The MarrLand Residential Subdivision & Country Club

The Cover-Up & Elimination of Thousands of Affordable Home Sites.
Potential Home Owners Suffer The Loss of Available Home Sites. Developers still make money.
Concealed under the guise of Public Parkland.

 

 

Copyright by Shawn Mantor                     Copyright by Shawn Mantor


 

Between 1927 and 1930 the 5 housing tracts of the MarrLand residential subdivision were created. MarrLand was by far the largest hillside housing development approved in Eastern Ventura County at that time.

 

It encompassed 900 acres of the foothills and canyons in the Santa Susana mountains just north of the growing Town of Santa Susana with spectacular views of the entire Valley below.

 

There were 3,500 individual hillside home sites laid out in high density patterns. Main roads and smaller neighborhood streets and alleys ranged in size from 10’ to 30’ wide. The County of Ventura had accepted these as County Roads. The entire network of roadways numbered 195.

 

Each Lot was also provided with Utility Easements.

 

In addition to the individual hillside home sites, a Country Club and its grounds were incorporated into the 5 MarrLand housing tracts.


 

Baiting The Suckers With False Pretences

 

Copyright by Shawn Mantor                        Copyright by Shawn Mantor

 

See Marr v. United States, Circuit Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit, 8 F.2d 231 (8th Cir. 1925)

 

Copyright by Shawn Mantor


 

The Developer of the MarrLand Residential Subdivision and Country Club was Marr Estates, Inc. Howard Marr was the President of this Corporation. The other Officers were members of the Marr family.

 

No one had the slightest clue that the little Town of Santa Susana and its Chamber of Commerce on the Los Angeles and Ventura County line had been infiltrated by what could be referred to as an Organized Crime Family, financially backed by the notorious and Nationally known Oil Stock Swindler, multi-State Embezzler, and Convicted Federal Felon, Pat Marr (aka Morton H. Marr). This man was also accused of attempting to hang his Jury by offering $5,000 to any Juror that would vote not guilty.

 

 

Marr Estates, Inc. was just a sham and really started as part of a larger scheme to assist in laundering dirty money from Texas.

 

Some of Howard Marr’s entourage included Santa Susana Chamber of Commerce Directors and Members Alfred G. Neff, Bert E. Gamble, George R. Hale, and W. T. Earnest. Coincidentally, this is the very same group of skilled swindlers that conspired with Pat Marr back in Texas beginning in 1922.

 

In 1927 at the time of the MarrLand purchase Pat Marr was sitting in a Federal Prison pulling strings from the inside.

 

In 1928 he was Paroled, and not wanting to violate his Parole, he intentionally stayed hidden in the background while his father Howard Marr continued with the Family’s Fraudulent Crime Business.

 

In 1929 he married Adah Kleinsmid. Niece of the Famous USC Chancellor Rufus Von Kleinsmid.

 

Marr Estates, Inc. promised the Lot purchasers that the roads would be constructed and that all utilities would be provided. And under the conditions of the Lot purchase, Marr Estates, Inc. promised it would grade the pad for the Lot owner upon its approval of the Lot owner’s building plans. Some of the first people purchasing Lots in MarrLand were also provided with a lifetime membership in the MarrLand Country Club, and a small percentage of the Oil Royalties from the Oil Well that was being drilled by the Shell Oil Company up Chivo Canyon.

 

Only a small portion of the massive roadway network at MarrLand was constructed. Most of this road work was only completed for the 2 entrances into MarrLand from Alamo and Tapo Streets, and for the road that winded around the MarrLand club house area. Just those areas visible on the foothills from the Valley floor showed that construction activity was progressing forward at MarrLand.

 

A few homes were constructed north east of the clubhouse in both Chivo and Las Llajas canyons. Power poles with electricity and phone were installed throughout the clubhouse area and just inside of both canyons.

 

Water and gas lines were also installed pretty much in the same areas where the power poles were located.

 

Some of the locations of the Cabins / Bungalows and Utility Services of the MarrLand Community
(Source: Ventura County Records)


Water Wells, Pump Houses, Reservoir, Water Tanks, Oil Station


Lot 11, Block 21 - Reservoir
Lot 11, Block 15A - Oil Station
Lot 16, Block 15A - Pump House
Lots 2 & 3, Block 16A - Well
Lot 6, Block 16A - Well
Lot 25, Block 17 - Well
Lot 91, Block 11 - Water Tank
Lot 34, 35 & 36, Block 1 - Water Tank


Cabins / Bungalows


Lot 1, Block 16A - Real Estate Tract Office
Lot 90, Block 11
Lot 7, Block 10
Lot 14, Block 9 (5027 Las Llajas Canyon Road)
Lot 14, Block 7
Lots 50 & 51, Block 4
Lot 32, Block 4
Lot 28, Block 6 (5680 Las Llajas Canyon Road)

 


 

The Embarrassing Marr Fraud Gets Exposed
 

The money from the sales of the MarrLand hillside home sites started to slow down during the economic depression of the 1930s. Lot sales was an easy way of generating an almost unending flow of money into Marr Estates , Inc. at $10.00 down and $10.00 a month.

