Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

We've compiled a list of some Frequently Asked Questions below. If you can't find the question/answer you are looking for on this page, give us a call at the Association Office

New Resident Questions

How do I receive my amenity cards?

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.

I am a new resident to Bear Valley Springs. Where do I need to go?

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

What is the difference between the BVSA (Bear Valley Springs Association) & the CSD (Community Services District)?

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

An easy way to remember is that the CSD is responsible for “essential” services and the BVSA is responsible for the “fun” services.

General Questions

How long is the walking path at Cub Lake?

With the addition of the loop, the walking path is .63 miles. This measurement does not include the street side of the lake.

How many lots make up Bear Valley Springs?

As of 2023, there are 3,590 lots of various sizes that make up the community of Bear Valley Springs. The minimum lot size is .33 acres.

How much property do I have to own to have horses or farm animals?

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:

  • Chickens are limited to 10 per acre. On lots larger than one acre, an additional 5 chickens per 1/2 acre are permitted, but not to exceed a maximum of 50 chickens on any lot.
  • Horses, goats, sheep, alpacas, mules, and donkeys are limited to four per acre in any combination but not to exceed a total aggregate of four animals per acre. For each additional 1/4 acre over and above the minimum of one acre, an additional hooved animal may be kept.
  • One pot bellied pig is limited to lots of one acre or more.
  • Cattle are limited to parcels 10 acres and larger in size and are limited to one animal per two acres of usable pastureland.
  • Bees are limited to two colonies per acre, placed a minimum of 75 feet from any residential structure property line or right of way.

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 I am having a problem with a neighbor for a violation of the ECC or BVSA Rules, what can I do?

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.

Governance Questions

Are Board meetings open to property owners? If so, when and where are they held?

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.

If I want to serve on a committee, how do I find out what committees are active and how can I get involved?

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.

Amenities Questions

Do I need a permit to fish at the lakes?

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. Ages 15 and under still need a fishing pass but there is no charge.

How do I make a reservation for to use the campgrounds?

Contact the Whiting Center at 661-821-6641 to see availability for the Town Center or Water Canyon Campgrounds. For the Equestrian Center Campground, call the Equestrian Center at 661-821-3960.

How do I make a reservation to have a birthday party or wedding at one of the lakes?

Contact the Whiting Center at 661-821-6641 to check availability of date and times. Then come in and fill out the paperwork for those dates and times. Then you will be called once it's approved then you will have 10 days to complete payment.

How many guest amenity passes can I receive?

A maximum of 4 guest amenity passes per property per day can be issues at any given time and are available for up to 2 weeks at a time.

What do I need to do to use the Shooting Range?

Prior to visiting the range, all shooters must register at to take a short quiz, sign the Release of Liability Form & all other acknowledgement forms prior to making an appointment with the Whiting Center.

What if I have more questions about guest passes?

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.

What is a grandchild pass?

The BVSA realizes that many of our senior members only utilize the amenities when their grandchildren come to visit. Grandchild passes are available only in person 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.

When can I use the pool?

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. In order to ensure safety and prevent overcrowding at the pool, for Summer 2023, we will once again be limiting guest use at the pool.

1) Guests must be accompanied by a member with a NEW amenity card and the member must remain at the pool with the guest. Guest passes will not be accepted for entrance to the pool.

2) Guests must pay appropriate guest fees - $5 (13 and over); $3 (ages 5-12); 5 and under are free.

3) A maximum of 3 guests who are ages 13 and over will be permitted per tract/lot. There is no guest maximum for ages 12 and under.

4) All guests will be required to complete a release of liability form upon their first entrance tot he pool for the summer. If you would like your guest to complete the form before their arrival, they are available in the Document Library called Guest Release of Liability 2023.

When do I need a guest pass?

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 with the exception of the tennis/pickleball courts(guests over 9 must pay appropriate fees at the Whiting Center prior to play). 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.

Where can I pick up a guest pass?

Guest passes may be requested at the following locations during their business hours:

  • Association Office - Monday through Friday, 8:30am-5pm
  • Whiting Center - Monday through Friday, 5:30am-9pm; Saturday 8am-9pm; Sunday 12-7pm

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, guest passes can be requested here our website at Online requests must be submitted at least one business day prior to requested pass pick up date. Online form requests are not processed on the weekends (if you need a pass on the weekend, please go in person to the Whiting Center to request and pick up passes). Guest passes cannot be requested by phone and may not be used to access the BVS Pool.

