You Post It, We Will Sue! (The Rancho Belago Story)
At the Moreno Valley city council meeting held on Tuesday April 13th, Mayor Bonnie Flickinger read into the record a letter which was received by Attorney Robert Herrick, and delivered to the city council of Moreno Valley.
The letter was from the city of Beverly Hills, and was in regards to the signage issue of Rancho Belago, a name designation for the eastern portion of Moreno Valley, which was adopted by the city of Moreno Valley in 2007.
In short, the letter stated that the sign design in which was chosen was an exact copy of their Beverly Hills sign which is a copyrighted trade mark of Beverly Hills.
Instead of voting on the signage issue, the council opted to vote for postponement of the issue until a future date, in which all city council members were present. This decision was based on request of both council members Richard Stewart, and Jesse Molina who were absent at Tuesdays meeting.
Given the legal question of violating Beverly Hills copyright, or not, this should have been a clear decision which should and could have been addressed that night. The only question before the council now is do we violate the copyright or not. However when faced with the alternative of dealing with Highland Fairview, maybe the council just needs time to decide on who’s sward they wish to toss themselves onto.
Rancho Belago, was the brain child of Iddo Benzeevi of Highland Fairview, and was meant to be an up scale area of Moreno Valley, with multi-million dollar homes and spacious views. However that was not the case. Even though those words were used as an enticement to lure the citizens of that area into the idea of a name designation separate from that of Moreno Valley.
Highland Fairview in fact bought the rights to the domain name Rancho Belago as far back as March 21st of 2006, a full year prior to the approval of any such name designation. The website itself depicts the sign in question, in which Iddo Benzeevi wishes to incorporate in the area of Rancho Belago. You will also find at their site references to the Skechers development planned by Highland Fairview as part of their Corporate Park Project, which wasn’t approved until early 2009.
One would think that Mr. Benzeevi holds the only working crystal ball in known to existence, or in some way had some form of control over local government, far beyond the citizens and voters of the city. Oddly enough, even a sitting member of the planning commission; hold a seat on the Rancho Belago Economic Council, a group of individuals, some of which don’t reside in the city of Moreno Valley, or in the Rancho Belago area. This was found to be a non issue as it may pertain to conflicts of interest, even given the overall connection between the development company of Highland Fairview, the website and the economic council itself.
Questions still remain as to who is in control of Moreno Valley, as well as Ranch Belago, and what are their true goals. We do know however, that when then council member Charles White opposed the new name designation of Rancho Belago, he was met with a smear campaign funded in part by Highland Fairview’s Iddo Benzeevi, through several political committees, such as The Moreno Valley Taxpayers Association, which again was operated by planning commissioner Michael S. Geller.
Furthermore, why is it that a portion of the city of Moreno Valley is in need of its own economic council, as well as its own website, complete with contact information where one can seek information regarding Rancho Belago? You would think that since Rancho Belago was still part of the incorporated city of Moreno Valley, it would be the city of Moreno Valley who should be contacted regarding such issues.
Below is the email from the city of Beverly Hills to the city of Moreno Valley:
CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE:
More on this topic coming, including who, and how many connections exist within a particular building on Sunnymead Boulevard, once occupied by Mr. Geller.