Nudist Camp Owners Accused of Water Theft by District Attorney

Owners and employees of a Los Gatos nudist resort face criminal charges after authorities accused them of stealing water from a local creek.

Lupin Lodge co-owners Glyn Stout, 77, and wife Lori Kay Stout, 53, piped water from nearby Hendry's Creek last year to water their drought-parched camp despite several warnings, according to a complaint filed by the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office. Prosecutors have charged them with felony conspiracy.

The Stouts and resident-staffers John Berryessa, 49, and Michael Buckland, 38, also face six misdemeanor charges for trespassing on land owned by the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District.

All four will be arraigned next month. If convicted, they face up to three years in county jail.

The naturist resort, founded in 1936 by a utopian businessman, has survived the 1970s drought, wildfires, mudslides and earthquakes, according to a feature in the Mercury News detailing the camp's water woes.

But this current dry spell has hit the camp pretty hard, forcing it to shell out thousands of dollars to truck in water from outside sources. With anywhere from a few-dozen to 60 residents, Lupin Lodge is one of the state's smallest water districts and relies mostly on wells for running water and to fill its 38,000-gallon skinny-dipping pool.

Though the Stouts already cut water use by 40 percent in the past year by letting the bocce lawn die and switching to disposable plates and cutlery, the resort has struggled to cope with the drought. Cal Fire also demands an 87,000-gallon reserve to fight fires.

Last summer, the Stouts asked the open space district if they could place temporary pipes to draw water from Hendry's Creek as the prolonged drought dried up the resort's supply. District officials declined the request.

Undeterred, according to prosecutors, lodge owners trespassed on foot and in cars, clearing an old fire trail and causing significant environmental damage. They allegedly installed water lines and tapped the creek between July and November of last year.

In photographs taken by the district's wildlife cameras, the defendants are seen laying plastic tubing a half-mile upstream to a waterfall, according to Deputy District Attorney Denise Raabe.

Jennifer Wadsworth is the news editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley. Email tips to [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @jennwadsworth.

7 Comments

  1. Naked Naturalists Nabbed? Au natural Aqua Appropriation?

    The report screams for a snappier headline

  2. Jeff if you happen across this..

    I lived right above Lupin for years. EVERYBODY STEALS WATER. There is the Aldacroft Hills water association, but most folks up there just pump out of the little creeks here and there.

    If you *REALLY* want to go after a water thief, lupin is the smallest by far. When I was a kid I heard there was mines at the end of Aldacroft, so I went hiking one day and found them. After going about 50′ back I saw a vast subterranean reservoir. The property owner started screaming at me for finding his huge water stash, and escorted me out at gunpoint.

  3. Nudist! “What are they hiding, and where are they hiding it”

    Three years in jail, REALLY that should just scare the crap out of the illegal pot farmers crawling all over the county lands. Of course they got long hose’s and guns?

  4. Nudism is NOT about seeing or being seen. It’s about de-stressing, relaxing, and returning to innocence. It’s about accepting yourself and others for who you are, how you act, and what you say, rather than what you look like, wear, or own. If you’re looking to ease your way into the nudist lifestyle, nudist resorts , nudist beaches and nudist dating site (check localnudistsingle com) are available that offer a slightly less adventurous experience.

  5. Having lived for many years in close proximity to this area, and also having relatives who lived in the Canyon recently acquired by the heavy handed “Open” Space folks, I seem to recall that Lupin had a longtime claim on water diverted from the Creek, in the 1990’s there was a sophisticated diversion pond on the road below my brother’s place, just below the edge of Lupin that sent water that way. I could be mistaken… It could have been a still, for as everyone knows, whisky is for drinkin’ and water for fightin’ over… And don’t get me started on the “Open” Space folks… When I was a kid in Beardsley Canyon we thought the San Jose Water Co. was heavy handed, but they were just in business… These guys are on crusade… Using my money! What a farce…