crime.

  6. Del Webb built Sun City as a seniors only community like the one he had built near Phoenix, AZ. It was never to be 18-35-45. Since it had never received the approval of the state, the senior status was in jeopardy, SCCA filed the papers to insure that it remained a senior community. It is in the best interest of our greater community that Sun City remains seniors 55+ only.

  7. 55plus communities and the HOA folks is all a scam, look HOA up and you will find out all about another g'ment mess. For some reason these ppl get in power and over step their boundries. I do like a nice clean and well kept community but I see a lot of communities that are Not 55plus kept up. I hate all these darn rocks and no one outside, and you must be quiet, well I'll be quiet when I'm died and gone. I like to see young ppl visit, I like to scream and yell when the football game is tied, I like having BBQ with friends. But, when you live next door to 88 yrs olds all they want to do is watch TV and tip toe around. I say live life now, death comes soon enough for quiet! As old ppl die off what I'm seeing is families moving in with many family members involved also moving in, good luck in getting 'them' out!