SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The Foster family had barely closed the sale on their new home when they were blown away by an old law.
The neighborhood is in El Dorado Hills outside Sacramento. The family moved just a matter of miles, but as far as the neighborhood agreement they'd just signed, they might as well have been worlds or maybe decades away.
Clause 13 of the Lake Hills CC&R is similar to a homeowner's association agreement and leaves no room for misunderstanding.
"No person except those of the white Caucasian race shall use, occupy or reside upon any residential lot or plot in this subdivision, except when employed in the household of a white Caucasian tenant or owner."
Some longtime residents were aware of that rule but didn't pay it any mind, since there are non-whites in the neighborhood and there doesn't seem to be any effort to actually enforce the law, but the Fosters say that's not the point.
"Everyone knows that you can't enforce things like that. It still sends a message," said Liese Foster.
Taking their outrage to community networking site nextdoor.com, the Foster family is raising awareness among neighbors. Some of the neighbors, like new resident Dwight Holkko, didn't realize what they'd signed when they moved in.
"It should be reversed just to get it off the record... what their motivation is," said Holkko.
These rules have been on the books since 1961, and the person in charge of enforcing it says he had no idea.
KTXL reports that Brent Dennis has been with El Dorado Hills Community Services District, which handles rule enforcement for over 30 communities, for four years.
He says he can't explain why the rule was put in place, but he says it's definitely not enforced, violates federal law, and he guarantees his staff will correct the problem promptly.
California neighborhood has 'whites only' rule