Tensions are high near a Los Gatos nudist resort after a neighboring open space district accused the nudists of stealing water from the district and using it to keep the resort open amid California’s devastating drought.
On Thursday, rangers from the Midpeninsula Open Space District removed an upstream water line used by the Lupin Lodge nudist community that they claim is situated on the district’s property, according to the San Jose Mercury News.
The nudist lodge is among five California water districts that are forced to truck water in due to the severe drought. In addition to cutting down shower time, outsourcing laundry, and limiting toilet flushes, the nudist lodge also ran a rubber hose onto Midpeninsula land to capture water from a waterfall there. The owners of the nudist resort, Glyn and Lori Kay Stout, claim district landowners gave them permission to tap the waterfall in cases of emergency way back in the 1970s. The Stouts say Lupin Lodge needs the water to keep an emergency water tank full.
“It makes me angry and frustrated,” Glyn Stout told the Mercury News. “They refused to listen to our argument. It’s hardly neighborly. We believe we have the right to be here and do what we’re doing.”
Things have gotten so ugly that one nudist was threatened with a trespassing citation for walking on district property.
“They said, ‘You can’t be here. You’re on our property,'” 70-year-old full-time Lupin Lodge resident Errol Snider told the Mercury News. “I was wearing tennis shoes and my little fanny pack. I discreetly turned my fanny pack to a front pack where it stayed for the rest of the conversation.”
Midpeninsula Open Space district assistant manager Kevin Woodhouse said the district has tried to be good neighbors to the nudist lodge, at one time even offering to help broker a deal with the San Jose Water Company for reimbursable water supplies.
“This property and creek are protected watershed we manage,” Woodhouse told the Mercury News. “It’s undergoing restoration. Taking surface water from a creek — while it may seem simple — has legal, environmental, and regulatory complexities.”
Woodhouse also said the district has no intention of having the Stouts arrested or cited for trespassing.
Still, on Thursday, rangers reportedly ripped out the rubber hose that the nudists had been using to tap the waterfall and threw it back over the property line on the Lupin Lodge side. The hose had allowed Lupin Lodge to capture about 5,700 gallons of water a day.
Regardless, Glyn Stout said the residents of Lupin Lodge, who are “all about body acceptance and treating each other with mutual respect,” would still have a pool to swim in.
“Oh, we’ll keep the pool open, whatever it takes,” Stout said in the report.