 

Howard Marr was also being hit with multiple Lawsuits, Judgments, and Attachments that were connected with his many fraudulent acts and embezzlement activities in both Los Angeles and Ventura Counties, the Town Site of Santa Susana, and at MarrLand.

 

Mimicking almost exactly what was done back in Texas as a way of hiding assets and clouding titles, a confusing maze of dummy corporations and fake officers was created. Fake transfers and assignments of the unsold portions of the MarrLand residential subdivision, and fake encumbrances and debts were intentionally recorded.

 

               Copyright by Shawn Mantor
 

See Marr v. United States, Circuit Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit, 8 F.2d 231 (8th Cir. 1925)

 

From 1931 to 1936 Howard Marr tried hiding the Titles to most of the unsold portions of the MarrLand residential subdivision under fake mortgages in a conspiracy with his son Morton and multiple Insurance Companies. It was a Quid Pro Quo type of arrangement in which the MarrLand Titles would be fraudulently hidden under Fake Mortgages that allegedly Secured Fake Promissory Notes to give the impression that the MarrLand property was heavily encumbered in financial debt.

 

The Insurance Companies also benefited from this arrangement because it would make them appear on the surface to the California Department of Insurance that they were solvent with tangible assets located in a residential subdivision, even though they were already insolvent, or on the verge of insolvency. This was almost their last desperate act to save their companies during these poor economic times.

 

Beginning in 1936, The Texas Marr swindling gang and their fraudulent acts with the Insurance Companies was exposed. The Insurance Companies slowly began falling into insolvency status despite holding the fake Mortgages to the MarrLand property. Their financial books are being examined by the California Department of Insurance and are revealing enormous debts owed to it by Corporations operated by Howard Marr. There are no records of any payments being made to the Insurance Companies by Howard Marr or his Corporations in agreement with the numerous Promissory Notes Secured by the Mortgages on the MarrLand property.

 

Immediately after discovering this information, the California Department of Insurance began the start of the first of several Foreclosure Lawsuits against Howard Marr and his Corporations involving what they believed were their Titles to the unsold portions of the MarrLand residential subdivision. The Foreclosure lawsuits and the court proceedings ran from 1936 to 1941.

 

It was during this time that it was also revealed that the notorious Pat (Morton) Marr had his hand in at MarrLand as well. Ultimately, it was found out that the unsold portions of the MarrLand subdivision had been concealed under a pile of phony debt amounting to over $360,000, that’s about $5.2 million in 2016.

 

Copyright by Shawn Mantor  Copyright by Shawn Mantor Copyright by Shawn Mantor

 

 

See Marr v. United States, Circuit Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit, 8 F.2d 231 (8th Cir. 1925)



 

Property Tax Defaults


 

Beginning in 1931, Howard Marr had also neglected to pay the property taxes on the unsold portions of the MarrLand subdivision and they eventually ended up being sold to the State for unpaid taxes while the Foreclosure proceedings were going on. This included thousands upon thousands of the unsold individual MarrLand Lots, all of the streets, roads and alleys, and all of the Country Club grounds and recreational areas.


 

Cleaning Up The Mess


 

By 1941, it had been discovered that there really were no tangible assets or debts, and that everything was just an elaborate Sham. Attempts were made to try and clean up the Titles and a Plea Agreement was reached. Howard Marr and his dummy corporations would just simply Deed the properties over to Morton (Pat) Marr and the California Department of Insurance would do the same.


 

The County of Ventura and Morton (Pat) Marr Conspire to Eliminate the MarrLand Subdivision.


 

Morton (Pat) Marr now held the Unmarketable Titles to the unsold properties of the MarrLand subdivision and needed to take steps to prevent them from being lost to the public at Tax Auction Sales.

 

He made several secret deals with the County which allowed him to monopolize almost all of the Defaulted and unsold home site Lots.

 

The Re-Subdivision Maps of the MarrLand residential subdivision SHALL NOT be recorded without the Lot Owner's Authorizations and Consents.

 

Morton (Pat) Marr conspired with the County to Disenfranchise the Lot owners when a Re-Subdivision map was approved by the County wiping the land clean of all of the unsold Lots, roads, and other MarrLand properties. But in the haste to get these Re-Subdivision maps approved and recorded, many of the MarrLand Lots not owned by Morton (Pat) Marr were also Made A Part Of The Acreage.

 

Copyright by Shawn Mantor     Copyright by Shawn Mantor    Copyright by Shawn Mantor

 

Later, the County came in and condemned thousands of individual home sites in Chivo and Las Llajas Canyons under the guise of Flood Control, and blocked the main entrance point into MarrLand with a pseudo earthen dam. At this same time, the small amount of existing homes in MarrLand were demolished, water and gas lines were removed, and all of the power poles in both canyons were removed.

