Lake Juniper property owner proceeds with plans for lake, park

Patti Lewis stood next to a sign atop a rock-filled dam that says "Patti's Puddle."

Lewis said fellow Lake Juniper property owner Roger Sayles placed the sign atop the dam immediately west of Stockton Hill Road and north of Jordan Ranch Road as a joke.

"This is a monument to my dam," Lewis said on Wednesday afternoon as she escorted a reporter from the Miner on a tour of the future dam and park site in her four-wheel drive vehicle.

Before reaching the dam site, she drove above a dredged basin where dump trucks unloaded earth fill.

She said the site eventually will be part of a private park that will surround an oblong lake.

Lewis settled a lawsuit with Mohave County in October over improvements for the rural subdivision north of Kingman.

She said she envisions a lake 15 feet deep fed by runoff from a wash from the nearby Cerbat Mountains, stocked with catfish and bass and suitable for small boats.

The lake would cover four or five acres, and a park featuring rolling hills, picnic tables and barbecue grills would cover an additional six acres.

Lewis said she scaled back the size of the lake from 30 feet deep and more than nine acres to reduce water and maintenance costs and curb insects.

Former developer Richard Neal made plans for a lake, roads and other improvements, but he never completed them and the county took over the subdivision in 1999.

Lewis filed suit in Mohave County Superior Court to force the county to pay for roads and utility service.

A settlement agreement with the county was signed on Oct.

7.

Meanwhile, Superior Court Judge Steven Conn sentenced Neal in May 2001 to three years in prison after Neal was convicted of forging the signatures of Superior Court Judge Randy Bartlett and former County Supervisor Carol Anderson.

Under the terms of the settlement, the county agreed to pave roads, complete a water system to serve all the lots at the 73-lot subdivision, arrange for underground utilities and pay Lewis more than $19,000 to resolve claims.

The settlement requires Lewis to allow the county to use materials at the lake site and transfer all interest that she has in well sites and roads to the county.

Moreover, the settlement required the formation of a homeowners association to assume ownership of the roads and the water system upon completion.

"The county is doing all the (road) preparation," Lewis said.

"I donated all the road and well sites to the county."

Lewis, a self-employed bookkeeper who ran unsuccessfully as a Republican candidate for county supervisor in 2000, said it could take five years to create the lake and park for Lake Juniper Estates, "but we hope not."

The subdivision has 23 property owners, and everyone who sells a lot will be required to donate six trees to the park, Lewis said.

She said a landscaping firm that she founded, Outland Resources, will maintain the park and install its irrigation system.

Lewis said she probably will spend $50,000 for the park and its irrigation system.

She already invested $5,000 for a spillway from the dam on the other side of Stockton Hill Road.

Her efforts drew praise from next-door neighbor Pam Scott, who moved to Lake Juniper Estates in July 2001 from Los Angeles and was unaware of the lawsuit.

She is chairwoman of the homeowners association board.

"It is incredible what Patti has done," Scott said.

"We love it out here.

I would not move back to Los Angeles."