Will my guest have to pay a fee?

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 register them at prior to use of the range to complete a short quiz, sign the release of liability form and other acknowledgement forms before calling the Whiting Center at 661-821-6641 to schedule an appointment as well as pay the applicable guest fees. Fishing permits are required for any guest over 15 years of age and may be purchased at the Whiting Center.

Click here for our Amenity Fee Schedule

Assessments/Escrow Questions

I work for a title company and need to receive escrow documents.

Escrow demand requests should be sent to

If I merge my two lots, can I only pay one assessment?

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.

What are the fees associated with an escrow?

Transfer Fee - $275

Document Preparation Fee - $125

Amenity Card Charge - $150 per unreturned card

Any other balances associated with the account

What happens if I don't pay my assessment?

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.

What is an assessment? How much are the assessment fees for Bear Valley Springs?

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 2024-2025, the assessment fee is $2052 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 Questions

ECC? What is that?

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:

  • Painting
  • Fencing
  • Trimming or Removal of Oak Trees
  • Roofing
  • Building or Remodeling of the exterior of a home or accessory structure
  • Installing sheds, chicken coops, shelters, or other accessory structures
  • Solar panels
  • Excavation/grading
  • Pods/Construction Trailers/Tarp-like Accessory Structures or other Temporary Storage
  • Signs including Address & Real Estate Signs

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.

How do I file a complaint on another property?

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.

How do I submit my project for approval? How long does it take to know if my submittal has been approved?

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

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.

I filed a complaint. Why has nothing been done?

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.

I received a Request for Cooperation (a.k.a. Violation letter). Now what?

When you receive a Request for Cooperation, you have several options.

  1. You comply with the request – For example, you paint your trim or fix your fence or remove the blue tarp, etc. Once you’ve complied, you simply fill out the Cooperation Request Response form (available on this site or included with your letter) letting us know you’ve complied and return it to the Association office (fax and email is also acceptable). The ECC Field Representative will go out to make sure that you’ve complied. Unless you receive a phone call or letter telling you otherwise, no further action is necessary.
  2. If you will require additional time, you would fill out the Cooperation Request Response form (available on this site or included with your letter) and check the section that you request more time to comply and the reason. You can choose up to 90 days. The ECC will review your request and send you a letter with their decision to accept your extension request and an updated date by which to comply.
  3. If you feel you need more than 90 days, depending on the type of violation, you could complete a submittal form for the project which would extend the amount of time you have to complete your project. Simply complete the submittal form as outlined above.
  4. If you dispute the request, you can contact the Field Representative or request a meeting with the ECC to discuss the matter. Again, you would fill out the Cooperation Request Response Form or just call the Association Office.
  5. You can ignore the request which will result in a second notice. Eventually your file could be forwarded to the Board of Directors for a disciplinary hearing which may result in fines or suspension of amenity privileges.

I received a Request for Cooperation (aka Violation Letter). Did my neighbor file a complaint against me?

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.

I'm planning to build a shed/chicken coop/animal shelter/greenhouse. Do I need approval?

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

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 or call us at 661-821-5537 X222 or X211.

Oak Tree Questions - Do I need ECC approval to trim storm damaged oak trees or to remove mistletoe?

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

What colors can I paint my house?

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.

What does the ECC Field Representative do?

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.

What is the Violation Process?

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.

  1. The ECC Field Representative notes an area of non-compliance and takes a photo to document (as applicable). The ECC sends out a letter to the property owner.
  2. The Property Owner has 7,15 or 30 days to comply, request an extension, or submit for the project.
  3. If there is no response from the Property Owner, a Second Notice is sent out. The Property Owner then has 15 days to comply, request an extension, or submit for the project.
  4. If there is still no response from the Property Owner, the file is forwarded to the Board of Directors for disciplinary action. A letter is sent to the Property Owner notifying them of the date of their Hearing. Property Owners may attend the hearing and meet with the Board. The Board may determine disciplinary action in the form of fines or revoking of amenity privileges.

Who is on the ECC?

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.

Why is the house down the street painted an "unapproved" color?

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.

  • Some colors were approvable when they were submitted for, but have now faded to an un-approvable color. In these cases, the ECC may request that the Property Owner submit for a new color when they are ready to repaint.
  • Some colors end up looking very different on a whole house than they looked on the little chip the ECC was given.
  • And, some owners have painted their homes an unapproved color and may be in the violation process.

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.