 

Morton had no intentions of completing his father’s residential housing development, and he wasn’t about to take on the commitments and responsibilities his father had promised to the Lot owners and the Community of Santa Susana in general.

 

Morton (Pat) Marr’s thing was Oil Development not Real Estate Development.

 

The County of Ventura, after all this embarrassment and chaos, and not wanting to be burdened with the infrastructure expenses, was more than happy to assist Morton (Pat) Marr in eliminating as much of the MarrLand residential subdivision as possible.

 

Another Quid Pro Quo Agreement.

 

And the only thing the remaining Lot owners got out of this were Reserved Road Accesses.


 

Over 90% Gone


 

By the 1940’s, only about 7% or 245 individual hillside home site Lots remained in the original MarrLand residential subdivision under Private Ownership.

 

Using the Re-Subdivision maps of the MarrLand residential subdivision additional attempts were made to try and Disenfranchise the MarrLand Lot Owners again.

 

In 1967, The Simi Valley General Plan showed plans for a 100 acre Lake (now the Las Llajas Dam area) and a 460 acre Park within the Las Llajas Canyon area of the MarrLand subdivision.

 

In 1968, The Ventura County Flood Control District had completed a feasibility study for the Lake and Park, and a $7.5 million dollar Dam.

 

By 1969, The Lake and Park plan was dropped, but construction proceeded forward for the Dam.

 

In 1972, The U.S. Corps of Engineers concluded that the Las Llajas Dam could not be supported by Flood Control benefits, and that it was economically unjustified. A Grand Jury report concluded the same.

 

In 1975, Morton Marr's attempt to sell his interests in the MarrLand subdivision to the Fairfax Investment Corporation failed.

 

Also in 1975, The County of Ventura improperly approved the abuse of a Land Conservation Act Contract (LCA) by Morton Marr which blanketed the entire residential subdivision of MarrLand with a building moratorium.

 

In 1978, A large housing developer purchased 3,000 acres north of the MarrLand subdivision. Only 2 roads access this property. One is through Las Llajas Canyon and the other is through Tapo Canyon.

 

In 1980, Morton Marr sold his interests in the MarrLand subdivision to Marr Ranch Associates, Inc. A Middle Eastern group of investors.

 

Using the Re-Subdivision maps of the MarrLand residential subdivision the MarrLand Lot Owners were again Disenfranchised when the current housing development that includes The Crest At Wildhorse Canyon was approved by the City of Simi Valley.

 

In 1980, The Simi Valley City Council approved a 1,350 unit development concept for the MarrLand subdivision presented to it by Property Management and Diversified Development, Inc. Around this same time another housing development called the North Hills Project was also proposed for the MarrLand subdivision, this time with 1,730 units. Later, development in this area was set at 550 units and the Donation of thousands of the MarrLand residential lots as part of the proposed Parkland.

 

In 1982, The LCA Contract was removed from the MarrLand residential subdivision. It had been in place since 1975.

 

In 1985, The "Rancho Cortijo" project was proposed for the current area were the Silverthorne and Shadow Hawk housing tracts are located.

 

In 1992, The large housing developer located up the Las Llajas Canyon obtained a 36' wide Road Easement covering the Las Llajas Canyon Road.

 

Around 1993, More aggressive acts were performed by the developers so as to fast track another proposed housing development within the MarrLand subdivision. This time by Marr Ranch Associates, Inc. and the Simi Associates. Ultimately being approved and resulting in the development of The Crest At Wildhorse Canyon Tract, as part of the 550 unit approval.

 

By the 2000’s, the amount in individual MarrLand Lots fell to about 125. Most of the remaining privately owned MarrLand Lots are located along the foothills in both Chivo and Las Llajas canyons, and others are scattered above the high end tract home developments to the south of Silverthorne and The Crest At Wildhorse Canyon.


 

Make a Wise and Solid Investment for Your Future


 

The privately held and remaining residential MarrLand Lots are now some of the rarest and most affordable custom home sites around the north eastern Simi Valley.

 

The sad circumstances surrounding the loss of the additional thousands upon thousands of affordable home sites in this area (now part of the Marr Ranch Parkland) only makes the remaining Lots more in demand and more valuable.

 

This is the time to Invest in these affordable home sites at MarrLand. This is one of the most desirable and fastest growing areas in Simi Valley. The high end tract homes have already made their way up into the mountains. A another new housing development is in the works in Tapo Canyon, the last of the 50 approved custom home sites will soon be built on. And a major housing developer owns 3,000 acres north of MarrLand with secondary access through Tapo Canyon.


 

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Mantor Properties, P.O. Box 940684, Simi Valley, CA, 93094
Owner & Real Estate Agent
Updated February 08, 2016